Reformatting a WD Elements 1 TB Hard Drive

Asked by allistair on 2010-05-04

I am an absolute novice and have just bought a 1 TB WD Elements external hard drive. The box says it will need reformatting if not using Microsquish. I've never had a hard drive before and have never formatted or partitioned anything. Can someone point me in the right direction for a simple step by step instruction to do this ? Thanks Allistair

Question information

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For:
Ubuntu usb-creator Edit question
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Solved by:
path
Solved:
2010-05-07
Last query:
2010-05-07
Last reply:
2010-05-07
path (patrick-harzheim) said : #1

Top left menus.
Applications | Place | System

Select:
System -> Administration -> Disk Utility

Find your drive in the left hand pane. Click it with the mouse.

Notice the "Drives" and "Volumes" sections of the device in the right hand pane, after you select the drive in the left hand pane.

Look for the "format drive" button in the Volumes section of the drive?

Try and format to Ext4 and name the drive as whateverUwant, or nothing at all. Can you install on it!

allistair (ameikle) said : #2

Hi Path, followed your instructions and everything went ok till I clicked on the 1000GB Hard Disk in the left pane.

There was no "Drives" & "Volumes" in the right pane. It came up with a box headed:-

 "1000 GB Hard Disk".
1000GB/932GiB/1,000,202,043,392 bytes
Master Boot Record
Smart Status:Disk is healthy
/dev/sdc More information

When I clicked the "More information " another box came up headed:-

"Smart Data " Under this heading were two sub headings :-
"Status " with 11 headings under it (no buttons)
"Attributes" with a list of numbers as follows:- 1 3 4 5 7 9 10 11 12 192 193 194 196 197 198 199 200
1 3 and 5 had a "good" assessment value

Where to from here ? Cheers Allistair

There was no mention of a "format drive" button, in fact there were no buttons

run:

gksudo gparted

most likely the app will point to the internal drive so click devices and select the external from the list, you can then create a new partition table and partition table as you want.

path (patrick-harzheim) said : #4

Shoot! Are you on 9.10 or 10.04? I described how it looks on 10.04. Sorry If I assumed to much. If you have nothing on the drive try and use Disk utility or Gparted to format WD 1.0TB.

Try and Format the thing any way you like, you'll figure how to partition and format a device.

Just make sure you have nothing important on the device!!!

There's quite a few things to know about file systems. You might not want to go through all that. If you can format the drive to Ext4, try to save a file on the disc.

After that, use it however you like!

allistair (ameikle) said : #5

Hi Actionparsnip, thank you for your input. when I clicked on gksudo gparted nothing at all came up. Cheers Allistair

allistair (ameikle) said : #6

Hi again Path, I'm using 9.10 at the moment but do intend to go to 10.04LTS when I get a few problems sorted out.

My WD Elements External drive is brand new and has nothing on it.

I went to Places > Search for files > gparted but it came up with "No files found".

I have already tried the Disk utility as you previously suggested

Thanks for your ongoing input Allistair

path (patrick-harzheim) said : #7

Gparted is available when you Boot from the Ubuntu installation CDs. You'll need to install it otherwise. The general idea you'll find across all these applications is to partition a disk device, then format the partitions.

Once you sort through that try, to save a file on the disk. If you get there, your ready to go.

I'll boot into my 9.10 installation and see what the disk utility is like there.

path (patrick-harzheim) said : #8

Hi,
The title is "Palimpsest Disk Utility"

Top menus, left and right hand panes.

In the left hand pane there's the WD device. Is there a line that draws down and to the right?

Your other disk devices might have this elbow line. This associates the devices and they're partitions and free space.

If the WD device has a "free space" below it, select it. The right hand pane should give you the options of size, label and format type. Along with a "create" button. Choose Linux Ext4 as the format type and click on "create". Once it's done you should be able to mount the partition.

If the WD device has some kind of "file system" try to mount it.

What's it look like for you?

allistair (ameikle) said : #9

Put "Palimpsest Disk Utility" into terminal with the following result:-

allistair@Assy-laptop:~$ Palimpsest Disk Utility
No command 'Palimpsest' found, did you mean:
 Command 'palimpsest' from package 'gnome-disk-utility' (main)
Palimpsest: command not found
allistair@Assy-laptop:~$

Then did the same with "Search for files" and it came up with "No files found". Cheers Allistair

Narendra D (narendra-diwate) said : #10

Allistair:
This is a very simple thing to do.
You mentioned you have Ubuntu 9.10.
Select System --> Administration --> Disk Utility
You will have a left Panel containing the Disks and Under each the partitions. You should be able to see your Hard Disks as well as your 1TB USB Drive. If its new and unused it will be generally formatted in FAT. If you do not want to divide its into partitions, just click to UNMOUNT first and then on the right side you will be able to see option to erase and format. Select format and select the file system that you want. If its going to be used with Windows, then NTFS, if only Linux, then EXT4 or EXT3.
I would also partition that 1TB drive into more manageable partitions depending on what kind and how much data i have.

