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So at work we have this old ubuntu image that we use on a lot of production machines. It's 8.04 with a 2.6.24 kernel. I'm stuck with it and we ...
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  1. #1
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    Keep getting dropped to busybox because it can't find the disk


    So at work we have this old ubuntu image that we use on a lot of production machines. It's 8.04 with a 2.6.24 kernel. I'm stuck with it and we have to use it.

    It works fine on most of the hardware we use here, but we're testing new mobos since the one we use is being phased out.

    Anyway, the new mobo I'm trying out always drops me to a busybox shell on startup saying it can't find the hard drive.

    I can boot systemrescuecd off a usb stick fine with it (it does pause for a good while though), but any time I boot off the 8.04 image we have I get the following error:

    ALERT! /dev/disk/by-uuuid/<blah blah blah> does not exist. Dropping to shell.

    This same hard drive works fine in other machines. I've also changed the grub menu.lst to use /dev/sda1 instead of the UUID. I can also mount the hard drive fine when booting from a rescuecd.

    I don't get why it doesn't create the device nodes for the hard drive when it's apparently able to read the boot menu off of it for grub.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer hazel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryptinitedemon View Post
    I don't get why it doesn't create the device nodes for the hard drive when it's apparently able to read the boot menu off of it for grub.

    Any ideas?
    It's GRUB that reads and displays the boot menu; clearly GRUB can read this disk. It's the Linux kernel that is failing to do so. I suspect that this is a udev problem. I don't know a lot about udev, but have you checked (in busybox) that you do actually have the correct device files in /dev?

    I also remember reading somewhere that some recent kernels have problems setting correct names for hard drives. If the kernel thinks your hard drive is /dev/sdb and you have named the root partition in /etc/fstab as /dev/sda1, that obviously creates a problem. It's the kind of thing that might happen with a new mobo where things may be connected differently. Again, looking at the actual device names in /dev might shed some light.

    [edit]Just thought of something else. You say it's an old version of Ubuntu. Is there a possibility that your mobo has a disk controller which the kernel has no driver for? Because the SystemRescue disc will probably have a newer kernel.
    Last edited by hazel; 01-17-2013 at 01:37 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazel View Post
    It's GRUB that reads and displays the boot menu; clearly GRUB can read this disk. It's the Linux kernel that is failing to do so. I suspect that this is a udev problem. I don't know a lot about udev, but have you checked (in busybox) that you do actually have the correct device files in /dev?
    Yeah I've checked. Busybox doesn't show any listings for hard drives at all.


    I also remember reading somewhere that some recent kernels have problems setting correct names for hard drives. If the kernel thinks your hard drive is /dev/sdb and you have named the root partition in /etc/fstab as /dev/sda1, that obviously creates a problem. It's the kind of thing that might happen with a new mobo where things may be connected differently. Again, looking at the actual device names in /dev might shed some light.

    [edit]Just thought of something else. You say it's an old version of Ubuntu. Is there a possibility that your mobo has a disk controller which the kernel has no driver for? Because the SystemRescue disc will probably have a newer kernel.
    I had thought about this, but I was hoping there was a simpler answer than having to compile more drivers into the kernel. When I do lspci I can see that it has a VIA Technologies, INC vx900 Serial ATA Controller. Maybe I need to hunt down drivers for that.

  4. #4
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    Not to sound rude, but these kind of problems are expected when you mix new hardware with an ancient OS.

    Ubuntu 8.04 *server* barely is within Long Term Support.
    It runs out in April 2013, then there wont be updates anymore.

    My suggestion is to upgrade. Even more, if production machines are involved.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

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