Server fails to boot because a device is "busy" on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Solution Unverified - Updated -


  • Server boots but issues the following message:
fsck.ext4 Device or resource busy while trying to open /dev/sdz
  • I am using multipath and /dev/sdz is a multipath drive path. But I never use these directly.
    • I have friendly names enabled and mount drives by label not device path.
    • It seems to find all my other drives ok just not sdz
    • It drops me to a rescue shell and I type the root password and I'm able to login
    • If I try to run an fsck I get device busy


  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL)
    • Issue has been observed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3. Currently unknown which other versions are affected.
  • device-mapper-multipath (prior to and including 0.4.9-63.el6) managing SAN paths.
    • This issue may be seen on boot-from-SAN environments, and it may stop the system from booting. It can be seen in non-boot-from-SAN environments also.
  • Filesystems are listed in /etc/fstab with the device specified as LABEL= or UUID= for multipath devices.

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