Hope this helps

Narendra D (narendra-diwate) said : #11

Allistair:
This is a very simple thing to do.
You mentioned you have Ubuntu 9.10.
Select System --> Administration --> Disk Utility
You will have a left Panel containing the Disks and Under each the partitions. You should be able to see your Hard Disks as well as your 1TB USB Drive. DO NOT SELECT your system Hard Disks. If your 1TB drive is new and unused it will be generally formatted in FAT. If you do not want to divide its into partitions, just click to UNMOUNT first and then on the right side you will be able to see option to erase and format. Select format and select the file system that you want. If its going to be used with Windows, then NTFS, if only Linux, then EXT4 or EXT3.
I would also partition that 1TB drive into more manageable partitions depending on what kind and how much data i have.

Hope this helps

allistair (ameikle) said : #12

Hi Narendra, thank you for responding. I am very much a novice when it comes to computers.

When I clicked on the highlighted 1000 GB NTFS the right pane came up with two sub headings :- "Partition" and "Mountable Filesystem".

The "Partition label" slot had nothing in it and the "Type" slot had HPFS/NTFS (0x07)already there. There is a big list of other options to choose from in the drop down list. The "Bootable" square is unticked.

There is no mention of "erase" or "format" anywhere. What am I doing wrong ? Cheers Allistair

You may need to run:

sudo apt-get install gparted; gksudo gparted

Should be ok.

path (patrick-harzheim) said : #14

Allistair,

Good, Your WD 1000 GB external usb hard drive is formated to HPFS/NTFS.

Select the item that showed the HPFS/NTFS as a file system type.

See if you can find a way to 'mount' it!

There are some buttons at the top of the Disk Utility. If you place your mouse over them, there'll be a tool tip that shows up. The top left button just bellow the file menu should be the mount button. The device should appear on your desktop then.

As well, look in the Desktops "Places" menu, see that device is listed. If it is just click it and see where it appears on your desktop.

Then double click on the item that appeared on the desktop. An explorer will appear. This is the devices folder. You should be able to put files into it right away.

allistair (ameikle) said : #15

Ya eah !!! I have a WD icon on my desktop that when DC has 2 folders and one file in it. Does that mean it is formatted ?

The second part of my initial question was how do I go about putting a partition in it for Microsquish, as some programs like "Legacy" will not easily run on Linux.

Thank you for your patience Cheers Allistair

path (patrick-harzheim) said : #16

Good, if you can make use of the disc, then it's a good sign. I don't know what Microsquish is? Try to use the application with what you already have??! why not!

allistair (ameikle) said : #17

Hi Path

Does the icon on my desktop mean that Is it formatted ?

Microsquish = Microsoft

How do I partition as there will be times when I will need to use Micosquish (Microsoft) ?

Cheers Allistair

path (patrick-harzheim) said : #18

Ok,

Your disk has a single partition that includes the entire disk. It's format is HPFS/NTFS. That's Microsquish. So you don't need to format it!

Now, if you erase the contents of the disk. Then make a partition that is 500 GB in size, you can format it to HPFS/NTFS. After that, you can make another 500 Gb partition and format it to linux Ext 4. That'll give you enough room for both.

It's really flexible, in my case I have a disk with a 12 Gb partition and a 988 Gb partition!? Each a separate format.

Mind you in your case, if you don't need Linux Ext 4, just leave it the way it is. You can save files to a HPFS/NTFS format and copy them right over to another disk. It doesn't really matter. You'll be able to use it without any problems.

You can leave it the way it is and move on to what you were doing. Still if your curious enough. You can experiment with erasing, partitioning and formating the disc in various ways. That way you can learn about interfacing and managing disks and be prepared for when you get yourself a new one!

Have fun!

allistair (ameikle) said : #19

Hi Path, Yeah !! we're getting there. First off, thank you for talking me through things in a level that I could understand. I have successfully partitioned the drive to 70 GB for Linux and 30GB for Microsquish. Have had a bit of a play erasing etc ,

but how do you further partition the disc, or when it has something on it ? Do you have to delete everything off it first ?

I couldn't find how to find out about partitioning as the help button, or the F1 button in Palimpsest would not activate to ask a question.

In the" Palimpsest Desk Utility" box, under "Partition label", what sort of entry would you put in there, and how do you activate that slot ?

Cheers Allistair

Best path (patrick-harzheim) said : #20

To partition it further, it can get complicated. You can resize your partitions without deleting them. You can delete 2 partitions and make one partition out of the free space. Just the same you can delete a large partition and make 2 out of that free space, so on.

Just the same you can delete the whole partitioning on the disk and begin again. However it suits your needs.

The "partition label" is not important. It's just the symbolic word you can assign to a disk's partition.

Have fun!

allistair (ameikle) said : #21

Thanks path, that solved my question.

allistair (ameikle) said : #22

Thanks again for all your patient input. Cheers Allistair

path (patrick-harzheim) said : #23

Best regards.