I’ve been having a few issues with my laptop for the past couple of months; I was originally thinking I had a corrupt partition table (it was getting a tad annoying cause I would have to run fsck to get everything running again). This seemed pretty likely cause I had 3 operating systems on there, and my partition scheme was pretty hectic and had changed quite a bit. So naturally, I assumed that was the problem.
So a couple days ago, I decided to wipe everything fresh, plan out my partition scheme in advance so I wouldn’t have to change it, and merge the functionality of the 2 linux distros I had on there so I was only dual booting instead of tri booting. Basically, the assumption was that I was going to be eliminating all the contributing factors to the fragile partition table.
Everything was going great for a few days, until lo and behold I ran into pretty much the same issues, just a bit more extreme: Something caused a temporary kernel failure, but I was able to work around that and keep on trucking. After fiddling around a bit, I just decided to give up and reboot. Fast forward a few minutes, and it wouldn’t properly shutdown, so I killed the power and booted it back up… just to have complain about only being able to mount the disk read only. Basically the same random issue I had been facing before. Luckily with the same fairly easy fix. 2 fresh operating systems, a fresh partition table, everything should be fine, therefore, the only conclusion I can draw is that my disk is failing.
Also, this is a great example of why, despite the usually successful windows approach, you don’t reboot a *nix box if its having issues. I went from a functional environment, albeit a read-only one, with networking and such. Where I was able to save some active stuff to my server, and instead dropped myself into a bare minimum recovery shell, without any network services or anything else that would have let me limp along like I had been.
Once again, luckily it is a generally easy fix, but if it hadn’t been an easy fix, and there had been important files on there, I would have lost them… All because I rebooted.