Fsck drops to a maintenance shell at boot

Solution Verified - Updated -


  • During boot, the system hangs on fsck.
  • The machine begins the Checking Filesystems stage and stops with the following error:

    *** An error occured during the file system check.
    *** Dropping you to a shell; the system will reboot
    *** when you leave the shell.
    Give root password for maintenance
  • System cannot boot with the following messages in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

    Welcome to emergency mode! After logging in, type "journalctl -xb" to view
    system logs, "systemctl reboot" to reboot, "systemctl default" or ^D to
    try again to boot into default mode.
  • Then journalctl shows the followings:

    systemd-fsck: /dev/sdb1 contains a file system with errors, check forced.
    systemd-fsck: /dev/sdb1: Inodes that were part of a corrupted orphan linked list found.
    systemd-fsck: /dev/sdb1: UNEXPECTED INCONSISTENCY; RUN fsck MANUALLY.
    systemd-fsck: (i.e., without -a or -p options)
    systemd-fsck: fsck failed with error code 4.
    systemd-fsck: Running request emergency.target/start/replace


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7
  • ex3 or ext4 file systems

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