[Nottingham] Reformatting a second harddrive

James Gibbon jg at jamesgibbon.com
Mon Nov 23 23:09:23 UTC 2009

Hi Ron,

On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 22:09:05 +0000 (GMT)
Ron Wilton <ron_w_add at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> I currently have two
> internal harddrives on computer.
> I want to reformat the
> second one and use it to store mainly photos. Would I simply boot up
> the computer with the Ubuntu Linux CD (8.04 LTS) in the CD drive and
> follow the instructions for partitioning this particular drive? (The
> first drive has Ubuntu, and don't want to disturb this).

If your second drive doesn't have swap, or another partition in use
by Ubuntu, then you don't need to boot from a CD - just make sure
the second drive isn't mounted and put a new filesystem on it by
using mkfs.ext3 (or equivalent) from a terminal.

> If so, what do I do
> about 'fstab'? Would the CD make all the changes in this file for
> me?

You'll want to add an entry (or possibly more) to fstab for the
new hard drive.
> What sort of file
> management would be the best? Ext3?

Other filesystems have their pros and cons but ext3 will do fine
for storing a large collection of photos.

> Are there any other
> issues that I might need to consider before proceeding?

If the hard drive has more than one partition then you may 
consider that you're better off with just one, and you'll
want to repartition using 'fdisk' before putting a filesystem
on there.

Make sure you're aiming your mkfs command at the right device
- you can see which devices are currently in use by Ubuntu by
typing 'df' and examining the left hand column.

Make sure there's nothing on there that you need and haven't
got backed up!

How many partitions does the disk have currently? You should
be able to find out by (eg, if the disk is /dev/sdb)

 $ ls -l /dev/sdd*
 brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 48 2009-11-11 18:52 /dev/sdb
 brw-rw---- 1 root disk 8, 49 2009-11-11 19:07 /dev/sdb1

Let us know, happy to suggest commands to use from there if
you need any help.



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