Recover A Read-Only File System

This article describes how to use utilities to correct filesystem errors.


To get the most from this guide, you should be familiar with the following articles:

Create a Block Storage Volume

Attaching a Block Storage Volume

Accessing a Block Storage Volume


If your volume ever ends up in a read-only state, you can use this guide to fix errors and remount the volume.

Choose the appropriate tab for Linux® or Microsoft® Windows®:

Recover a read-only file system in Linux

We’ll use /dev/xvdb1 as the read-only file system and /mnt as the mount point in this walk-through. Make sure to substitute your volumes wherever needed.

Step 1: Verify read-only status

You can use the touch or the file command to verify that you are actually in read-only mode.


cd /mnt
touch a-test-file
(out)touch: cannot touch 'a-test-file': Read-only file system

Step 2: Unmount the file system


cd ~
umount /dev/xvdb1

Step 3: Run a file system check and fix all errors


fsck /dev/xvdb1
(out)fsck from util-linux 2.31.1
(out)e2fsck 1.44.1 (24-Mar-2018)
(out)/dev/xvdb1: clean, 12/6553600 files, 557849/26214144 blocks


Note that the fsck output above does not show fsck fixing any errors, since the test volume did not actually have any errors. Your output may differ.

Step 4: Remount your file system


mount /dev/xvdb1 /mnt

Step 5: Verify read-write status

Again, you can use the touch or the file command to verify that you are no longer in read-only mode.


cd /mnt
file a-test-file
(out)a-test-file: ASCII text, with very long line

Recover a read-only file system in Windows

Step 1: Open Explorer

Open the File Explorer utility by clicking the icon on the bottom panel of the desktop.

Windows File Explorer Utility

Step 2: Select Properties

Right click on your volume and select Properties.

Volume Properties

Step 3: Run check

Under Tools, run an error check.

Error Check Tool

Step 4: Correct any errors

Follow the prompts to check for and fix any errors found.

Error Check Prompt

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