dosfsck ignores your answers, and silently exits without saving, if it is run with no options

Bug #205206 reported by Marius Gedminas
10
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
dosfstools (Ubuntu)
Wishlist
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: dosfstools

Stick a VFAT-formatted USB disk with a broken file system. Unmount it. Run sudo dosfsck /dev/sdb1 (or whatever the device is).

dosfsck asks you many questions about repairing this or that. Then it exits without making any changes, and giving no indication to the user that (1) it didn't actually make any repair, nor (2) what to do to actually make it repair the filesystem.

An experienced user will know enough to read the manual page and learn about the -a or -r options. A less experienced user will just declare it broken and reboot into Windows.

dosfsck should not ask any questions when it finds errors it is not going to repair. It should print an informative message saying "errors found; to fix them pass the -r (manual repair) or -a (automatic repair) option on the command line", or the equivalent.

Revision history for this message
Onno Benschop (onno-itmaze) wrote :

Would a message to the console if neither -a or -r are provided *and an error is detected* be an appropriate way to address this concern?

For example the output currently is (using a file-system without errors - I don't have a broken one handy:

$ dosfsck test.img
dosfsck 2.11, 12 Mar 2005, FAT32, LFN
{error stuff here}
test.img: 17 files, 1159/2847 clusters
$

Would this address the issue:

$ dosfsck test.img
dosfsck 2.11, 12 Mar 2005, FAT32, LFN
{error stuff here}
Leaving file system unchanged, use -a or -r to write changes.
test.img: 17 files, 1159/2847 clusters
$

Daniel T Chen (crimsun)
Changed in dosfstools:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
Changed in dosfstools (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
unforgettableid (unforgettableid) wrote :

Hi Onno,

Your proposed solution would be good.

Even better would be if dosfsck told users at the beginning of the run: "This is demonstration mode; dosfsck will fix nothing. Please use -a or -r instead." And at the end of the run: "Leaving disk unchanged; to make fixes, use the -a or -r options."

summary: - dosfsck user interface is unfriendly
+ dosfsck ignores your answers, and silently exits without saving, if it
+ is run with no options
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