Manjaro crashed and it can't load the OS properly anymore

This morning something really strange happened. I turned on my laptop and selected Manjaro to load (I have two versions, one older on sda2 and one more recent on sda4 which is the one I used today as well). It all looked normal, but I became kind of stuck between two windows (one in which I was asked to provide password for the keychain and the other was a virtual keyboard). It seems that the virtual keyboard couldn’t stay on top and so I was unable to type anything in the field for the keychain password.

So to cut the long story short, I pressed the hardware reset button and kept it pressed for about 10 seconds, which is when the laptop shuts down normally. It did shut down, but when I started it again, things were not good. It said it recovered the journal (which is normal after such an abrupt hardware shutdown), but then it proceeded to give many error messages. I can’t remember exactly what they were, but I think it was something like “A stop/start job is running…” and then dozens and dozens of errors for various stuff, but mostly SNAP was mentioned.

I think there was also a message about failing ata1, hardware error…or something like that (?)

This lasted for a very long time (about 10 min) and when it finally finished with this procedure and when it was supposed to give me the login screen, nothing happened - there was only the cursor blinking in the upper right corner.

However, despite all this, I was able to log in successfully to my older Manjaro installation (on sda2) which is from where I am writing this message.

Is there a way to determine what happened (e.g. on the basis of error messages) and see if it was just something related to that particular Manjaro installation and not the laptop/hardware error? Where should I look for the error log exactly?

Just to be clear: that is no normal shutdown but a forced one. Pressing (and releasing!) the power button should trigger a normal shutdown.
Also see

That sounds like a hardware problem - do check SMART info of that drive and backup important data as soon as possible.

Ok, I didn’t know about that softer method. I hear about it for the first time now. :slight_smile:
I will read it carefully.

Can I access the error log (or the booting log) from that Manjaro installation so that we can see what the exact error messages were? Where should I look for it?

I mean those messages that are written during the booting of Manjaro. They are probably being written to some file, I suppose?

I am currently logged into my older Manjaro installation (on sda2). And from here it seems that the entire hard disk is accessible.

I installed Manjaro on a new previously unused partition. I installed smartmontools and GSmartControl.

This is what GSmartControl shows under “view output” for my hard drive:

The hard drive appears to be working fine on this new installation, but what do I know.
Should I be worried?

Looks to me like there were some errors recently:

  9 Power_On_Hours          -O--CK   100   100   000    -    13708
Error 333 [4] occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 13706 hours (571 days + 2 hours)
Error 332 [3] occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 13706 hours (571 days + 2 hours)

I’d be concerned and look for a replacement drive.
Backup your important data.

You could chroot into that installation and try to look at it’s journal (via journalctl).

That filesystem might be damaged however due to the forced shutdown. Check and possibly try to repair it.

I will. Already made some backups, but there’s a lot of it.

My personal feeling is that the corruption of that installation happened because of the forced shutdown, not so much because of a potentially damaged hard drive. But we’ll see. I will perform more SMART tests.

Is there some kind of tutorial or guide on how to perform the repairing of a damaged installation? In any case, thanks for your help today!

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In addition to the post above: chroot - ArchWiki
For Manjaro installations you can boot from (Manajro-)USB and use manjaro-chroot.