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

Chris Norman chris.norman4 at ntlworld.com
Fri Feb 20 01:14:53 UTC 2009

I don't really pretend to know anything about this, but can you not mount 
drives on their serial numbers or something?

I can't remember, and I could be completely wrong, but I seem to remember 
that somewhere in man 5 fstab, there was some useful stuff.


Take care,

Chris Norman.

Email and msn: chris.norman4 at ntlworld.com
IChat and Skype: chris.norman7
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carl Keil" <carl at snarlnet.com>
To: "Support list for open source software in schools." <k12osn at redhat.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 11:04 PM
Subject: [K12OSN] Server mixing up sda/sdb/sdc, etc. at boot time.

> 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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