Raspberry Pi sd card issue after power outage (constant red led)

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Last night we had a (announced) power outage at work. This morning everything seemed to work again except one thing: The Raspberry Pi 2 showing our monitoring status on the TV screen. Nooooo, we're blind!

The Raspberry Pi's LED was a constant red. No output on HDMI and also keyboard/mouse didn't show any connectivity. Even without any USB devices connected and power cable unplugged/replugged the Pi wouldn't boot. 

I came across a few pages with good information for troubleshooting booting issues:

My first fear was that the power outage caused a defect in the polyfuse and that I'd either have to replace it or wait some time (up until a couple of days) so it auto-resets itself. But a lot of the posts almost always blamed the SD card for boot issues. I didn't really think this could be the cause but I needed to make sure anyways.

So I inserted the micro sd card into my computer and voilĂ , there's definitely something bad:

[ 2882.284344] usb 2-3: USB disconnect, device number 2
[ 2902.054057] mmc0: new high speed SDHC card at address 59b4
[ 2902.060081] Driver 'mmcblk' needs updating - please use bus_type methods
[ 2902.060139] mmcblk0: mmc0:59b4 00000 7.35 GiB
[ 2902.063721]  mmcblk0: p1 p2 < p5 p6 > p3
[ 2904.227853] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p3): recovery complete
[ 2904.235789] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p3): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[ 2904.269231] FAT-fs (mmcblk0p5): Volume was not properly unmounted. Some data may be corrupt. Please run fsck.
[ 2906.018193] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p6): 9 orphan inodes deleted
[ 2906.018196] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p6): recovery complete
[ 2906.065988] EXT4-fs (mmcblk0p6): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: (null)
[ 2907.605639] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 6016528, nr 56, cmd response 0x900, card status 0xb00
[ 2907.605643] mmcblk0: retrying using single block read
[ 2909.153337] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 1830160, nr 32, cmd response 0x900, card status 0xb00
[ 2909.153349] mmcblk0: retrying using single block read
[ 2915.557948] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 10471632, nr 8, cmd response 0x900, card status 0xb00
[ 2915.557953] mmcblk0: retrying using single block read
[ 2916.088688] mmcblk0: error -110 transferring data, sector 10472016, nr 8, cmd response 0x900, card status 0xb00
[ 2916.088694] mmcblk0: retrying using single block read

As dmesg suggested, I launched a fsck on /dev/mmcblk0p5 and got this:

fsck /dev/mmcblk0p5
fsck from util-linux 2.20.1
fsck.fat 3.0.26 (2014-03-07)
0x25: Dirty bit is set. Fs was not properly unmounted and some data may be corrupt.
1) Remove dirty bit
2) No action
? 1
Leaving filesystem unchanged.
/dev/mmcblk0p5: 74 files, 9965/30651 clusters

So a plain fsck didn't really repair the file system (Leaving filesystem unchanged). On one of the pages mentioned above, the following options were mentioned: -trawl.
From the --help output of fsck.fat, trawl means:

  -t       test for bad clusters
  -r       interactively repair the filesystem
  -a       automatically repair the filesystem
  -w       write changes to disk immediately
  -l       list path names

OK, looks legit to me. Let's roll:

