Help! My Mint Filesystem keeps turning read only!

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Help! My Mint Filesystem keeps turning read only!

Postby dombov » Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:18 pm


After several failed attempts at migrating to Linux once and for all, I have now taken the plunge and am on week 3 of no Windoze, which is great. Unfortunately, I have hit a snag or two along the way, which I expect is down to the fact that I am on a learning curve which is quite steep. I am running Mint Cinnamon 13 64bit and whenever I leave the machine on for any length of time, I come back to find that whenever I try to do anything where I need to sudo that I get an error saying "unable to open /var/lib/sudo/dom/0 Read-only file system". Now, I have found that this is where the O/S maintains a list of what my user can control with sudo, which makes sense. What doesn't make sense though is why it has changed? The only thing running overnight has been Thunderbird, and Firefox (which have both been left open, but not actually doing anything actively) and Filezilla, which has been shunting files around to different servers. Any ideas? Filezila also so sometimes reports an "Unable to save copy of XML file", which I assume is related, as by my reckoning, the system is forgetting that my user has the right to write to the disks.

I have re-installed several times and keep finding the same problem... it does go away when I reboot, but then comes back again after a while. The spec of the machine is:

M5A9(X Evo mobo
6xAMD 6100 six core processor
16GB ram
11TB disk
ATI RadeonHD 5450

It was suggested on another forum that I run fsck to fix things, and so I rebooted using a liveCD and ran first GParted and when I did I got this:

GParted 0.11.0 --enable-libparted-dmraid

Libparted 2.3
Check and repair file system (ext4) on /dev/sda2 00:00:02 ( ERROR )

calibrate /dev/sda2 00:00:00 ( SUCCESS )

path: /dev/sda2
start: 195,347
end: 91,603,550
size: 91,408,204 (43.59 GiB)
check file system on /dev/sda2 for errors and (if possible) fix them 00:00:02 ( ERROR )

e2fsck -f -y -v /dev/sda2

/dev/sda2: recovering journal
Superblock needs_recovery flag is clear, but journal has data.
Run journal anyway? yes

/dev/sda2: ***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****

/dev/sda2: ********** WARNING: Filesystem still has errors **********

e2fsck 1.42 (29-Nov-2011)
e2fsck: unable to set superblock flags on /dev/sda2

(for information /dev/sda1 is formatted as FAT32 as an EFI boot partition called linuxmint - took ages to get all that working, not a fan of UEFI). Mint seemed to do this automatically, which was weird, as it never asked.

I have found some stuff about rebuilding superblocks and the like, but I am wondering if I would not be better off just copying the data from /home to another drive and re-installing? Is there a way of running some kind of low level format on the disk to fix it once and for all, then repartition it and install Mint over the top? Don't know if this has any bearing on it, but this is an SSD drive... I have heard bad things about SSD failures. Anyone who has any ideas on what on earth is happening, please share, as I am loving Linux (and the learning curve, always nice to learn new things) but this is frustrating.

Many thanks,
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Postby catgate » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:33 pm

You could try formatting to NTFS and see if this helps.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:01 am

The filesystem may be being set to read-only because of the errors.

I would have a look at optimising the filesystem for SSD
A journalling filesystem is not really ideal for SDDs, as it writes a lot more info.
Partition alignment is also important. ... guide.html
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Postby dombov » Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:34 am


Thanks both of you for the responses - been doing some digging and by the looks of it, the issue lies with the SSD itself, as it has become read only due to becoming "worn out".

I have stuck another one in (and the problem has gone away), but I am going to configure it to work using the help in the ... guide.html link, as I guess that might help reduce the wear and tear on the new one.

Thanks again,
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Postby nelz » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:11 am

SSD drives, apart from the cheap ones in netbooks, shouldn't wear out, at least not in less than a few years. Is yours still under warranty?
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Postby dombov » Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:30 am


It is about 2 years old, but is in a PC which has been on for almost that time. I have emailed Kingston about it and they are offering to replace it under warranty, so hopefully I can drop that SSD into one of my other machines.

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