[SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

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[SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby MarekS on Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:19 am

I'm trying to install Mint 14 Xfce on a P4 with 1G RAM.

The DVD boots okay into a live Mint, but the install is interrupted by this message:

Failed to create a file system
The ext4 file system creation in partition #1 of SCS|1 (0,0,0) (sda) failed.


The PC had recently been running Fedora Xfce with no problems, and I was happy for Mint to take over the entire disk.
Last edited by MarekS on Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Failed to create a file system

Postby viking777 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:26 am

Boot from your live dvd, run the 'Disks' utility, select your hard drive in the left panel and in the right panel click the cogwheel button top right. Go to 'Smart data and tests' and have a look for any errors. If there are none hit 'Start Self-Test' > Short and let it finish. If that reports no errors you could try the longer test as well.

The point being that this error sometimes indicates bad sectors on the disk you are installing to, let us know if you see anything like that.
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Re: Failed to create a file system

Postby MarekS on Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:12 am

SMART is not enabled.

So I used GParted (on the live DVD) to delete partitions and format my hard drive to ext4, which it did though with the error message:

... we have been unable to inform the kernel of the change...

So I rebooted the live DVD, chose Erase disk and install Linux Mint and then got the usual message:

Failed to create a file system
The ext4 file system creation in partition #1 of SCS|1 (0,0,0) (sda) failed.


As far as I can tell, the Mint installer is succesfully creating the partitions it wants, but then something goes wrong.
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Re: Failed to create a file system

Postby viking777 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:52 am

OK no Smart monitoring - I guess this means that it is an old disk, nearly all modern disks have this facility built in.

Do you have a raid or lvm setup on this disk (or did you have in the past)? I don't think this is likely, but is this a Uefi machine?

The "unable to inform" error can be a result of a partition being mounted and the favourite is 'swap'. You could try repeating the exercise with gparted but before deleting all your partitions right click on the swap partition and select 'Swapoff' ( assuming firstly that you actually have a swap partition - or any partitions - and secondly that it is switched on, possibly neither of these is true). See if that makes a difference.

Going back to your original error as I said this can be caused by bad sectors on the disk (though this is not guaranteed to be the answer, only one avenue to explore). The trouble here is that the normal check tools like fsck are designed to check partitions with file systems on them and not whole disks with just unallocated space, and that seems to be what you have got. The usual answers are to find the disk manufacturer, go to their website and look for a disk check utility in their downloads (otherwise ultimate bootcd has a collection of these drive checkers built in - http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/). However this means you have to download and burn some tool before you can even start to check anything, and like I said this might not be the answer anyway.

There is one tool that Linux has that is capable of doing this and will already be present on the live dvd - badblocks. To use this you boot from the live dvd and assuming your drive is dev/sda you run the command:

Code: Select all
sudo badblocks -sv /dev/sda


This will take hours to complete but will show you a progress bar as it goes on. The trouble is with this technique is that it doesn't fix anything it only shows up problems. It can be made to fix problems by incorporating its output into fsck, but fsck only checks file systems not disks and you don't have any and can't create any - so Catch 22 :( You may not think it is worth running, up to you. Not only that but the usual advice with damaged disks is to replace them not to repair them.

The last possibility is checking the installation medium in another computer or on another drive to see if it is the download or burn of your live dvd that is at fault rather than the hard disk on your pc. That may not be possible for you I don't know. You say the machine has recently been running Fedora, if you still have the installation medium for that you could try installing that again. If that works without any issues then it is unlikely there is any problem with your hard disk and it may be your Mint dvd that needs replacing.

Going back to my second sentence, Fedora used to have this love affair with lvm (setting it as the default some years ago). If Fedora set up your disk in this way and it somehow still believes it is part of an lvm array this could be the cause of your problems. I had this problem years ago and had a dreadful time trying to rid myself of the lvm that Fedora set up without my noticing. If I remember correctly I had to completely wipe the whole hard drive with a disk wiping utility before I could ever use it again. I don't think Fedora do that these days, but I don't know for sure.
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Re: Failed to create a file system

Postby MarekS on Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:24 am

Thanks for your reply, viking777.

I have now installed Sabayon 11 Xfce, with no problems, so I don't think it was my hard drive.

I had previously tried another Mint 14 Xfce download, but that showed the same Failed message.

For the time being I shall stick to Sabayon or turn to Fedora.
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Re: Failed to create a file system

Postby Joshua Bennett on Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:49 am

I had this same problem when trying to install Mint over an Ubuntu 12.04 installation. After searching on the Ubuntu forums, I found a solution: instead of choosing to erase Ubuntu, I chose the "Something Else" option. This allowed me to manually partition the disk. The installation went off without a hitch after that.
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Re: Failed to create a file system

Postby MarekS on Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:52 am

Joshua Bennett wrote:I had this same problem when trying to install Mint over an Ubuntu 12.04 installation. After searching on the Ubuntu forums, I found a solution: instead of choosing to erase Ubuntu, I chose the "Something Else" option. This allowed me to manually partition the disk. The installation went off without a hitch after that.


