Preparing hard disks for delivery

First steps

  1. Plug in the external hard drive.
  2. You will need to have root permissions before you start: sudo su and then type in your linux password.
  3. Run dmesg to find device name. Listed at the bottom if just plugged in.


sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] 488397168 512-byte hardware sectors (250059 MB)

Device path is then /dev/sdb (not sdb1 etc, this indicates a partition on sdb)

  1. Run mount to find the name of the partition you need to unmount e.g /dev/sdb1.
  2. Unmount the partition with umount /dev/partition, e.g. umount /dev/sdb1 (if not already unmounted)

Formatting and partitioning

This section describes creating a Windows (NTFS) format delivery disk. This format is now used for everything except hyperspectral data before 2011. The instructions for creating a linux EXT3 disk can be found here.

Partition and format the disk (GUI)

  1. run gparted (needs sudo)
  2. select the correct disk partition (pulldown at top right)
  3. right click on existing partitions and delete them
  4. when there is only unallocated space left, right click on it and select new
    1. change file system to ntfs
    2. change label to ARSFDAN
  5. if everything looks ok in the list at the bottom, apply all operations (click big green tick)

This should repartition and quick format the disk.

Partition and format the disk (command line)

  1. Run fdisk /dev/DEVICE_NAME (not partition)
  2. enter 'p' to print partition table and check you have selected the correct disk
  3. enter 'd' to delete the current partition (delete them all)
  4. enter 'n' to create a new partition
  5. enter 'p' to make new partition the primary partition. If it asks you to give a partition number press 1 and enter. Then press enter twice to fill the whole disk.
  6. press 't' to set the partition type, select the partition you just made (1)
  7. set it to type 7 (HPFS / NTFS)
  8. enter 'p' to print new partition table – if all seems fine enter 'w' to write
  9. To be on the safe side, run dmesg again to make sure device name hasn't changed. You should now see the partition listed as device_name1, e.g. sdb1
  10. Unmount the partition if it remounted.
  11. Run mkntfs --label ARSFDAN --quick /dev/PARTITION
  12. Permissions fixes aren't needed for NTFS (I think).

Copy over your data onto the disk

  1. If making a hyperspectral delivery please ensure that the mapped files have been zip compressed (using the script).
  2. Unplug the disk and plug back in. The disk space should be located under /media/ARSFDAN. It is wise to check that this destination is correct: Use 'df /media/ARSFDAN' to check that this is where the device is mounted.
  3. Copy the delivery folder to /media/ARSFDAN (if this is indeed the correct directory).
  4. Check everything has been copied over correctly. Unmount the disk.

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Last modified 5 years ago Last modified on Sep 10, 2014 9:06:24 AM