I was running into a problem where non-IDE drives would not mount at startup until a user logged in at the GUI. In an all-SCSI system, this meant that I couldn't ssh into the machine and access my volumes (outside of /), and startup scripts that required a separate volume (like moving swap to a different partition/disk) wouldn't run. A solution is to create a file at /Library -> Preferences -> SystemConfiguration -> autodiskmount.plist, with contents:
NOTE: The !DOCTYPE entry is shown on two lines; enter it as one with a space between the sets of quotes.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple Computer//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd"> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>AutomountDisksWithoutUserLogin</key><true/> </dict> </plist>
Mac OS X Hints