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Over the past couple of days Ubuntu has been progressively locking me out of the the system. I can't open some programs and the last straw was a few minutes ago when it refused to save a screenshot. The error I constantly see is that the filesystem is read-only. I've also been forced to perform fsck checks constantly during boot due to errors and inconsistencies. According to information online, my HDD is to blame and is probably dying and Ubuntu turns sectors to read-only as a means of protection. However, I dual boot with Windows 10 and it doesn't seem to be affected.

So before buying a new HDD, I'd like to know if there's anything else that could cause this situation and if there is a fix.

Thanks in advance for any info.

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    That definitely sounds like the disk is dying and once dead, it will not allow reads anymore. Have you run anything deeper then an fsck on Ubuntu or a "scan disk" on Windows yet? For simple drive health status, I have used smartctl to get a quick look of a disk. That should be on Ubuntu though, not sure what good S.M.A.R.T. disk tools there are for Windows. If you do find more disk errors, time to replace the disk before you lose your data. – GracefulRestart Apr 17 '18 at 16:49
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    I've found that Smartfan is a good SMART reader for Windows. However, back to the question in hand, if the filesystem keeps dropping back to read-only the chances are it's being corrupted little by little. If you haven't got a backup of your data, get one now. Right now. Yes. Now. Really. – roaima Apr 17 '18 at 16:55
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    Make a backup right now! Use CloneZilla if it's not too late already! (CloneZilla will fall back to ddrescue automatically) – Fabby Apr 17 '18 at 17:00
  • @GracefulRestart, I've used smartctl and it can't even proceed after 10% because it can't read the disk. I guess it's really time for a new one. But still, I don't understand why Windows appears unnafected. Maybe the bad sectors are mostly on Ubuntu's partition or something. About roaima's and Fabby's recommendations: thankfully I have a secondary HDD with all my files and it is healthy according to smartctl :) – Julio Kirk Apr 17 '18 at 19:06
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As already said in the comments, your Linux partition is being corrupted and you should make a backup ASAP.

About the reason for this, it's possible it's because of Windows 10. I've heard several cases of Win10 corrupting the Linux partition on a dual boot machine. (Related: Launching Windows corrupts ext4 partitions) This would also explain why the Win10 partition is unaffected.

A solution for this would be to put the Linux partition offline from Win10 via diskpart, as explained in this answer: https://askubuntu.com/questions/849872/how-can-i-prevent-windows-10-from-corrupting-the-ext4-superblock-every-time/858159#858159

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