Manage hard drives and partitions in Linux and Win

Managing the hard drive on a server, meaning creating/ removing partitions and formatting/ activating slave drives is a vital step in setting up a server that we usually do for our customers. But sometimes users want to manage their storage by themselves; here is how to do it:


to get an overview of your hard drives and to see partitions such as /dev/hda and /dev/hdb

fdisk –l

to manage the slave drive

fdisk /dev/hdb
p - to see partitions
d – to delete partitions
n - to create new partition
m – to display help in fdisk
w – to write changes

to format the partition

mke2fs –j /dev/hdb1

go into nano /etc/fstab and add the following to the end of the file

/dev/hdb1    /home    ext3    defaults    1 2

to make the partitions usable and visible with df -h

mount –a



Access the built in utility “Disk Management“. Go into the Control Panel -> go underAdministrative Tools -> Computer Management -> on the left-hand side underneathStorage -> Disk Management.

Look on the bottom right and you’ll see something that looks like this picture. The disk with all of the unallocated space is what you’re after. Right click on it. Select New Partition.

A wizard will pop up and walk you through this process. Choose a partition size. If this is a secondary drive then you’re obviously after pure storage space so just make it a primary partition and allocate 100% of your space to it.

The followed screen looks like this. Just clicking next until you get here.

If you’re only using Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 and Windows server 2000/2003/2008, it is suggested using NTFS. If you’re dual booting then Fat32 would probably be a good idea if the other OS can’t read NTFS.

For NTFS the default cluster size is 4K which is pretty much the best tradeoff between speed and storage space.

Volume label is nothing other than the name you want it to be called.

Make sure you select quick format or else it’ll be a while before you can use the disk.

Click next it’s just a summary of what you told it to do.

Click next and soon the new drive is available.

More information at:

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