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Old 12-10-2007, 06:23 AM
wwp
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

Hello there,


running a Fedora 8.. since I don't know when, my root partition is
randomly mounted as /dev/sda3 or /dev/sdc3. This breaks the mount
possibilities from within Nautilus, as it seems to be a complete mess
w/ detected devices (or remembered?) devices.

It's a D810 laptop, w/ a SATA disk (usually sda, root sda3 and labelled
as '/' and swap as SWAP-sda4, sda1 and sda2 being NTFS). When I boot
the laptop w/ some USB disks connected (labelled storage3 and
storage4), I'll get random mount sequences. At the beginning the USB
disks were sdb and sdc and could be mounted w/o problem from Nautilus.
But I recently reboot and found that this has changed -> root is sdc3
and one of the external USB disks is now sda1.
/ and swap partitions are in fstab, storage3 and storage4 aren't.

If that doesn't prevent the system from running fine, from within
Nautilus, I can't mount the external USB disk anymore, it seems that
nautilus remember that 'storage3' was 1st partition, but now it tries
to mount /dev/sda1, and fails w/: NTFS signature missing..

Any clues how I could get a fixed mounting sequence? Should I force a
specific device (/dev/sdc1) for the labelled partition 'storage3' for
instance (and how)? How can it be that the / partition doesn't get the
1st /dev/sdX assignment?


Regards,

--
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Old 12-10-2007, 06:00 PM
"Mikkel L. Ellertson"
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

wwp wrote:
> Hello there,
>
>
> running a Fedora 8.. since I don't know when, my root partition is
> randomly mounted as /dev/sda3 or /dev/sdc3. This breaks the mount
> possibilities from within Nautilus, as it seems to be a complete mess
> w/ detected devices (or remembered?) devices.
>
> It's a D810 laptop, w/ a SATA disk (usually sda, root sda3 and labelled
> as '/' and swap as SWAP-sda4, sda1 and sda2 being NTFS). When I boot
> the laptop w/ some USB disks connected (labelled storage3 and
> storage4), I'll get random mount sequences. At the beginning the USB
> disks were sdb and sdc and could be mounted w/o problem from Nautilus.
> But I recently reboot and found that this has changed -> root is sdc3
> and one of the external USB disks is now sda1.
> / and swap partitions are in fstab, storage3 and storage4 aren't.
>
> If that doesn't prevent the system from running fine, from within
> Nautilus, I can't mount the external USB disk anymore, it seems that
> nautilus remember that 'storage3' was 1st partition, but now it tries
> to mount /dev/sda1, and fails w/: NTFS signature missing..
>
> Any clues how I could get a fixed mounting sequence? Should I force a
> specific device (/dev/sdc1) for the labelled partition 'storage3' for
> instance (and how)? How can it be that the / partition doesn't get the
> 1st /dev/sdX assignment?
>
>
> Regards,
>
>
SCSI drives are listed by order of discovery. (SATA drives are
handled as SCSI drives.) You should not have USB drives discovered
before your SATA drive. It almost sounds like you have the
usb_storage module in your initrd file. You may also want to check
/etc/modprobe.conf fo SCSI controller aliases.

I normally let HAL mount USB drives - it uses the label for the
mount point off the /media directory. It is possible to write HAL
rules that mount specific drives on specific mount points. It is
also possile to write udev rules that will mount the USB drive based
on the partition label, just like your root directory is mounted.
(You need to use the noauto option, so the system does not try to
mount them on boot.)

This should give you a couple of ways to try and solve the problem,
or at least give someone else an idea on more troubleshooting.

Mikkel
--

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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Old 12-11-2007, 08:45 AM
wwp
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

Hello Mikkel,


On Mon, 10 Dec 2007 13:00:15 -0600 "Mikkel L. Ellertson" <mikkel@infinity-ltd.com> wrote:

