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Old 10-01-2009, 09:46 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2008
Location: Cumbria, UK
Distribution: OpenSuse 11
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How to format an internal Hard drive on openSuse 11


I am having problems with some software. I have taken regular backup of all my files. Last time after my partion was accidently erased I reloaded opensuse. I did it in a hurry as I was in the middle of a project. I want to format both my internal hard disks and reload OpenSuse 11. How can I do this. I am not sure using the OpenSuse cd and installing actually formats the hard drives!

I have two internal hard drives. /dev/sda, /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 & /dev/sdb, /dev/sdd1, /dev/sdb2.

Could someone please give me the steps to do this.

Old 10-01-2009, 10:17 AM   #2
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OpenSuse will do this during the install, but you must specify it during the partitioning section of the install. Another option is to download the systemrescuecd and do it prior to the install.
Old 10-01-2009, 10:23 AM   #3
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The installation will format the hard disks, if you're concerned then just partition the disks manually during install

Old 10-04-2009, 05:27 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips guys. I have to manually choose to format the hard drives, it does not do on its own. But it seems to have worked. After using the Gnome desktop for almost a year now I have chosen the KDE 4 fingers crossed everything should be ok.

Old 10-04-2009, 05:51 AM   #5
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On any Linux terminal as root

To format a hard disk partition sda1, say in Ext3 filing system, the command is
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1
The command doesn't change if it is for an external hard disk, a pen drive or any USB disk.

Other formatting commands for different filing systems can be seen by listing commands with starting with mk* in subdirectory /sbin
saikee@saikee-desktop-ext4:~$ ls /sbin/mk*
/sbin/mkdosfs   /sbin/mkfs.cramfs  /sbin/mkfs.ext4dev  /sbin/mkfs.reiserfs
/sbin/mke2fs    /sbin/mkfs.ext2    /sbin/mkfs.minix    /sbin/mkfs.vfat
/sbin/mkfs      /sbin/mkfs.ext3    /sbin/mkfs.msdos    /sbin/mkreiserfs
/sbin/mkfs.bfs  /sbin/mkfs.ext4    /sbin/mkfs.ntfs     /sbin/mkswap
As a rule a partition should always "unmounted" using command like "umount /dev/sda1" before formatting. After formatting the partition can be read/write again if it has been mounted using commands like
mkdir /mnt/sda1
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda1
A good installer always allows the owner the option to do his/her own formatting and obeys whatever partition nominated for the Linux installation. In General the first Linux needs one partition for swap and another for /. The 2nd to 150th Linux thereafter only need one partition each for the "/" but that doesn't stop users complicating it with more partitions so that they can spend more time to maintain a distro.

Last edited by saikee; 10-04-2009 at 05:59 AM.


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