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Old 10-27-2010, 06:57 AM   #1
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Question format external drive

i have 3 x 300 gb ext seagate drives. when i connect them to my pc it says cant mount ntfs volume. how do i format these drives to be mounted for my linux box
Old 10-27-2010, 06:58 AM   #2
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Which Linux Distribution you are using?
Old 10-27-2010, 07:05 AM   #3
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give full output of the error,

it might be because there is no ntfs support in your linux distro, in this case installing ntfs support or doing a good old
"mkfs.ext3 /dev/<devicename>" will solve it

it might because of some flag or mark set in the partition, for example when you interrupt a scandisk or another windows HDD tool mount command rejects to mount that partition. Forcing the mount with "-o force" is the solution of this case(eg: "sudo mount /dev/sda1 ./external1 -o force")
Old 10-27-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
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You don't technically "format" a disk but rather you format partitions.

If you're using RHEL/Fedora/CentOS or some similar Red Hat variant you would use the fdisk utility.

From the sounds of your post, you already have a Windows partition on the external drive you are trying to format.

To see all the media that your OS has detected:

# fdisk -l
Once you find the drive that you want to partition:

# fdisk /dev/sda
This will take you into a menu that will show you a whole lot of information about the selected disk; and you can then proceed to add/delete partitions on the disk.

A very good example of using fdisk can be found here.

I must caution you though when using fdisk; it will literally do what you tell it to; which can be disasterous if you are not sure of what you're doing. Thus it could easily for example delete your /boot partition or even your / partition.

I suggest you read the tutorial and post the output of the fdisk -l here - so we can assist further.
Old 10-27-2010, 07:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by toorwol View Post
how do i format these drives to be mounted for my linux box
Originally Posted by Expeto View Post
(...) a good old
"mkfs.ext3 /dev/<devicename>" will solve it
it will make the drives non-readable in windows environments - it's a problem for you, OP?
If so, a:
mkfs.vfat /dev/<devicename>
may solve it, since vfat is natively supported by linux from ages ago, and file permissions are a "no need" for this kind of data exchange :P


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