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Etch on USB-HD wont boot - race condition?

Hi list.

I'm trying to get etch to boot from an USB-attached harddisk on my 
notebook but the kernel cannot find the root filesystem. It seems to 
me, that udev hasn't finished its job by the time the kernel wants to 
read from the disk so /dev/sda isn't defined yet.

Any ideas as to how I can control the timing of the process? It might 
entail editing the initrd image - how's that done?

I had an initial problem that I think I got solved: On boot, the bios 
assigns the bootdisk as (hd0) in grubsk whereas during installation 
grub sees the USB-disk as (hd1). I edited /boot/grub/menu.list, 
repacing (hd1) with (hd0). It's just that the kernel, when it wakes up, 
needs to see the disk as /dev/sda and udev (or the disk) isn't fast 
enough... The first disk (100GB) contains WinXP and I want it to be 

Output from dmesg:
Probing IDE interface ide0...
usb 3-1: new high-speed USB device using echi-hcd and address 2
SCSI subsystem initialized
Initializing USB Mass Storage driver...
hda: SAMSUNG HM100JC, ATA DISK drive
scsi0 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
usbcore: registred new driver usb-storage
USB Mass Storage support registered
usb-storage: device found at 2
usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
usb 1-3: new low-speed device using ochi_hcd and address 3
ide0 at 0x1f0-0x1f7,0x3f6 on irq 14
Probing IDE interface ide1...
ide1 at 0x170-0x177,0x3f7 on irq 15
hda: max request size: 1024KiB
hda: 195371568 sectors (100030 MB) w/8192KiB cache, CHS=16383/255/63, 
hda: cache flushes supported
 hda: hda1 hda2 < hda5 >
hdc: ATAPI 24x DVD-ROM DVD-R-RAM CD-R/RW drive, 2048kB cache, UDMA(33)
Uniform CD-ROM driver Revision: 3.20
Begin: Mounting root file system... ...
Begin: Running /scripts/local-top ...
/scripts/local-top/lvm: 36: vgchange: not found
ALERT! does not exist. Dropping to a shell!

BusyBox v1.01 (Debian 1:1.01-4) Built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.

/bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off
/ #   Vendor: HTS54104  Model:0G9AT00		Rev: MB20
  Type:   Direct-Access                     ANSI SCSI revision: 00
SCSI device sda: 78140159 512-byte hdwr sectors (40008 MB)
sda: assuming drive cache: write through
SCSI device sda: 78140159 512-byte hdwr sectors (40008 MB)
sda: assuming drive cache: write through
 sda: sda1 sda2 < sda5 sda6 sda7 sda8 sda9 >
sd 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi disk sda

TIA Kai Olsen

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