How do I fix a "still dirty" filesystem?

Jo & drmarsh at
Mon Oct 25 03:51:43 BST 1999

----------  Forwarded Message  ----------
Subject: How do I fix a "still dirty" filesystem?
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 03:32:11 +0100
From: Jo & <drmarsh at>

I think I'm in deep trouble.

I was innocently unarchiving an innocent archive (whose contents I'd checked
first) into my '/' directory, and then the unarchiving process bombed out (with
'unexpected end of archive' or somesuch), and before I know it, I find that I'm
seemingly unable to do anything in the windows where I am my mortal self:
commands such as pwd and ls fail, and so on. (root seems unaffected).

Fearing something nasty has happened, I reboot and run fsck.
After each partition is checked, I get:


***** PLEASE RERUN FSCK *****        

I've rerun fsck 3 or 4 times, and things aren't looking any happier.

I can't login as a mortal (I get 'unable to find root' or something like that)
and trying to su to somebody else from root gets 

gatehouse# su dm
su: /bin/sh: Permission denied     

ls and pwd work fine as root (as do other things, eg KDE, and kmail, thankfully)
but for some reason 'man' seems knackered:

gatehouse# man
/usr/libexec/ Cannot open "/usr/lib/"      

I'm running FreeBSD 3.2.

Does anybody know how I get out of this one?   :-(

Many thanks,


PS: Please cc: answers to drmarsh72 at, just in case I'm really
screwed and can't access my mailbox.

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