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I have a Debian (lenny) server with 9 sata disks. One disk is connected to the motherboard's sata controller. The others are connected to two PCI sata controllers (four disks each). The disk connected to the motherboard is the boot disk.

Before this has worked fine and the boot disk has always been /dev/sda. But after upgrading the kernel to 2.6.26 this changed. The boot disk is now randomly called sda, sde or sdi. Obviously it depends on what order the kernel happens to evaluate the sata controllers.

How can I force the boot disk to always be called sda?

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I think you need to use persistent block device naming, I would use the "by-uuid" version, I think that'll solve your problem.

I haven't found anything about 2.6.26, but there is a similar issue noted here referring to 2.6.19, maybe the problem propagated and their solution will help.

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    +1 I was going to answer exactly that. IOW, don't expect anything to have a fixed /dev/sdX name anymore. Forget that. – Juliano Mar 29 '09 at 20:08
  • Yup, persistent block device naming solved the problem. I used the by-label version though. A bit more work but a bit nicer I thought. Thanks to both of you. – Gieron Mar 30 '09 at 19:45

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