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Error 15 When Resizing an Ubuntu Linux ext2/3/4 Partition

Note: This issue has been corrected in Ubuntu as of version 14.04 (April 2014 release).


Attempting to resize an Ubuntu Linux ext2/3/4 partition using BootItBM, PartWork, or IFW/IFD/IFL results in the following error message when checking the file system prior to resizing the partition:

Error 15 found on file system. Use a tool such as scandisk or chkdsk/f to correct this error

While this error can legitimately occur with any Linux distribution where a file system error exists, it is known to occur on Ubuntu versions 12.10, 13.04, and 13.10 on every reboot or power down. It can also be expected to occur on Ubuntu derivatives, such as Linux Mint and Kubuntu, that were released during the same general time frame. This error condition will occur every time the OS is rebooted or powered down.


The OS does not properly unmount the file system while rebooting or powering down the system.  While this does not cause any known problems with the OS itself, it will cause Error 15 to occur when attempting to resize the partition with TeraByte programs. This will prevent the partition from being resized until the error is cleared by the Linux 'fsck' utility. The link below provides some additional information about this issue:


Before the partition can be resized, the Linux 'fsck' utility must be run on the partition to clear the error condition. This usually cannot be done from the running distribution (unless it's a partition that can be unmounted from the running system), but can be done from the IFL Boot Disk, another Linux install on the same system, or from many Linux Live CDs.

To clear the error from the IFL boot disk, boot normally from the IFL boot media, and then  either exit to command prompt (CUI version) or open a terminal window (GUI version), to get to a command prompt. At the command prompt, the 'fsck' utility can be executed as follows:

fsck -fy  /dev/sdXY   (where /dev/sdXY is the partition involved, such as /dev/sda1)

Note that the "f" forces a file system check, and the "y" tells it to automatically correct any errors. To just see the errors first, without correcting anything, you can run 'fsck -fn /dev/sdXY' instead.

Also note that the 'blkid' utility can be used to list all detected file systems on the system. This can help to identify the correct partition designation to run 'fsck' on. A typical 'fsck' output when correcting this error can be seen below:

e2fsck 1.42.8 (20-Jun-2013)
/dev/sda1: recovering journal
Pass 1: Checking inodes, blocks, and sizes
Pass 2: Checking directory structure
Pass 3: Checking directory connectivity
Pass 4: Checking reference counts
Pass 5: Checking group summary information
Free blocks count wrong (2825545, counted=2825452).
Fix? yes

Free inodes count wrong (804459, counted=804457).
Fix? yes

/dev/sda1: ***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****
/dev/sda1: 178583/983040 files (0.1% non-contiguous), 1106452/3931904 block

Once the error has been cleared, the resize operation needs to be done before the OS is booted again, or the same error condition will reoccur.



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