F34 reinstall error: "you must create a new file system on the root device”

I need to reinstall F34, but when I try to do it using Anaconda GUI, I can’t reassign / to the new installation. The scenario is:

  • / and /home are existing Btrfs volumes
  • I want to preserve /home but reformat all the other volumes/partitions ( / , /boot and /boot/efi )
  • I can assign /boot , /boot/efi and /home to “new” installation, but when I try to assign / , this “You must create a new file system on the root device” appears.

How do I get past this? Any help will be much appreciated.

PS: IMHO Anaconda should handle this situation automatically, or at least communicate properly what needs to be done. I hope this has improved on F35

PPS: There is another thread about the same issue on the “on using Fedora” channel, but I believe this is the correct place for this question





… wait a minute, that guy seems strangely familiar… :thinking: :joy:

I did remember I had this problem before, but for some reason I thought I was on a different situation now, because I was trying to create a new mountpoint for / and it wasn’t working, it was (rightfully) complaining that there was no space left on device. Now I understand there were two things I needed to do first:

  1. I had to choose “Btrfs” as the fs type for new partitions (I was using the default “LVM”)
  2. I had to first map one of the existing partitions to the target (new) installation, and then select this partition on the target; only then I would be able to create a new mount point for / on the target installation. (I probably did exactly this on that last time, I just didn’t remember it :roll_eyes:)

So, thanks for reminding me of my (smarter) past self :wink:

I am facing a different problem right now, but it seems unrelated: installation is aborting as soon as it starts downloading the packages complaining the filesystem is read only. Does it make any sense? Could it be a side effect of something I am doing wrong? Or has my SSD simply gone defective?


Hmmm, that’s hard to guess at. Can you boot back into the older installation and run diagnostics?

Not anymore :disappointed: The main reason for reinstalling the system was a weird crash (out of the blue the system crashed saying that it could not save a file because the filesystem was read only – precisely the same symptom I am facing now :confounded:). Based on some googling, I guess the disk is really gone :slightly_frowning_face:

Ouch. Hope you had backups!

As I understand it, Btrfs is much more aggressive in marking filesystems on bad drives unmountable. If you need to, you may still be able to recover data. See:


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I do have – somewhat outdated (I update them with every new Fedora release), but still, it’s better than nothing. I did manage to generate a new backup from the read-only fs before trying to reinstall, I will take a closer look at them once I have a chance, to check if they are corrupted (let’s see if Btrfs did a good job in preserving the data :crossed_fingers:t3:).

I also did try to restore the data, but things were so bad that the command aborted with an error after a while :confounded: But thanks for the pointer anyway :wink:

I already purchased a replacement SSD, let’s hope I have better luck with that one.

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