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Re: Stretch installation: thumb drive recognized as /dev/sda

I've assumed the OP is not subscribed to the list.

On Wed 06 Sep 2017 at 16:07:55 (+0300), gentooman@runbox.com wrote:
> I installed Stretch on my Thinkpad from a USB flash drive. Only after the
> installation, during the first boot did I notice that something was wrong. GRUB
> failed to load the kernel and after a short diagnosis I learned that for some
> reason, the Debian installer saw my USB thumb drive as /dev/sda and the SSD as
> /deb/sdb. This caused GRUB config to be wrong when I removed the flash drive
> after installation.
> I did some testing and apparently, if I booted the Debian installer from my
> Thinkpad X220's only USB3 port[1], it would be recognized as /dev/sda, and if I
> used a USB2 port, it would be /dev/sdb.

This forms a nice counter-example to those here who maintain that
this doesn't/shouldn't happen. Or perhaps they will blame "defects"
of some sort.

> Doesn't the Debian Installer/GRUB not use UUID?

Yes, both in grub.cfg and fstab, as you can check on your successful
installation. The last comment line in fstab also gives the /dev
name of the root filesystem at installation time.

> What caused the problem here?
> I've never experienced such a fail before or since but it did cause some
> confusion and made me reinstall.

Having reinstalled already, it might be difficult to prove a cause.
In view of the fact that the SSD's being labelled /dev/sdb took you
unawares, perhaps a possible explanation is in this screen:

  ┌───────────────┤ [!] Install the GRUB boot loader on a hard disk ├───────────────┐
  │                                                                                 │
  │ You need to make the newly installed system bootable, by installing the GRUB    │
  │ boot loader on a bootable device. The usual way to do this is to install GRUB   │
  │ on the master boot record of your first hard drive. If you prefer, you can      │
  │ install GRUB elsewhere on the drive, or to another drive, or even to a          │
  │ floppy.                                                                         │
  │                                                                                 │
  │ Device for boot loader installation:                                            │
  │                                                                                 │
  │               Enter device manually                                             │
  │               /dev/sda  (usb-tweedledum)                                        │
  │               /dev/sdb  (ata-tweedledee)                                        │
  │                                                                                 │
  │     <Go Back>                                                                   │
  │                                                                                 │

As a user of "expert install" myself, I don't know if you saw this
screen, but it might be easy to accidently type /dev/sda in response
on the first occasion you see it. This could then leave an out-of-date
Grub configuration (or anything else) in place on /dev/sdb.


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