I have two external USB drives of the same make and model, and one of them is driving me slightly nuts by never being assigned a UUID (or, at least, it doesn't show up in /dev/disk/by-uuid). What could cause that, and how can I fix it?

FWIW, ext2fs on Windows was never able to assign a drive letter to that disk automatically, and always complains that "GUID is 0" when I assign a drive letter to it manually (but after that it works fine).

The device block information seems to pinpoint the problem (thanks @dchirikov): Both partitions have the same UUID. How can I fix this?

$ sudo blkid /dev/sd[ab]*
/dev/sda: PTUUID="0002866e" PTTYPE="dos" 
/dev/sda1: LABEL="Elements1" UUID="DACC0069CC0041ED" TYPE="ntfs" 
/dev/sdb: PTUUID="83529362" PTTYPE="dos" 
/dev/sdb1: LABEL="Elements2" UUID="DACC0069CC0041ED" TYPE="ntfs"
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    What blkid /dev/sd* shows? – dchirikov Jun 4 '14 at 8:16
  • Identical as in what — same brand? Same content? – Gilles Jun 4 '14 at 22:09
  • You ran the command @dchirinkov recommended with root, right? – HalosGhost Jun 4 '14 at 22:25
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    The drives have different IDs. The filesystems have identical UUIDs. Nitpick perhaps, but there is a difference here. – a CVn Jun 5 '14 at 9:44
  • Good point @MichaelKjörling - Found a solution based on partitions rather than drives. – l0b0 Jul 8 '14 at 22:13

Two-part solution:

Windows/ext2fs: Use the option to create a mount point which will be enabled at boot. This seems to work around the UUID (only tried one boot so far, so we'll see).

Linux/fstab: Simply configure mount points by label:

LABEL=Elements1 /media/elements1 [...]
LABEL=Elements2 /media/elements2 [...]

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