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Old 11-04-2010, 11:07 AM   #1
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external hard drive will not format

I have a Seagate external hard drive and I want to use it to back up my home server since it runs Ubuntu 6.10 and the upgrade to 10.10. My problem is that I am not able to format the drive to use it. I can not change the permissons or if I try to format I have all sorts of trouble. I have tried doing it on the home server running 6.10 and another pc running 10.10 and had no luck. Is there a better way? I have even tried chmod and chown with no luck. Maybe I am doing it wrong. Any help would be great.

Old 11-04-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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If you want advice, you need to tell us exactly what you tried and exactly what you got back when it didn't work. "all sorts of trouble" is not descriptive.
Old 11-04-2010, 11:28 PM   #3
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These operations need to be done as root.

Assuming that it is seen as, say, /dev/sdb, you can format it using cfdisk by running cfdisk from a terminal. In Ubuntu, that would be

sudo cfdisk /dev/sdb
Once it's formatted, put a file system on it by running mkfs:

sudo mkfs.[filetype] [partition]
(Used mkfs today after repartitioning a drive. The command I ran was

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda6

One reason I prefer Slackware or Debian (and many others) to Ubuntu is that they allow you to log in as root, do root stuff without entering your password umpty-gazillion times, and get out (yes, I know that you can enable a root login in Ubuntu or run sudo su, but still . . .)

I wrote a lengthy post about using cfdisk here.


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