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How to Install a Second Hard Drive to Kubuntu

written by: Tolga BALCI•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 8/5/2010

If you are considering purchasing another hard disk for your Kubuntu box but are wondering how to install it, here are our simple, step-by-step instructions.

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    The easiest and the safest way to add another hard disk to your existing Ubuntu installation is to use command line tools. However, we will take the harder way for the users who are intimidated by the command line and use QTParted. The program is available at the Kubuntu repositories and you should have no problem installing it from your package manager.

    For the rest of the article, I will assume that you have properly installed your hard disk in your computer by correctly connecting the power cables, IDE/SATA cables and set the jumpers, if any. I will further assume that your Kubuntu system is installed on one hard disk, and this disk is mounted as /dev/sda. And finally, I will assume that your new disk will be detected and mounted as /dev/sdb. If the notation is different on your system, change these as appropriate.

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    Installing the Hard Disk

    When you first boot your Kubuntu system with the newly-added hard disk, the system will recognize it, but will be unable to use it: the disk is not partitioned and the file system is not set. This is where QTParted will come in and do both for us.

    QTParted When you start QTParted, on the left pane you will see the drives detected by the program. Your existing Kubuntu installation should be on /dev/sda. You can check this by selecting /dev/sda on the left pane; the partitions present on the drive will be presented on the top in the right pane. When you select /dev/sdb on the left pane, the top side on the right pane will show a continuous gray area, telling us that there is no partition and/or file system present on the disk.

    Select /dev/sdb from the left pane and from the bottom right menu, select the unpartitioned space. From the opened menu, select the options as follows:

    • Create as: Primary Partition
    • Partition type: ext3 (this is valid for Kubuntu releases including and prior to Jaunty Jackalope)
    • Label: Select as you wish
    • Position: Beginning of unallocated space
    • Size: Use default or enter the value you read from “Drive Info” from the bottom menu on the left pane

    Clicking OK will create a partition on your new drive and format it with ext3 filesystem. If you followed everything correctly, you will be using your brand-new disk under your Kubuntu system.

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    Adding a hard drive to your Kubuntu installation is not a complicated task thanks to the QTParted application. As you see in the screenshot, the disks and the partitions are presented in a graphical and intuitive way, and the tools that you need are readily available.