Marketplace codes may not be attached as a secondary device

I was using some CentOS images from CentOS via the Amazon Marketplace – well when one of them wouldn’t start due to a configuration error I thought I would just stop the instance, detatch the volume, attach it to another instance, mount it, make edits to the configuration, detatch it, reattach it to the original instance, and voila! Well that is how it should work – at least with my experience using Community AMIs provided by Canonical with Ubuntu.

The error I got was:

'vol-xxxxxxx' with Marketplace codes may not be attached as a secondary device.

However, with CentOS and Enterprise Linux (EL) they provide instances via the marketplace – their site even says:

Using the AMI’s directly is currently deprecated. We are working to resolve issues and establish automation as well as monitoring around resources and process that will allow us to re-enable direct AMI instantiation. In the mean time, the AMI’s are listed at the bottom of this document for legacy / reference purposes.

After a lot of searching I found this on Quora:

My name is Julien Ellie, I’m one of the engineers on the AWS Marketplace team at Amazon. We are aware of this issue and we’re looking into what can be done to address it. In the meantime if you contact customer support, they can help you through this and hopefully get you unblocked. You can reach them at 1-800-407-2983 or you can find the contact us form on the marketplace website at the bottom of the page.

I did in fact call that number and Amazon was very helpful. Basically they asked me to create a snapshot of the volume that was having trouble and then share it with them with the AWS account number ( 6795-9333-3241 ). So far so good, but it has been taking several hours to get this figured out. Here is what Amazon replied with:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the AWS Marketplace error you are receiving. Specifically, you received an error when you tried to mount your Marketplace Centos volume as a secondary volume.

Our Marketplace team has confirmed there is a limitation within the AWS Marketplace process that doesn’t allow the ability to launch a new instance from an EBS volume created by a Marketplace AMI. In order to resolve this with our AWS Marketplace customers, our Marketplace technical team can manually process this for you. They can manually recover your data, start a new instance with your data with a new key pair.

You have confirmed that you have taken a snapshot of your EBS volume and have shared the snapshot with our AWS account, 6795-9333-3241.

I’ve opened a ticket with our Marketplace team and sent the information you provided.

I’ll be contacting you via this case once we receive confirmation from the team that they have completed the task.

So that also looks good – I can hopefully get my data back after some downtime. But the other lesson to be learned: Don’t use Amazon Marketplace images and expect to mount them on another instance.

So, when using CentOS I am now using the 6.4 AMI’s from Bashton – he looks like a nice guy who knows what he is doing. He even wrote a post about how you can create your own AMIs and how he created these.

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