In October 2009 I set up a dual-boot system with Ubuntu 9.10 (and whatever Windows OS we were running at the time.) The Ubuntu side was configured with several encrypted LVM partitions on sda5: /home, /etc, /var, etc. This is a long-obsolete OS running obsolete apps that has never given me any trouble for the purposes that I’ve used it.

Yesterday, during a warm restart, I saw GRUB, chose Ubuntu, was prompted for my passphrase, which was evidently accepted, and then ... a general mount error on /dev/mapper/crypt-home. I used a recovery shell to take a look at the (obviously decrypted) syslog, which had no special complaints before the problem emerged; then no new lines. /var and /etc files all looked unremarkable to my untrained eye.

Hardware diagnostics on a cold boot came up clean.

I’ve got incremental and full backups that are not too old and I could restore to another device (using current software that might or might not recognize my old configuration files,) but I’d really like to find out if my existing home partition is salvageable. Can anyone lead me through some diagnostic procedures?

1 Answer 1



I ran fschk /home (without automatic correction) just to reconfirm that all sectors were clean. Then, with no reason to believe that an attempted manual mount would produce results any different from those I had seen from /dev/mapper/crypto-home at boot, I typed “mount -t ext4 /dev/mapper/crypto-home /home” . No complaint from the system (such as “General mount error” or “waiting for dev/mapper/crypto-home” .) My home directory immediately became available. Restart confirmed that the repair held.

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