I had filesystem errors on /home, an ext4 partition. I was able to reboot into recovery mode and run e2fsck, which found and fixed a long list of errors. (Later I found that periodic checking was disabled.) After that, I was able to reboot to the desktop, and everything appears to be fine.

Now I'm wondering: How do I assess the damage (if any)? I checked in /home/lost+found and it is empty; that's encouraging. But is there anything else I could or should do to find out whether data was lost?

In case it matters, I'm on Debian stable 10.7.

  • I take it that you didn't save the output from fsck with the list of detected errors and performed fixes, did you?
    – TooTea
    Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 14:20
  • @TooTea unfortunately not. And I couldn't find a log of it anywhere.
    – A. Donda
    Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 18:49

2 Answers 2


Unless you have a fresh backup to compare with, there's nothing you can do.

In rare cases e2fsck truncates files to zero - you might look for them.


On old Unix, lost+found was (I think) used for any orphaned file. In e2fsck, I believe it is only used for orphaned directories. e2fsck also only ever seems to have one fix for an error.

In any case, you should also:

  1. Use tune2fs to turn on periodic checking on your existing filesystems.
  2. Edit /etc/mke2fs.conf to make the default be to include periodic checking.

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