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I have a Debian AMI that I built, its working great, but I cannot access any EBS volumes.

I have created an EBS volume and, using the EC2 control panel, I have attached it to my instance as /dev/sdf when I attempt to format it mkfs -t ext3 /dev/sdf I get

mke2fs 1.41.3 (12-Oct-2008)
Could not stat /dev/sdf --- No such file or directory

The device apparently does not exist; did you specify it correctly?

Do I need to have something special installed in the AMI for this to work?

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The obvious problem is that you're missing the /dev/sdf device file. To create one, run mknod /dev/sdf b 8 80 as root.

Before that, though, check cat /proc/partitions and make sure that Linux detects the sdf drive. My (plain old non-Amazon) Debian install uses udev to automatically create device files in /dev, presumably if the kernel detected this sdf drive, udevd should have created the file already.

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