I have had this problem on 2 servers and I want to know how should I handle the problem. My server has an SSD (/dev/sda) and two SATA drives (/dev/sdb and /dev/sdc).

The second drive (/dev/sdb) has problem and sometimes the drive is there but filesystem has problem and sometimes the device totally disappears.

Case 1- When the drive is there (ls /dev shows it) but filesystem has problem and I reboot the server (because device is busy and cannot be fsck-ed.), the server will not boot because some services have dependencies on that drive and those services somehow halt boot process.

Drives are mounted in /etc/fstab onto /sdb1 and /sdc1 directories.

Case 2- When the drive (/dev/sdb) disappears,the third drive (previously /dev/sdc) is renamed to /dev/sdb and you can guess it causes problems because that is not the drive my programs expect to see. Again the server will not boot because programs do not see their data on the new sdb.

Question 1: How may I configure the server, so that it boots even if some services cannot see their dependencies on failed drives?

Question 2: How can I avoid drives from appearing with different /dev/name if other drives disappear (failed hardware etc.)?


1 Answer 1


Backup /dev/sdb immediately!

Whereas SSDs die suddenly like a heart attack, HDDs die slowly like cancer.

What you are trying to do is to have a software workaround for a hardware problem. You should replace the drive as a disappearing drive means that it's running on its last legs and will die any minute/hour/day now.

Use ddrescue to image that drive onto one of equal or larger size.

This is not an answer to your questions, but this is what you need...

  • Thanks for the advise. If I can convince the service provider that their HD has problem, I'll change it asap.
    – wmac
    Jan 6, 2019 at 16:29
  • Please don't thank me! ;-) If this answer did help, just click the little grey at the left of this text right now turning it into beautiful green. If you do not like the answer, click on the little grey down-arrow below the number, and if you really like the answer, click on the little grey ☑ and the little up-arrow... If you have any further questions, just ask another one! ;-)
    – Fabby
    Jan 6, 2019 at 23:06

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