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EXT3 file-system error "bad entry in directory"

This document (3554036) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10


At reboot, or mount of an EXT3 file-system, an error similar to the one below is seen:
EXT3-fs error (device dm-0): ext3_readdir: bad entry in directory #5556142: rec_len is smaller than minimal - offset=0, inode=2553887680, rec_len=0, name_len=0


This error is caused by a file that has been marked as a directory. This is a non-fatal error and can be fixed by removing the file in question.

  1. Mount the file-system in question
  2. Locate the file that has been corrupted. The file's inode is the number after "bad entry in directory" Using the example error code the file would be found by typing
    find /MOUNT_POINT-inum 5556142
  3. Delete the file identified in step two
  4. Umount the file-system
  5. Check the disk, and check for errors.
  6. Repeat step 5. If no errors, the file-system is clean.


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:3554036
  • Creation Date: 05-Jan-2008
  • Modified Date:25-Feb-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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