I'm running Ubuntu 14.04 on a machine that has a lot of hard drives plugged into it. These hard drives have partitions with old OS's which have a lot of key data that I use often.

The problem is, I have 2 partitions with the same name, "Main Drive" and "Main Drive". Ubuntu, to differentiate between them, renames one drive to "Main Drive1", while keeping the other just "Main Drive".

The problem is, every time I restart Ubuntu, it chooses randomly which partition to rename. As a result, any bookmarks or directories that I have in those partitions, do not work, and have to be reconfigured every time I reboot.

Are there any solutions to this problem?

  • Can you paste cat /etc/fstab output ?
    – SHW
    Aug 4, 2014 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


You need to give each an unique name, as follows:

Assuming one of your external partitions is /dev/sdb1 - you'll need to alter it for your setup and carry this out on all offending partitions/filesystems. lsblk will show you all of them.

Check whether Ubuntu is showing you the partition or filesystem label:

blkid /dev/sdb1
/dev/block/253:1: LABEL="FILESYSTEM_LABEL" UUID="c5845b43-fe98-499a-bf31-4eccae14261b" TYPE="ext4" PARTLABEL="PARTITION_LABEL" PARTUUID="88fdda76-0100-4469-92ef-44a3a61ec92b"

(the example above was from a VM - your /dev/block/??? will be different)

LABEL is the filesystem label.

PARTLABEL is the partition label.

To change the partition label, use parted.

parted /dev/sdb

Press p to list the partitions and make a note of the number in the left column for the partition you want to rename.

Rename it with the name command:

name 1 A_Different_Label

Type quit to exit. It might be worth entering sync to make sure it's safely written. When you remove and replug the drive (or reboot) it should have a new name.

Renaming partitions is slighly more difficult only because it depends on the installed filesystem. Each filesytem will have a specific tool to rename.

e2label is used to rename ext2/3/4 filesystems.

For example, to rename the filesystem on /dev/sdb1 run:

e2label /dev/sdb1 My_New_Label

btrfs is used to rename btrfs filesystems.

btrfs filesystem label /dev/sdb1 New_Label

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