fstab and bad hard drives

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at clunix.cl.msu.edu
Wed Aug 17 18:13:52 GMT 2005

> Oops my bad on the long lines, figured my client would break them.
> Thanks for your help but booting into single user mode is not an
> option, this is the problem. Since the servers are at a colocation
> 2 hours away, I want to find a solution that will allow the server
> to continue to boot up if a hard drive is bad. This is all assuming 
> that the drive is an 'extra' drive. A hard drive that does not 
> contain any system files should not stop the system from booting. I 
> had 2 drives go out in one week, neither had any data, and both took
> down the server causeing it not to boot back up. So problem went from 
> no big deal to very big deal once the server could not reboot. Any other 
> ideas?

Well, once you are dead you will have to make the drive to fix it.

For future things you could do two things anyway.   One is to make
those "extra" drives not automatically mount on boot - eg edit the 
fourth field in /etc/fstab  to 'noauto'  or probably actually  'rw,noauto'
Then, after the machine comes up each time you would have to manually
mount those file systems.

Another thing is to set up a remote console using the serial port
and some hardware that would also hang on the net and let you log
in and talk to that serial port.  Then you could do the single user
stuff from where you are.   There are various offerings of hardware
from companies that will do that.


> Thanks,
> Brian
> On Wed, 17 Aug 2005 11:30:09 -0400 (EDT)
> Jerry McAllister <jerrymc at clunix.cl.msu.edu> wrote:
> > > 
> > > 
> > First, PLEASE PLEASE break your lines at around 70 characters?   These all
> > run together texts are hard to deal with.   Most Email clients can be
> > set for this and if yous can not, then just hit RETURN or ENTER near the
> > end of the page.   Your whole message is one long hardly manageable line.
> > 
> > > I searched and looked through the man pages and was unable to find any information on this. My question is, is there a way to make freebsd boot if it has problems mounting a hard drive listed in fstab? 
> > 
> > Boot in to single user and remount root and then edit fstab to 
> > comment out the entry for the filesystem that has a problem.
> > Then you can do whatever you want.    
> > 
> > Booting to single user is covered in the handbook and many other 
> > pieces of documentation.   
> > Basically:
> >   hit the space bar when it is doing the countdown early in boot
> >   then do:
> >     boot -s        and wait for it to finish to a prompt
> >     fcsk -p        clean up possible problems
> >     mount -u /     remounts root with write ability
> >     swapon -a      
> > 
> >     vi /etc/fstab     do the editing to exclude bad file system from mounting.
> > 
> > From here you can do more in single user or reboot.
> > 
> > > Thanks in advance,
> > > 
> > > Brian

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