> wwp wrote:
> > Hello there,
> >
> >
> > running a Fedora 8.. since I don't know when, my root partition is
> > randomly mounted as /dev/sda3 or /dev/sdc3. This breaks the mount
> > possibilities from within Nautilus, as it seems to be a complete mess
> > w/ detected devices (or remembered?) devices.
> >
> > It's a D810 laptop, w/ a SATA disk (usually sda, root sda3 and labelled
> > as '/' and swap as SWAP-sda4, sda1 and sda2 being NTFS). When I boot
> > the laptop w/ some USB disks connected (labelled storage3 and
> > storage4), I'll get random mount sequences. At the beginning the USB
> > disks were sdb and sdc and could be mounted w/o problem from Nautilus.
> > But I recently reboot and found that this has changed -> root is sdc3
> > and one of the external USB disks is now sda1.
> > / and swap partitions are in fstab, storage3 and storage4 aren't.
> >
> > If that doesn't prevent the system from running fine, from within
> > Nautilus, I can't mount the external USB disk anymore, it seems that
> > nautilus remember that 'storage3' was 1st partition, but now it tries
> > to mount /dev/sda1, and fails w/: NTFS signature missing..
> >
> > Any clues how I could get a fixed mounting sequence? Should I force a
> > specific device (/dev/sdc1) for the labelled partition 'storage3' for
> > instance (and how)? How can it be that the / partition doesn't get the
> > 1st /dev/sdX assignment?
> >
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> >
> SCSI drives are listed by order of discovery. (SATA drives are
> handled as SCSI drives.) You should not have USB drives discovered
> before your SATA drive. It almost sounds like you have the
> usb_storage module in your initrd file. You may also want to check
> /etc/modprobe.conf fo SCSI controller aliases.

I didn't change factory defaults for kernel config and params, modprobe
settings or initrd contents, it was working fine until I did some
reboots (it worked fine for several reboots, I can't tell if that came
from an upgrade or if it's a random behaviour, and I'm not rebooting
every day). If this problems shows here, it's potentially everyone
else's problem, if it's not BIOS or hardware dependent.


> I normally let HAL mount USB drives - it uses the label for the
> mount point off the /media directory. It is possible to write HAL
> rules that mount specific drives on specific mount points. It is
> also possile to write udev rules that will mount the USB drive based
> on the partition label, just like your root directory is mounted.
> (You need to use the noauto option, so the system does not try to
> mount them on boot.)
>
> This should give you a couple of ways to try and solve the problem,
> or at least give someone else an idea on more troubleshooting.

Yeah, thanks for the tips. The easy (temporary) workaround I found for
my next reboot was to have the USB disks unplugged before GDM shows up
(one plug to get off, they're connected to a USB concentrator). I
wonder if disabling booting USB devices in the BIOS could help.

I'm a bit amazed in fact, and I say this w/o any irony, really. After so
many years where I could see that the way external devices and fs are
mounted (that started w/ manual fstab handling, then hotplug, udev,
hal, mixing with autofs and gnome mount mechanisms (correct me if I
forget one), it's like we'll never get an auto-mounting mechanism that
is reliable from a Desktop PoV. Maybe it's simply not possible because
software can't guess human expectations, but then, maybe a wizard
should ask what to do when new device IDs get plugged in (remember it
and automount it next time, etc.). Waiting for a smart mount robot, I
think I'll look into the the HAL rules direction!


Regards,

--
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Old 12-11-2007, 02:48 PM
"Mikkel L. Ellertson"
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

