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[Little OT] grub and udev root device


I'm wondering if its possible to rename my / device with udev and get grub 
to see it and boot it?
Here's what I tried:

kernel 2.6.17


BUS="scsi", ID="0:0:0:0", NAME="sata%n"

I have one partition on my sata drive so I edited fstab
to mount / on to /dev/sata1 instead of /dev/sda1

I then edited grub and changed root=/dev/sda1 to root=/dev/sata1
I also made a new initrd image just in case:

# mkinitrd -o /boot/initrd.img-2.6.17sata -r /dev/sata1
     (I edited the grub menu too to use the new initrd.img)

If I reboot, I get a kernel panic, something about cannot open dev/console
   attempted to kill init

If I reboot again and edit the grub boot loader and point the root back 
to /dev/sda1, the system boots fine, although a 
# df -h 
shows / mounted to /dev/sata1

Is it even possible to boot off a customly named root device?


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