[K12OSN] Server mixing up sda/sdb/sdc, etc. at boot time.

Rob Owens rowens at ptd.net
Thu Feb 19 23:46:52 UTC 2009

You can use the UUID of the drive in /etc/fstab, instead of the device name (sda, sdb, etc).  You can find the UUID of your drives with this command (as root):

vol_id -u device

where "device" is /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, etc.


On Thu, Feb 19, 2009 at 03:04:13PM -0800, Carl Keil wrote:
> Hey folks,
> I've got a weird problem.  Googling has provided me with links to other  
> people experiencing the same thing (so I'm not crazy, maybe), but no  
> solutions.
> I'm getting smartd messages that I have a failing hard drive in my RAID  
> array.  So I thought I'd be proactive and swap out the drive since I  
> have a spare.  I have 4 sata heads on the mobo.  I have sda as the  
> unraided boot drive and sdb + sdc configured as md0 for the /home  
> directory.  I figured that sata1 would be sda, sata2 would be sdb, etc.   
> So I pulled the drive that was on sata3 because the message said that  
> sdc had the problem.  When I rebooted, the server wouldn't boot up?    
> Turns out that sata3 is sda?!  I've tried pulling each of the drives in  
> turn and it seems like the computer reshuffles the drives almost  
> randomly.  So they all take turns being sda/sdb, etc., depending on  
> which are plugged, unplugged.  Sometimes the raid shows up, sometimes it  
> can't be found.  With only one drive pulled, out of 4 drives, only 3 of  
> which are supposed to be in use.
> Is there a way to lock these down so that they always correspond to  
> sda/sdb, etc?  It seems like that would have to happen in BIOS, but it  
> doesn't look like an option.  If the drives aren't assigned  
> sequentially, how am I supposed to swap out the drive?
> Any help would be appreciated.
> ck
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