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Thread: [SOLVED] Formatting a hard disk

  1. #1
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    Question [SOLVED] Formatting a hard disk

    I guess this is a hardware issue. I recently installed a hard disk, salvaged from one of my many dead Windows machines, into my delightfully easy to use Ubuntu-Linux machines. The HDD has an NTFS file system on it, and an old copy of XP. I want to just wipe it clean, and add it to the [disk] storage space for my Linux system. How do I perform a [simple(?)] format on the newly installed disk. Ubuntu sees the disk, and can mount and read it with no problem, so I have access to it. Where do I go from here?
    Time Traveler Bili Joe
    "Acknowledged mistakes are the fastest path to learning." Bruce Eckel
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  2. #2
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    Re: Formatting a hard disk

    Code:
    sudo umount /dev/your-new-disk
    sudo gparted
    In Gparted, find the partition/s which occupy your new disk, delete them, then create new partition/s formatted to Linux ext3 format.

    Then Apply the changes, (that is, if you are quite sure ). Close Gparted and reboot.

    Cheers, Pat.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood! (Bumper sticker - Zimbabwe)
    To mark your thread solved, go to Thread Tools and select Mark this thread as solved

  3. #3
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    Re: Formatting a hard disk

    I'm sorry, Patb, but your directions are too simplistic for me. First of all, my system did not respond to the "gparted" command, and I couldn't find it, using "help" or "info" "gparted", or "man" or "man -k", so I don't know what to do there. Second, I did an "ls" of "/dev" and saw a lot of entries, but not one that I could particularly identify as the HDD in question. Thanks anyway.
    Time Traveler Bili Joe
    "Acknowledged mistakes are the fastest path to learning." Bruce Eckel
    "Success is simply getting up one more time than you are knocked down."
    Save endless headaches! Use .iso file and Install CD validation tools!

  4. #4
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Formatting a hard disk

    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    and

    Code:
    mount
    will give you the information you need

    and search synaptic for "gparted".....
    Arch 2.6.28 on X86_64
    Hardy 2.6.24 on X86_64
    AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+
    Maxtor 6L160M0 (SATA) 160G ,NVIDIA G6200

  5. #5
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    Red face Re: Formatting a hard disk

    Well, I thought I had it figured out. I added and then ran gparted. After a little poking around, I found out how to get the new disk to show. I deleted the NTFS partition, and created a new partition. The default filesystem type was ext2, so I created and formatted it as ext2. Everything looked good, so I closed gparted, and went to "computer", under "Places". There was no longer an entry for the new HDD, so I assumed it had been integrated into "filesystem", but I opened that, and there's no evidence of the new drive (i.e., the total size is the same as it was, and there's no indication of a second drive or new partition). So where'd my second HDD go? And how do I access it?
    Time Traveler Bili Joe
    "Acknowledged mistakes are the fastest path to learning." Bruce Eckel
    "Success is simply getting up one more time than you are knocked down."
    Save endless headaches! Use .iso file and Install CD validation tools!

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Formatting a hard disk

    Sorry if I was too cryptic Bili. To find out the device name of the new disk try (as Snakehips says):
    Code:
    sudo fdisk -l
    Let's say you find it is on "/dev/sdb1". To mount the disk, you would make a directory where you want it to appear (ie to be mounted) and mount it there eg:
    Code:
    sudo mkdir /media/sdb1
    sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /media/sdb1
    To make this permanent for every time you boot, you would need to edit your fstab file and put in an appropriate line.
    Code:
    sudo gedit /etc/fstab
    Take care with this file - don't tinker with existing entries unless you know what you are doing. Put the new line at or towards the bottom. Here is an example of two such lines from my fstab:
    Code:
    /dev/sdb1   /media/sdb1     ext3    defaults        0       2
    /dev/sdb3   /media/sdb3     ext3    defaults        0       2
    In this example, fstab, which is read during the boot process, mounts the device /dev/sdb1 on the directory /media/sdb1 and so on. My second hard drive has two partitions which are recognised as devices /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb3 respectively. I created the directories /media/sdb1 and /media/sdb3 and that is where the contents of those two directories appear on my file manager. You should use ext2 instead of ext3 if that is the format you have used. I'm not certain it matters, but put an extra empty line at the end of the file.

    If you want to know more about the parameters in these lines, "man fstab".

    If you have any further questions, please post. Cheers, Pat.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood! (Bumper sticker - Zimbabwe)
    To mark your thread solved, go to Thread Tools and select Mark this thread as solved

  7. #7
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    Hardy Heron (Ubuntu Development)

    Re: Formatting a hard disk

    Quote Originally Posted by bilijoe View Post
    Well, I thought I had it figured out. I added and then ran gparted. After a little poking around, I found out how to get the new disk to show. I deleted the NTFS partition, and created a new partition. The default filesystem type was ext2, so I created and formatted it as ext2. Everything looked good, so I closed gparted, and went to "computer", under "Places". There was no longer an entry for the new HDD, so I assumed it had been integrated into "filesystem", but I opened that, and there's no evidence of the new drive (i.e., the total size is the same as it was, and there's no indication of a second drive or new partition). So where'd my second HDD go? And how do I access it?
    You might like to consider ext3 as the filesystem type (just reformat) ,it's basically ext2 + supports journaling and is considered more the "norm".
    Arch 2.6.28 on X86_64
    Hardy 2.6.24 on X86_64
    AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3200+
    Maxtor 6L160M0 (SATA) 160G ,NVIDIA G6200

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