An Ubuntu (Hardy Heron) server here died a couple of days ago. Fortunately, the hard drives were OK. So now we have a new server with the old disks installed.

The new server won't boot. After a number of lines in the boot sequence, it says that it can't find the drive with a particular UUID. I used a (Fedora) rescue disk to modify the grub menu to look for the actual device, /dev/sda1. The failure still occurs with the error message mentioning the device name instead. The hard drive is certainly there, because that's where the system is attempting to boot from, and finds grub.

Do I need to rebuild the /dev directory? How can I do that? Is there some other issue?

2 Answers 2


The version of Ubuntu on your old server was old enough that I wouldn't try and troubleshoot it further. I think it is time for upgrade, so you better install a Maverick version from the Ubuntu Alternate CD to your root partition keeping your home partition intact. Ubuntu keeps all the user settings and files in your home directory so you only need to backup your /etc, /var/www web directory, /usr/lib/mysql databases, /usr/src and /opt.

You may spend countless hours troubleshooting all the things and no one can guarantee you success.

  • We upgraded to 10.4 LTS -- working fine now.
    – user42363
    Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 5:50

You can boot from ubuntu CD into recovery mode. Then, you can execute a root shell. Look for your drives using:

# ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid/

You should get symlinks to your actual drives such as /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2.

Look at /etc/fstab and compare the UUID you found there with UUID you got from ls. You can edit the fstab accordingly. You can try to mount the partitions yourself and use df -hT yo check the mounted partitions.

  • The UUID links and fstab entries are correct. Something else is going wrong.
    – user42363
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 1:29
  • Did you try mounting all partitions using mount -a? This will verify for sure your fstab file. If it also goes right, this means that UUIDs are changing somehow during system boot.
    – Khaled
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 11:39

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