fsck.fat -trawl /dev/mmcblk0p5
fsck.fat 3.0.26 (2014-03-07)
0x25: Dirty bit is set. Fs was not properly unmounted and some data may be corrupt.
 Automatically removing dirty bit.
Checking file /boot0
Checking file /COPYING.linux (COPYIN~1.LIN)
Checking file /LICENCE.broadcom (LICENC~1.BRO)
Checking file /LICENSE.oracle (LICENS~1.ORA)
Checking file /bcm2708-rpi-b-plus.dtb (BCM270~1.DTB)
Checking file /bcm2708-rpi-b.dtb (BCM270~2.DTB)
Checking file /bcm2709-rpi-2-b.dtb (BCM270~3.DTB)
Checking file /bootcode.bin (BOOTCODE.BIN)
Checking file /cmdline.txt (CMDLINE.TXT)
Checking file /config.txt (CONFIG.TXT)
Checking file /fixup.dat (FIXUP.DAT)
Checking file /fixup_cd.dat (FIXUP_CD.DAT)
Checking file /fixup_db.dat (FIXUP_DB.DAT)
Checking file /fixup_x.dat (FIXUP_X.DAT)
Checking file /issue.txt (ISSUE.TXT)
Checking file /kernel.img (KERNEL.IMG)
Checking file /kernel7.img (KERNEL7.IMG)
Checking file /os_config.json (OS_CON~1.JSO)
Checking file /start.elf (START.ELF)
Checking file /start_cd.elf (START_CD.ELF)
Checking file /start_db.elf (START_DB.ELF)
Checking file /start_x.elf (START_X.ELF)
Checking file /overlays (OVERLAYS)
Checking file /bcm2708-rpi-cm.dtb (BCM270~4.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/.
Checking file /overlays/..
Checking file /overlays/hifiberry-amp-overlay.dtb (HIFIBE~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/tinylcd35-overlay.dtb (TINYLC~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/bmp085_i2c-sensor-overlay.dtb (BMP085~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/hifiberry-digi-overlay.dtb (HIFIBE~2.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/i2c-rtc-overlay.dtb (I2C-RT~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/ads7846-overlay.dtb (ADS784~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/rpi-display-overlay.dtb (RPI-DI~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/README
Checking file /overlays/hifiberry-dac-overlay.dtb (HIFIBE~3.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/at86rf233-overlay.dtb (AT86RF~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/hy28b-overlay.dtb (HY28B-~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/rpi-proto-overlay.dtb (RPI-PR~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/hy28a-overlay.dtb (HY28A-~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/dht11-overlay.dtb (DHT11-~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/mz61581-overlay.dtb (MZ6158~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/iqaudio-dacplus-overlay.dtb (IQAUDI~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/lirc-rpi-overlay.dtb (LIRC-R~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/w1-gpio-overlay.dtb (W1-GPI~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/pps-gpio-overlay.dtb (PPS-GP~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/mcp2515-can0-overlay.dtb (MCP251~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/rpi-dac-overlay.dtb (RPI-DA~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/piscreen-overlay.dtb (PISCRE~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/spi-bcm2835-overlay.dtb (SPI-BC~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/w1-gpio-pullup-overlay.dtb (W1-GPI~2.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/pitft28-resistive-overlay.dtb (PITFT2~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/enc28j60-overlay.dtb (ENC28J~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/iqaudio-dac-overlay.dtb (IQAUDI~2.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/hifiberry-dacplus-overlay.dtb (HIFIBE~4.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/gpio-poweroff-overlay.dtb (GPIO-P~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/i2c-gpio-overlay.dtb (I2C-GP~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/i2s-mmap-overlay.dtb (I2S-MM~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/mcp2515-can1-overlay.dtb (MCP251~2.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/mmc-overlay.dtb (MMC-OV~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/piscreen2r-overlay.dtb (PISCRE~2.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/pitft28-capacitive-overlay.dtb (PITFT2~2.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/pwm-2chan-overlay.dtb (PWM-2C~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/pwm-overlay.dtb (PWM-OV~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/raspidac3-overlay.dtb (RASPID~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/rpi-backlight-overlay.dtb (RPI-BA~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/rpi-ft5406-overlay.dtb (RPI-FT~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/rpi-sense-overlay.dtb (RPI-SE~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/sdhost-overlay.dtb (SDHOST~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/sdio-overlay.dtb (SDIO-O~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/smi-dev-overlay.dtb (SMI-DE~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/smi-nand-overlay.dtb (SMI-NA~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/smi-overlay.dtb (SMI-OV~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/spi-bcm2708-overlay.dtb (SPI-BC~2.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/spi-dma-overlay.dtb (SPI-DM~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/uart1-overlay.dtb (UART1-~1.DTB)
Checking file /overlays/vga666-overlay.dtb (VGA666~1.DTB)
Performing changes.
/dev/mmcblk0p5: 74 files, 9965/30651 clusters

Alright, another fsck please to see if the dirty bit was removed:

fsck /dev/mmcblk0p5
fsck from util-linux 2.20.1
fsck.fat 3.0.26 (2014-03-07)
/dev/mmcblk0p5: 74 files, 9965/30651 clusters

Yep, looks better.

Once I inserted the sd card into the Raspberry Pi again, I couldn't believe it - that thing booted again. So it really was the sd card to blame!


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