System Administration & Network Administration
Updated Fri, 30 Sep 2022 10:41:42 GMT

FreeBSD - unexpected soft update inconsistency

I came into work this morning and one of my BSD servers is unable to boot properly. I can get into single user mode but when running fsck I get the error "unexpected soft update inconsistency" Does anyone know either how to fix this or how I should proceed next? Thanks!

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The specific problem is that I can't access my system properly. I am unsure on what the error stated above means and how to fix it. I uploaded the images of the fsck -y per the request below. Any help would be very much appreciated.

UPDATE The system came back up after a few hours of running fsck -y!! I am able to login in multiuser mode and all is good. I am going to put in a recommendation to my boss that everything be backed up. Thanks for all of your help and input everyone.


As the next three words of the error message imply, the right thing to do is run fsck manually (which you're doing).

fsck (usually run with -y so you don't have to manually say yes to all the prompts) will resolve the soft update inconsistencies and usually leave you with a working system again.
(Exceptions exist where whatever caused the inconsistency has trashed something important, like the kernel, or where the underlying cause is a dying disk.)

If fsck can't do the job you're in a position where you probably want to restore your system from known good backups. (The brave among us, and the few with skills in the arcana of fsdb may elect to attempt a manual resurrection, but restoring from backups is almost always less painful.)

Comments (2)

  • +0 – Thank you voretaq. I really appreciate your response. I will continue to let fsck run and do its thing. At first I thought it was hanging but after reading your answer, I will let it be and hope it fixes the disk. That was the first time I saw that specific error message and couldn't pin down what it meant. Thanks again. — Jul 10, 2013 at 19:20  
  • +0 – depending upon the size/type of disk this can take a bit. — Jul 10, 2013 at 19:40  

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