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Old 08-14-2005, 08:29 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 61

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Mounting a SATA hard drive

I am having problems mounting two SATA hard drives attached to my machine. I have tried looking at various FAQ sites but without any luck. As a (very) newbie I have tried using the mount command - but I don't know what device name to use. Would they be hde and f, or maybe sda ?? The other problem is specifying the filesystem to expect - the drives are not yet formatted so don't really have any! If I try:

mount -t auto /dev/hde /mymountpoint

It tells me that I must specify a filesystem.

I am running Debian (2.4.27) and I've read that this contains 'libata' which has drivers for (some) SATA models. Does this need some configuring? Other articles suggest I should recompile the kernel - but I'm pretty sure I don't want to be getting into that at my stage!
Most help sites talk about installing onto SATA drives, but I just want to mount them!

Any help appreciated!

Debian 2.4.27
VIA VT8237 SATA chipset
2 x WD 80Gb SATA drives
Old 08-14-2005, 09:43 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Debian
Posts: 12,047

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Welcome to LQ.

If you run "fdisk -l" it should show you the drives on your machine. Alternatively - look at the output from dmesg.

You won't be able to mount the drives until you have set up the partitions and filesystems that you want. You can use fdisk or cfdisk (easier if you have it installed) to set up the partitions and then mkfs to create the filesystem. Which filesystem you use really depends on what you want to use the partition for.
Old 08-14-2005, 02:27 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 61

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Reading the dmesg output, I can see that the drives have been assigned sda and sdb (half the battle won!).

As you point out, I can't mount them without formatting them first. When I run cfdisk, it only lets me look at hda, the boot/swap volume. How can I get cfdisk to 'point' at sda or sdb so that I can format them?

The help page for cfdisk doesn't!
Old 08-14-2005, 02:35 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 61

Original Poster
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Ok - I've just found out how to do the above by reading your 'Guide to partitioning'



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