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Author Topic: VL on USB - sda vs. sdb  (Read 1660 times)

martinv

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VL on USB - sda vs. sdb
« on: June 02, 2008, 02:05:18 pm »

I installed VL 5.9 Standard to an USB memory stick, it was detected as /dev/sda1, so I just selected this device during install process. There was a problem when booting the installed system, kernel was unable to mount root fs, so I used rootdelay option and it was working just fine. I tested it on three different computers and it was working just fine, apart from that I had to reconfigure Xorg each time - I had three different computers with three different graphics cards. I will think about this Xorg problem later.

But today I sticked the USB memory stick to some other computer, I was able to boot from it, but when mounting the root fs, I noticed, that the USB memory stick was detected as /dev/sdb1. According to LILO, kernel was looking for sda1. So I used the root=/dev/sdb1 option and kernel was able to mount root fs, but later in the boot process I got some nasty errors, because of my configuration was for sda1 not sdb1. I didn't had enough time to save the error output (dmesg might be usefull?). Yes, it's so lame  >:(

Is it just a BIOS problem? Or there is something bigger behind it? How to hande this ugliness?
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The Headacher

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Re: VL on USB - sda vs. sdb
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2008, 12:39:51 am »

On LiveCD's / USB distro's , this sort of problem is usually circumvented by creating the problematic files (like /etc/fstab ) during boot, but I'm not sure how this is done. Something you could try is install a VL liveCD to your USB stick and see if that works for you. Or pull the other scsi / sata disk from the computer so the USB stick becomes sda again ;D.
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martinv

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Re: VL on USB - sda vs. sdb
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2008, 01:34:06 pm »

(...) So I used the root=/dev/sdb1 option and kernel was able to mount root fs, but later in the boot process I got some nasty errors, because of my configuration was for sda1 not sdb1. I didn't had enough time to save the error output (dmesg might be usefull?). (...)
I tried it once again and now I know, where is the problem. It's fsck. I got this error, then executin fsck during boot: "the reiserfs superblock cannot be found on /dev/sda1 ..." and there is a message, that I shold login in a single-user mode and fix the problem. So I put in the root password, the single-user console shows up. Then I logout and the system reboots and goes into the same fsck error again.

I could modify the /etc/fstab file, but I want the root fs to be determined automatically.

Any ideas? Maybe I should read the Vector Linux Live boot scripts and look for the stuff The Headacher is talking about.
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martinv

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Re: VL on USB - sda vs. sdb
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2008, 02:21:21 pm »

Ok, I disabled the fsck root filesystem check in /etc/rc.d/rc.S and I was able to boot on the computer, which handles the USB memory stick as /dev/sdb1. Everything seemed to be allright. It's ugly and baaad, but it's ok as a temporary solution.

But the biggest problem still lies ahead
- LILO is configured to use /dev/sda1, if I boot on a computer, which handles the USB memory stick as /dev/sdb1, I need to enter root=/dev/sdb1 kernel parameter. Any ideas how to "autodetect" the device name of device, from which the LILO is running?

I have to admit that I didn't read the Vector Linux Live init scripts yet, so maybe it needs a little work. Or maybe it's a matter of /boot directory and some ramdisk - in that case i'm doomed.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 02:23:36 pm by martinv »
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