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External Firewire Drives and Booting up



Good Morning,
  I have a Linux box with two external firewire drives hooked up.  The issue I am having is if I reboot or if we are hit by a power outage and I need to bring the system back online, it fails because it does not recognize the firewire drives.  The error message says /dev/sda1 is an invalid block device.  To fix this problem, I just make a copy of /etc/fstab and then remove the entries for the firewire drives, then reboot system.  After system comes back up, I then move the copied version of /etc/fstab back and do a mount -a and the firewire drives are again useable. 
  This seems to be just a bit to much work since I have to do this as root and since I am the only person with the password it could cause problems if I am not here. (Everyone else has sudo privileges and there is no other sysad types here).  Is there something I can do where I can eliminate these steps and have the system boot naturally and mount the firewire drives during the boot process?

Thank you in advance,
Tom



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