"Failed to start file system check on /dev/disk..." error on Photon OS based virtual appliances
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"Failed to start file system check on /dev/disk..." error on Photon OS based virtual appliances


Article ID: 326323


Updated On:


VMware Cloud Foundation VMware vCenter Server


  • After rebooting a Photon OS based virtual appliance (vCenter Server Appliance for example), executing any commands on the shell (emergency mode) fails.
  • The appliance fails to start and and you see an error similar to:

    [FAILED] Failed to start File System Check on /dev/dis...uuid/7986780-8987-
    See 'systemctl status systemd-fsck-root.service' for details.
    [DEPEND] Dependency failed for /sysroot.
    [DEPEND] Dependency failed for Initrd Root File System.
    [DEPEND] Dependency failed for Reload Configuration from the Real Root.
Note: The preceding log excerpts are only examples. Date, time, and environmental variables may vary depending on your environment.


  • VMware Cloud Foundation 2.x
  • VMware vCenter Server 7.0.x
  • VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.7.x
  • VMware vCenter Server Appliance 6.5.x
  • VMware Identity Manager 3.3.x
  • All VMware Aria Suite products



This issue occurs when a VM  is forcefully halted as a result of storage failure, power failure, or software stack crash, causing file inconsistencies.


To resolve this issue, scan and correct the filesystem by running fsck manually:
Caution: Before proceeding, take a snapshot or backup of the affected virtual appliance.
  1. Reboot the virtual appliance, and immediately after the OS starts, press e to open the GNU GRUB Edit Menu.
  2. Locate the line that begins with the word linux.
  3. Option 1
    1. At the end of the line, add fsck.repair=yes then press f+10 to continue booting the appliance. This will force the default filesystem check to auto-resolve any issues, and does not require emergency mode.
  4. Option 2
    1. At the end of the line, add systemd.unit=emergency.target                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
    2. Press F10 to continue booting.
    3. Find the filesystems by running these commands:
  • /bin/sh
  • /bin/mount
  • blkid
Note: You will see the list of devices mounted with the disk uuid.
  1. Run this command against the mount point that has issue:

    e2fsck -y /dev/sda3

    Note: The -y switch will fix the nodes automatically. Replace /dev/sda3 with the mount point that has the issue.
  2. Power off the virtual appliance.
  3. Power on the virtual appliance.

Additional Information