wwp wrote:
> Hello Mikkel,
>
>
> On Mon, 10 Dec 2007 13:00:15 -0600 "Mikkel L. Ellertson" <mikkel@infinity-ltd.com> wrote:
>
>> SCSI drives are listed by order of discovery. (SATA drives are
>> handled as SCSI drives.) You should not have USB drives discovered
>> before your SATA drive. It almost sounds like you have the
>> usb_storage module in your initrd file. You may also want to check
>> /etc/modprobe.conf fo SCSI controller aliases.
>
> I didn't change factory defaults for kernel config and params, modprobe
> settings or initrd contents, it was working fine until I did some
> reboots (it worked fine for several reboots, I can't tell if that came
> from an upgrade or if it's a random behaviour, and I'm not rebooting
> every day). If this problems shows here, it's potentially everyone
> else's problem, if it's not BIOS or hardware dependent.
>
Dumb question - were you booting with the USB drives plugged in?
>
>> I normally let HAL mount USB drives - it uses the label for the
>> mount point off the /media directory. It is possible to write HAL
>> rules that mount specific drives on specific mount points. It is
>> also possile to write udev rules that will mount the USB drive based
>> on the partition label, just like your root directory is mounted.
>> (You need to use the noauto option, so the system does not try to
>> mount them on boot.)
>>
>> This should give you a couple of ways to try and solve the problem,
>> or at least give someone else an idea on more troubleshooting.
>
> Yeah, thanks for the tips. The easy (temporary) workaround I found for
> my next reboot was to have the USB disks unplugged before GDM shows up
> (one plug to get off, they're connected to a USB concentrator). I
> wonder if disabling booting USB devices in the BIOS could help.
>
> I'm a bit amazed in fact, and I say this w/o any irony, really. After so
> many years where I could see that the way external devices and fs are
> mounted (that started w/ manual fstab handling, then hotplug, udev,
> hal, mixing with autofs and gnome mount mechanisms (correct me if I
> forget one), it's like we'll never get an auto-mounting mechanism that
> is reliable from a Desktop PoV. Maybe it's simply not possible because
> software can't guess human expectations, but then, maybe a wizard
> should ask what to do when new device IDs get plugged in (remember it
> and automount it next time, etc.). Waiting for a smart mount robot, I
> think I'll look into the the HAL rules direction!
>
I think that is what they are working wards. Part of the problem is
that no-body know the best method to handle this in a multi-user
environment, and still provide security. So different methods are
being tried, hoping that the best method will be found. To
complicate things, the best method for the desktop is probably not
going to be the best method for servers. If you are doing remote
access, that adds another complication. Then you have remote file
systems that need to be mounted.

Another part of the problem is that hardware has advanced. Just look
at the speed/capacity of flash memory. I can buy a 2G memory drive
now for less then I payed for my first 32M memory drive. Methods
that worked well when people only had one or two memory drives do
not work well any more. Linux is adapting to the changes, but it
isn't always smooth. With Fedora, you will probably hit more bumps
because the nature of Fedora is to try new things.

Mikkel
--

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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Old 12-11-2007, 04:07 PM
wwp
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

Hello Mikkel,


On Tue, 11 Dec 2007 09:48:07 -0600 "Mikkel L. Ellertson"
<mikkel@infinity-ltd.com> wrote:

> wwp wrote:
> > Hello Mikkel,
> >
> >
> > On Mon, 10 Dec 2007 13:00:15 -0600 "Mikkel L. Ellertson" <mikkel@infinity-ltd.com> wrote:
> >
> >> SCSI drives are listed by order of discovery. (SATA drives are
> >> handled as SCSI drives.) You should not have USB drives discovered
> >> before your SATA drive. It almost sounds like you have the
> >> usb_storage module in your initrd file. You may also want to check
> >> /etc/modprobe.conf fo SCSI controller aliases.
> >
> > I didn't change factory defaults for kernel config and params, modprobe
> > settings or initrd contents, it was working fine until I did some
> > reboots (it worked fine for several reboots, I can't tell if that came
> > from an upgrade or if it's a random behaviour, and I'm not rebooting
> > every day). If this problems shows here, it's potentially everyone
> > else's problem, if it's not BIOS or hardware dependent.
> >
> Dumb question - were you booting with the USB drives plugged in?
[snip]

Yes, as usually - this has never been a problem w/ FC5, /dev/sda was
always the internal disk.


Regards,

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Old 12-12-2007, 12:54 AM
Tim
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

Mikkel:
>> were you booting with the USB drives plugged in?

wwp:
> Yes, as usually - this has never been a problem w/ FC5, /dev/sda was
> always the internal disk.

I, too, dislike the drive assignment shuffling. I really think that hda
ought to have been kept for IDE, sda for SCSI, and we should have used
some form of /dev/usb for USB. That way, you'd have clear and
unambiguous ways to address the hardware, where you expect to find it.
And you also have volume labelling for addressing some volume by name,
no matter where or how it's attached.

If you boot with your USB drives connected, but never boot *from* the
USB ports, you could try altering your BIOS booting arrangements, so
that it doesn't include the USB ports, or they're fallback rather than
early choices. You'd expect, this way, that they're looked at later on,
and the other drive gets the first designator (/dev/sda).

--
[tim@bigblack ~]$ uname -ipr
2.6.23.1-10.fc7 i686 i386

Using FC 4, 5, 6 & 7, plus CentOS 5. Today, it's FC7.

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.



