A 2 terabyte Drive Kills Booting.

Linux for blind general discussion blinux-list at redhat.com
Wed Dec 28 18:14:30 UTC 2022

Last Spring, I bought a 2 terabyte Samsung drive for backing up a
system running debian buster.  It's a great drive for running
rsnapshot and it mounts and unmounts lightning fast.  I have
things setup so that the drive is plugged in to a usb port all
the time but my backup script mounts the file system just after
Midnight for backups.  Unless I want something off of the drive
such as the time I accidentally deleted a bunch of email archives,
the drive is un mounted but it's device node, of course, still
sits in /dev.

	The backup script mounts  it's UUID on
/var/cache/rsnapshot, takes a new backup and then umounts and all
that works fine.

	I have set grub to use a serial console and /dev/ttyS0 is
the port for that and I am getting good communication between it
and a Raspberry Pi so one can tell what grub is doing when it
boots up.

	There is a problem, however, and I wasn't sure exactly
what was causing it because this system is on pretty much 24/7 so
it may go for weeks between reboots.

	If I reboot it with the backup drive plugged in to a usb
port, it hangs forever just after grub reports that it is loading
the kernel.

	The only way to regain control is to have a keyboard
plugged in and type Ctrl-Alt-Del or press and hold the power
button for a few seconds.

	When the boot process starts, I unplug the 2 terabyte
drive and get all the same messages via grub except that this
time it reboots completely and one can log in, do work, etc.

	If you plug the 2-terabyte drive back in after bootup, it
quickly registers itself and is ready to be mounted if one so

	So the upshot of all this is that the system works
properly and the backups happen each night but if there ever was
a problem and the system rebooted, one would be up the creek
because the system seems to refuse to boot if that drive is

	If I halt grub and start the grub command shell, I can
list all the devices which are listed slightly differently in
grub so the drive that is normally /dev/sda is listed as hd0.
Another drive on that system is a 512-MB drive that holds the
/home file system.  One can do a ls command in grub and the boot
drive which in unix is /dev/sda now is listed as hd0 with
partitions of hd0:1 and hd0:5

	The /home drive is hd1 with hd1:1 as the /home partition.

	The 2 terabyte drive shows up as hd2 with hd2:1 as the
whole drive where the backups go.

	All 3 drives show up in grub's ls command and the backup
drive passes fsck with flying colors.

	The backup drive is not bootable and there is only one
big partition for it.

	I also set grub to pass the UUID of the root partition to
the kernel.  It works fine with that setup or just using the
device name.

	Does this situation sound familiar to anybody and were you
able to fix it?

	This could be a lot worse such as not working at all, but
right now, a live person has to make sure the 2 terabyte drive is
unplugged until booting is finished and then it's safe to plug it
back in.

	Thanks for any and all suggestions.

	Martin McCormick

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