Pervasive issue about PATA and SATA device IDs
Alan E. Davis
lngndvs at gmail.com
Sat May 31 06:23:28 UTC 2008
Several issues recently have pervasively affected my computer. I don't know
that they are caused by Ubuntu, but Ubuntu is losing it with respect to the
/dev/hdX /dev/sdX issues. It is insuperable that these have not been dealt
with at the higher levels by developers. I fear I will be forced to move
back to Gentoo, but I find at least that Ubuntu is much more convenient for
me as a user. Stablity is of utmost importance, however, and I want to
report what has happened to me.
I have an IDE drive (PATA) and a SATA drive.
I am afraid to edit /etc/fstab. Doing so led to massive confusion about
which devices of /sda1 or /sda2. Inconsistency with long term GNU/Linux
policy has left me bereft. Fstab does not agree with "df". I had to admit
that my own error led to certain problems in wrongly naming a partition
using UUIDs. But should I have to proofread UUIDs?
I installed Hardy five or more times two days ago, each time, the MBR
seemed to get more confused. Finally, I figured out that nothing I could do
would fix the problem. Again and again, I edited /boot/grub/menu.lst, and
ran "grub-install" with various parameters suggested by different experts on
the Ubuntu forum or on line. Grub would not install. Different error
messages were encountered.
I eventually installed Gentoo, and was therefore able to get the MBR
back to a consistent state.
I elected to reinstall Ubuntu hardy (amd64) and what do you know? It
didn't boot. Grub stalled at boot. I remembered one of the various
conflicting docs or suggestions on the net, and changed the boot device in
the grub interactive way from (hd1,0) to (hd0,0). I have to do that every
time. Ubuntu installs grub in the MBR of one disk, and boots from the
other. I finally edited /boot/grub/menu.lst, and Ubuntu boots.
Is this not a bug? The trouble is, which one is the bug? I've seen many,
many messages on the Internet about these issues. If I could I'd jump in
I wish to make a comment that I hope is not taken as too harsh. Gentoo
documentation is much more highly polished, and manages to be up to date.
Three years or so ago, I was pleased to discover this, after dwelling for
several years on Debian mailing lists, and watching the "RTFM" flames
consume user after user.
Having come back to Ubuntu after a couple of years, even though I have
played with it several times, I am highly impressed by the polish and high
degree of integration of parts that has been achieved. Nothing short of
phenomenal. I just lost a partition either to personal error or a lack of
understanding of the nature of partitions. Actually I have lost two---one
my Ubuntu installation's / root directory, after having spent months working
on it and installing software. The other one was a 60 GB data partition,
lost after an attempt at repartitioning. I cannot blame anyone but myself.
I don't remember which OS I was trying to install at the time. I think that
in both cases, deleting a virtual logical partition resulted in renumbering,
leading to confusion on my part. It hurts, but I cannot make up for the
blunder. Another lesson learned? I hope so.
One thing I have to add is that because I had saved my system's state with
dpkg, I was able within 24 hours to have an ubuntu system up and running
with virtually the same configuration! It is a tribute to the development
community of GNU/Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu that after installing the basic
system, and running "synaptic --set-selections < file" the complete system
was brought up to snuff with only two pauses for brief manual intervention.
Ubuntu is a convenient system, easy to install, and well maintained.
However, there are a few show stopper bugs that must be ironed out, and the
documentation can use some work. I am more productive because I have to
spend less time fiddling around.
All that being said, compared to two years ago, I have found Ubuntu much
more stable. Even the more complicated packages that had been the bane of
Debian installations and Ubuntu earlier on----I will refer specifically to
avidemux and some other complex multimedia software---are working out of the
box now. I haven't run any tests for speed.
However, the documentatoni needs work. If I can hold onto this installation,
I will try to contribute to the documentation side. Somehow.
Should I report this as a bug? I am confused what the underlying cause
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