SUMMARY: Problems removing recursive directories

From: Jason Pong (
Date: Thu May 21 1998 - 01:27:47 CDT

     I have a client with a rather interesting problem. He has a /lost+found
directory and in it, it has a sub-directory named #0546898. No big deal
right? Just something that was put there by fsck. But if we do a "ls -laR"
in /lost+found, we see recursive directories called "..." under #0546898
(ie /lost+found/#0546898/.../.../.../.../.../.../.../.../.../.../.../etc etc
and it goes forever)

a) Could anyone please explain to me how that happened

b) We cannot remove the directories. When we tried to do a "rm -rf
/lost+found/#0546898" it just core dumps on us.

    Sorry for not making this clearer. All the recursive directories (...)
have the same inode number as #0546898. Some people thought that I couldnt
remove the directories because of "special" characters in the directory
name. The solution that worked for us was that we used unlink on the
parent directory and then used clri to clear the inodes.

As to why it happened in the first place, Darren Dunham <> said:

Somehow a directory became corrupted. FSCK found this recursive one
and removed it from it's location in the directory. All inodes
removed from the directory are linked into lost+found.

Thanks to the following people for their help:

Michael Sullivan <>
Darren Dunham <>
David Evans <>
Rose, Robert <>
Jim Harmon <>
Charles Roten <> (David Mitchell) (Danny Johnson) (G. Dimitoglou)
Gustavo Chaves <> <Brian T. Wightman>
Stefan Voss <>
Aggelos P. Varvitsiotis <>
Craig Whytock <>

Jason Pong ( Graphics Computer Systems Pty Ltd, Australia
Ph: +61-3-9888-8522   Fax: +61-3-9888-8511

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:12:40 CDT