I had an odd experience today and I wonder if anyone knows why it happened.
My Athlon 64 X2 computer had been having an elusive hardware problem. The computer would suddenly lock up--keyboard and mouse inoperative, picture on monitor didn't change, sound would stay on whatever note was playing when the lockup occurred, only way to shut down was to press the power button. Eventually the computer couldn't get through POST. To troubleshoot, I removed all the RAM but one stick out of four. Didn't solve the problem. I disconnected the DVD writer and PATA hard drive that share a cable. The boot drive is a SATA. I replaced the IDE drive cable with a new one. When these attempts didn't solve the problem, I removed the PCIe video card (Radeon X600) and connected the monitor to the onboard Radeon XPress 200. Still had problems. I thought it might be the motherboard or power supply and before I swapped the PS with a known-good one from my other desktop in order to test, I got the bright idea to unplug the ATX power connector from the motherboard and replug it. I also reseated the RAM. One of those things did it--it's been running for three days now with no lockups. I think what may have happened was that in the process of removing and replugging the video card several times, I may have slightly dislodged the power connector and the adjacent stick of RAM. They were seated enough to allow the computer to start, but would experience a glitch shortly after starting. (This is purely a guess.) When I inserted the video card after doing the replugs and hooked up my monitor, the problem immediately returned and I couldn't boot. I tried another monitor with the same results. When I removed the video card and hooked up a monitor to the onboard VGA port, all was well. So I conclude that either the video card or the PCIe slot is defective.
Anyway, to get to the topic of the post--
When I tried to boot to VectorLinux 5.9 Standard Deluxe (dual boot with Windows XP) once the computer was working, I got a screenful of 10 10 10 etc. I know that means the Linux partition can't be found, so I used the 5.9 CD to start the boot. For almost a year, 5.9 has been installed on /dev/hdd8. Well, I got a kernel panic with that. I went into the "fix LILO" thing through the CD and found that the VL partition was seen as /dev/hdb8. I managed to su to root and mount /dev/hdb8 on /mnt/target and I was then able to modify /etc/fstab on /mnt/target so that the Linux partition could be found when I booted with the CD.
All has been well since then. My questions:
* Why did the VL partition become /dev/hdb8 instead of /dev/hdd8? Nothing changed in my system configuration--PATA hard drive on the same motherboard connector as before, same boot order, same DVD writer. I don't know why the drive was identified as /dev/hdd when I installed 5.9 almost a year ago. For whatever reason, it's now called /dev/hdb, which seems more logical.
* Do I need to change /hdd to /hdb in any files other than /etc/fstab and /etc/lilo.conf? I use the XP boot loader, so I'll need to use dd to create a new bootsect.lnx file for the root directory of Windows Drive C.
Once I got VL loaded, everything has been working fine. And by the way, I was *very* proud of myself for getting the darn thing booted at all.<g>