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Old 12-12-2007, 07:36 AM
wwp
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

Hello Tim,


On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 12:24:38 +1030 Tim <ignored_mailbox@yahoo.com.au> wrote:

> Mikkel:
> >> were you booting with the USB drives plugged in?
>
> wwp:
> > Yes, as usually - this has never been a problem w/ FC5, /dev/sda was
> > always the internal disk.
>
> I, too, dislike the drive assignment shuffling. I really think that hda
> ought to have been kept for IDE, sda for SCSI, and we should have used
> some form of /dev/usb for USB. That way, you'd have clear and
> unambiguous ways to address the hardware, where you expect to find it.
> And you also have volume labelling for addressing some volume by name,
> no matter where or how it's attached.
>
> If you boot with your USB drives connected, but never boot *from* the
> USB ports, you could try altering your BIOS booting arrangements, so
> that it doesn't include the USB ports, or they're fallback rather than
> early choices. You'd expect, this way, that they're looked at later on,
> and the other drive gets the first designator (/dev/sda).

Sure! That still doesn't explain why the order of mounting (and of scsi
discovering?) is shuffled - something not deterministic that sounds a
bit weird when it's question of mounting / ;-). Well, I can live w/ all
the possible workarounds (mounting by name, hal rules, play w/ BIOS
boot order, etc.). Thanks for your help, Tim.


Regards,

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Old 12-12-2007, 08:10 AM
Tim
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

On Wed, 2007-12-12 at 09:36 +0100, wwp wrote:
> That still doesn't explain why the order of mounting (and of scsi
> discovering?) is shuffled

I'm sure it was explained somewhere in this thread. The device names
are named in the order that the BIOS discovers them. If it checks the
USB ports first, they get the names first.

--
(This computer runs FC7, my others run FC4, FC5 & FC6, in case that's
important to the thread.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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Old 12-12-2007, 08:16 AM
"Zhukov Pavel"
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

On Dec 12, 2007 11:36 AM, wwp <subscript@free.fr> wrote:
> Hello Tim,
>
>
> On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 12:24:38 +1030 Tim <ignored_mailbox@yahoo.com.au> wrote:
>
> > Mikkel:
> > >> were you booting with the USB drives plugged in?
> >
> > wwp:
> > > Yes, as usually - this has never been a problem w/ FC5, /dev/sda was
> > > always the internal disk.
> >
> > I, too, dislike the drive assignment shuffling. I really think that hda
> > ought to have been kept for IDE, sda for SCSI, and we should have used
> > some form of /dev/usb for USB. That way, you'd have clear and
> > unambiguous ways to address the hardware, where you expect to find it.
> > And you also have volume labelling for addressing some volume by name,
> > no matter where or how it's attached.
> >
> > If you boot with your USB drives connected, but never boot *from* the
> > USB ports, you could try altering your BIOS booting arrangements, so
> > that it doesn't include the USB ports, or they're fallback rather than
> > early choices. You'd expect, this way, that they're looked at later on,
> > and the other drive gets the first designator (/dev/sda).
>
> Sure! That still doesn't explain why the order of mounting (and of scsi
> discovering?) is shuffled - something not deterministic that sounds a
> bit weird when it's question of mounting / ;-). Well, I can live w/ all
> the possible workarounds (mounting by name, hal rules, play w/ BIOS
> boot order, etc.). Thanks for your help, Tim.
>
>
> Regards,
>
> --
> wwp
>
> --
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>

Use UUID's Luke!

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Old 12-12-2007, 10:11 AM
wwp
 
Default Problem with random disks mount sequence

Hello Tim,


On Wed, 12 Dec 2007 19:40:55 +1030 Tim <ignored_mailbox@yahoo.com.au> wrote:

> On Wed, 2007-12-12 at 09:36 +0100, wwp wrote:
> > That still doesn't explain why the order of mounting (and of scsi
> > discovering?) is shuffled
>
> I'm sure it was explained somewhere in this thread. The device names
> are named in the order that the BIOS discovers them. If it checks the
> USB ports first, they get the names first.

In the thread I also said (IIRC!) that this behaviour was randomly
encountered.. sometimes I get the internal disk mounted as /dev/sda,
sometimes as /dev/sdc.. and I always boot my USB disks plugged in and
powered.


Regards,

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