Opensuse recognizes my primary HDD as SDB, not SDA

I have installed opensuse 11.3 by DVD (bad ; maybe bad DVD burner HW; tried several times); XKDE live CD (recognized Primary HDD as SDA); and now KDE live CD; originally recognized as SDA; now reinstalled 3 times and always SDB. And it will not boot to anything; and cannot find grub menu list. I do have 2 HDDs, but secondary is just used for personal file storage.

Hi, Did you check the integrity of the ISO image with md5sum?

The dvd yes


But with the DVD, it recognized the primary HDD as sda?

Yes, that’s right. And xkde also recognized it as sda.

You mean lxde?

If you have the sata connectors in the wrong order, even if you make the drive you call primary first in boot it will not show as sda if the other drive is in say sata0

Sorry… lxde.

Haven’t touched any sata connectors.

I did reported similar issues several times. I hate that typical Linux behavior (not just openSUSE) to handle a couple things ( like HDDS and nics) randomly. Unix never does that. If you have one IDE and one SATA drive, you can never tell before booting which one will become /dev/sda and which one will be /dev/sdb, at least with some BIOS. Other people might propably never encounter that problem (and so won’t believe it). For nics, you can write permanent udev rules but I don’t know if you can do that for hdds (and if so, I really would like to hear how). In most cases the boot problem is easy to fix if you replace device names (/dev/sdaX, /dev/sdbX) with UUID everywhere in /boot/grub/menu.lst and /etc/fstab. That should work for 99% of Linux users. It’s really a problem if you have other filesystems (like UFS/FFS) but most Linuxers don’t. I also observed such issues on only SATA machines but I should say it’s quite rare. Generally speaking, combining IDE and SATA drives under Linux is not safe from this point of vue.
You can type : ‘blkid’ in a terminal to find out the UUIDS of your devices. Alternatively, you could also use labels or disk IDS .

Yes , that’s it. It has nothing to do with XKDE. If you’re hit by the issue I described previously, most of the time you installed a system on /dev/sda (because your first HD is /dev/sda during setup) and it ends up on /dev/sdb after reboot. The only fix is to explicitely choose ‘mount by uuids’ in the mount options during setup. However if you wait a couple days ( I mean turn on/turn off a couple times), your system might be suddenly back on /dev/sda. It is Linux uncomprehensible magic :frowning:

Can you boot fron a liveCD and run

fdisk -l

and copy and paste the output here?

My solution involved repartitioning the extended partitions with gparted on an ubuntu live cd I had, and then reinstalling lxde. I have had a lot of probs with the reinstall and now am just getting to the reboot to finish the install. Of course, it didn’t reboot, so I finally had windows rescue fixmbr, then got to grub prompt and typed a bunch of stuff from swerdna site and it is now finishing install in users configuration step.