I was trying to install a new version of an applicatio (MATLAB 5.2) when at installation 45% complete the following message appeared: kernel panic: EXT2 fs panic (device 03:42): ext2_read_inode: unable to read i-node block - inode=174081, block=696328. I could not do much after that - even stopping installation have not removed several related processes, which had STAT designation "D", I could not write anything to the partition onto which I've attempted to install the application (message was that it is read-only partition)).
I even could not reboot and CTRL-ALT-DEL did not do anything either. When I've hard-reset the machine, in the process of
linux coming up I was told that there is a problem with the relevant partition and I should run fsck manually. When
I did this, I got a message that there is something wrong with this particular block, giving me option of ignoring this or not. Not ignoring stops e2fsck, ignoring completes execution of e2fsck, but trying to install application resultos in exactly the same behavior. When I rebooted again, I noticed that in the subdirectory where the installation was to take place there are two files with extensions swp and swx, which cannot be removed - such attempt again results in a process with STAT desigantion "D", which seems to take all the resources (CPU monitor shows 100% busy), can't reboot etc. When after reset and logging in I tried to run e2fsck on this paticular partition I got the message about corrupted superblock and a suggestion of using an alternative superblock. This however
does not seem to work, the same message comes back.
I need advice how to nurse my machine back to health.
I am running RedHat 4.0 linux (2.0.18) on a pentium machine with 80Mb of RAM and plenty of disk space.