Add a Second Hard Drive in Ubuntu

Since I was running out of disk space, I decided that I needed to add a second hard drive to my Ubuntu server.

First thing to do is install the second hard drive into your computer. I assume you already know how to do this. One thing I have learned with IDE drives andubuntu, always use the Ultra DMA 80 conductor IDE cables on the drives. If you don’t, you will find all kinds of disk errors in your log files.

After you have your second hard drive installed in your computer, go into your computer’s BIOS and make sure it is recognized there.

Next, boot the computer up, and see if Ubuntu can see the second hard drive. To do this, open up the terminal window and type the following: sudo fdisk -l

You should see the following:

Disk /dev/sda: 41.1 GB, 41110142976 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4998 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000c1e50

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 4905 39399381 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 4906 4998 747022+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 4906 4998 746991 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd89ff2c4

Notice that the second hard drive (/dev/sdb: 500.1 GB) doesn’t show any partitions like the first drive does. (/dev/sda: 41.1 GB)

If, on the other hand, there is already data on your new hard drive,(you will see the partitions) and you want to keep the data, just skip the this part, as well as the formatting of the hard drive.

 this is what MY computer tells me for my second hard drive. You need to make sure you tell it the correct hard drive for YOUR computer as displayed in the prevous fdisk command. If you incorrectly tell fdisk the wrong drive you will destroy your data! You have been warned!

For the second hard drive, we need to create partitions. To do this, we use the following command: sudo fdisk /dev/sdb

After the fdisk menu comes up, you might get the following warning message:

WARNING: DOS-compatible mode is deprecated. It’s strongly recommended to switch off the mode (command ‘c’) and change display units to sectors (command ‘u’)

Command (m for help):

Press “u” like it is telling you. Then press “n” to create a new partition. It will respond with:

Command action
e  extended
p primary partition (1-4)

Tell it “p” for “primary partition”. Next it will ask you which partition (1 – 4). In my case, I just want one big partition, so I just accept the default responses for the first and last sectors.

Next we need to tell fdisk which type of formatting we want. As of this writing, we want type code 83 for Linux. For a complete list of all drive types, just press “L”.

When everything is configured press “w” to write the partition changes to the disk. Important! If you don’t write the changes to the disk, the changes won’t be saved! Finally press “q” to quit fdisk.

Next run partprobe to update the kernel with the changes we have made with the following command: partprobe <your_device_name> in my case, my device name is /dev/sdb.

Next, we need to format our new hard drive. To do this, enter the following command: sudo mkfs /dev/sdb1 -t ext4

Another disclaimer: like with fdisk before, you need to make sure you are using the correct hard drive with this command. It must be the same drive that you referenced in your fdisk command.

Next you need to create a directory for a mount point. I usually create these directories in the /mnt directory (as that is what it is for..). Since in this case, my hard drive is labeled sdb, and I have (in this case..) put one partition on this hard drive, I am going to create a directory called, sdb1. If you have chosen to place more than one partition on your new hard drive, then you will need to create a separate directory for each partition. The command for this is:
sudo mkdir /mnt/sdb1

Next, you need to make this folder writable. to do this, use the following command:

sudo chmod 777 /mnt/sdb1

Again, use the appropriate names for the hard drive you are using above.

Next, let’s test things out by mounting the drive:

sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/sdb1 -t ext4

Now let’s see if we can write a file on to the new drive, like so:

touch /mnt/sdb1/test.txt then ls /mnt/sdb1/*

By executing the last command, you should see the test.txt file. If so, congratulations, you now have a second hard drive on your computer. However, this is only a temporary mount point. The next time you reboot your computer, it will be gone. If you want this new hard drive to be permanently mounted, (who doesn’t?) you need to edit your filesystem tab file like this:

sudo vi /etc/fstab

The vi editor will load and show the contents of the fstab file. It will look something like this:

# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
# /dev/sda1
UUID=0654cdd0-480c-4ebd-b9f1-c153be45a259 / ext4 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1
# /dev/sda5
UUID=bf55d909-3ece-44e5-8622-6d08ef034c9f none swap sw 0 0
/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,noauto,exec 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto,exec 0 0

at the end of the file, add a line similar to following line with the appropriate folders for the mounting points you used previously. (these are mine..)

/dev/sdb1 /mnt/sdb1 ext4 defaults 0 0

Save this file. You can reboot your computer if you like, or just use the following command:

mount -a

If you have done everything correctly, you will have a second hard drive. Enjoy your new hard drive in Ubuntu.

Original link:


About zephyr9000

Happy sailer
This entry was posted in harddisk, partition and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s