When booting my Debian server, I'm presented with the following error concerning my external hard drive:

The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2 filesystem.
fsck died with exit status 8.

A maintenance shell will now be started. CONTROL-D will terminate this shell and
resume system boot.

The thing is that if I type Ctrl-d or enter the maintenance shell the disk is correctly mounted and calls to e2fsck /dev/disk/by-label/elements report no errors.

This is very annoying since I need to type ctrl-d every time the server is rebooted and I would rather not have a keyboard attached to the server at all.

2 Answers 2


If the target disk to mount is your root partition, it's likely to fail at boot. (You can't boot without mounting the root volume)

But other partitions, they're not as critical as root partition, so fsck won't care.


I solved it by following the advice described here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/util-linux/+bug/367782

  • So you added rootdelay=10 or similar to the kernel parameters?
    – StarNamer
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 21:28

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