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[opensuse] Bewildered by spontaneous grub root change from hd1 to hd2 (I don't have hd2..)
  • From: "David C. Rankin" <drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2010 14:24:23 -0600
  • Message-id: <4D052F77.1060209@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I have managed to get myself in a number of messes over the years, but
when I figure out what went wrong, I understand why. Here, I'm at a complete

This box has always booted suse on (hd0,5) arch on (hd1,5). Both hd0
and hd1
are dmraid arrays.

[01:42 archangel:/boot/grub] # cat
(hd0) /dev/mapper/nvidia_fdaacfde
(hd1) /dev/mapper/nvidia_baaccaja
(fd0) /dev/fd0

The box boots suse first and then chainloads grub for the Arch install.
grub entry in the suse menu.lst I have always used to boot Arch is:

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: openSUSE 11.1 - (/dev/sdc1)###
title Archlinux
rootnoverify (hd1,5)
chainloader (hd1)+1

Yesterday, I created a custom initramfs on arch, and added the
information to
grub/menu.lst. When I rebooted, I got a grub 13 error for an invalid

So I booted with the Arch install disk and chrooted my existing install
looked at grub. When I did my grub > find /boot/grub/stage1, grub reported
stage1 on


WTF? I don't have an hd2 and ... what the heck happened to hd1??

So I decided to give booting to hd2 a try. So I reconfigured the suse
file to call (hd2,5) to boot Arch, and I redid the Arch menu.lst to point
everything at (hd2,5) instead of (hd1,5) and rebooted. To my shock and surprise
- it booted just fine with all the drive number flipped from 1->2.

suse menu.lst change:

title Archlinux
rootnoverify (hd2,5)
chainloader (hd2)+1

This is bewildering and makes no sense whatsoever to me. How does my
still correctly define my (hd0) and (hd1) arrays, but grub spontaneously require
booting to /dev/mapper/nvidia_baaccaja on (hd2). Damndist thing I've ever seen.
I changed nothing as far as the drive configuration, nothing on the suse install
and I have been booting this way for quite some time. (I did add a pair of
drives several months ago, but have booted many times since)

It goes without saying, but I am at a complete loss as to 'what
happened' and
'why it happened'. Hell, I can't even think of any way it 'could have happened'.
All I did was create the custom initramfs and rebooted.

And when I rebooted, I ended up in this mess. So what say the experts.
anybody see a way creating a custom initramfs could cause the grub root to
change from hd1 to hd2? I don't see how it could happen. If that isn't the
culprit, does anybody have any other ideas on how this could have happened?
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
Rankin Law Firm, PLLC
510 Ochiltree Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
Telephone: (936) 715-9333
Facsimile: (936) 715-9339
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