Okay. Mint 14 32-bit Xfce is now installed.

I ran out of notepaper trying to jot down the many error messages, reboots and restarts required for Mint to manage my hard drive. But once that happened, the installation itself was a breeze.
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Re: Failed to create a file system

Postby catweazel on Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:15 am

viking777 wrote:
Code: Select all
sudo badblocks -sv /dev/sda

This will take hours to complete


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Re: [SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby scrapjon on Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 pm

So, attempting to install from linuxmint-14-xfce-dvd-64bit.iso failed to install repeatedly throwing the error above. Manual partitioning did not solve the problem.

linuxmint-14.1-mate-dvd-64bit.iso installed perfectly with no errors.
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Re: [SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby aegrotatio on Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:25 pm

Hi, I need to add another suggestion because the proposed solutions do not work for me, either. The problem is not a bad disk or other hardware problem. It's the XFCE autumounter. I suspected that it was the automounter that was getting in the way of the installation, so I tried the following steps and it worked. Please note that myself and others have installed all the other Linux Mint 14 variants and they all worked fine--just the XFCE one does not work in certain configurations.

In any case, here is what I did.

1) Boot from the XFCE Live CD.

2) Go to "Menu...Settings...Settings Manager."

3) Select "Removable Drives and Media."

4) De-select "Mount removable drives when hot-plugged" and "Mount removable media when inserted."

5) Start the installer. You may choose "Erase everything" or "Something Else" without incident.

Thanks for all your help and I hope these steps help you. In my specific case the system is booting from a USB drive made with PenDriveLinux and a 320 gigabyte drive appearing as /dev/sda. I believe this confuses the XFCE operating system automounter which confuses the installer which wants to control mounting and unmounting of all volumes.

I suggest that this ought to be filed as a bug.
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Re: [SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby nad on Thu May 16, 2013 10:47 am

aegrotatio wrote:4) De-select "Mount removable drives when hot-plugged" and "Mount removable media when inserted."
.



Thanks for this! Install went off without a hitch!

Sandisk USB drive, Cinnamon Mint 14 install from live session on HP xw4200.

I'm about to reboot and test it out!
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Re: [SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby notamused on Tue May 21, 2013 2:23 am

aegrotatio wrote:4) De-select "Mount removable drives when hot-plugged" and "Mount removable media when inserted."


I only registered to say that you are awesome and helped me a lot. Thank you, kind Sir.
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Re: [SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby lhtd on Sat May 25, 2013 7:33 am

Thank you! The step-by-step in only one post was really helpful.
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Re: [SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby nellai on Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:29 pm

aegrotatio wrote:Hi, I need to add another suggestion because the proposed solutions do not work for me, either. The problem is not a bad disk or other hardware problem. It's the XFCE autumounter. I suspected that it was the automounter that was getting in the way of the installation, so I tried the following steps and it worked. Please note that myself and others have installed all the other Linux Mint 14 variants and they all worked fine--just the XFCE one does not work in certain configurations.

In any case, here is what I did.

1) Boot from the XFCE Live CD.

2) Go to "Menu...Settings...Settings Manager."

3) Select "Removable Drives and Media."

4) De-select "Mount removable drives when hot-plugged" and "Mount removable media when inserted."

5) Start the installer. You may choose "Erase everything" or "Something Else" without incident.

Thanks for all your help and I hope these steps help you. In my specific case the system is booting from a USB drive made with PenDriveLinux and a 320 gigabyte drive appearing as /dev/sda. I believe this confuses the XFCE operating system automounter which confuses the installer which wants to control mounting and unmounting of all volumes.

I suggest that this ought to be filed as a bug.


Used linuxmint a lot two years back when it was 10. Went to peppermint, bodhi etc for the last two years. Dropped the idea of installing linuxmint 14 and 15 due to the same installation problem. Fortunately this time saw your solution. This worked like magic. Registered this time to say a big THANK YOU.
Why was it necessary to keep those two options selected by default? Probably driven away many people from installation. Not everyone is fortunate enough to see this solution.
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Re: [SOLVED] Failed to create a file system

Postby Afindecuentas on Mon Aug 05, 2013 6:11 am

Hi, I got problems trying install the linuxmint xfce 15.

The history.
Just after click on continue, in the new 15 Xfce installation process... in the manual HD partition manager step, (with all the partitions created). The installation process, just dissapeard, do nothing, and the installation program close himself.
After 5 attemps. I made the decision of reinstall the previous version (14 Xfce). And it's working now.


The actors
Laptop HP-Compaq nc6400.
LinuxMint 15 Xfce.


The past.
Same laptop with a sucessfull linuxmint 14 Xfce installation.

Any idea?
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