How to reformat a NTFS disk to EXT3 in UBUNTU

Posted on 2009-04-12
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hi out there!
I have a server of type PowerEdge 2600 with 5 SCSI disks installed, and OS i UBUNTU Desktop (not a server edition).
And then I have a USB connected 1TB disk format for NTFS file system, that I want to reformat to Linux EXT3 file system.
The disk is in a USB case, connected to a USB-port.
How do I do to format that USB-connected HD to EXT3?
I need every command typed as it shall be written in the terminal window or anywhere else, as I'm not familiar with UNIX att all, and just navigation around in UBUNTU.

I have tryed this commands with its output, if it can be any help:
zeth@tks01:~$ mount
/dev/sda1 on / type ext3 (rw,relatime,errors=remount-ro)
tmpfs on /lib/init/rw type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
/proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
varrun on /var/run type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,mode=0755)
varlock on /var/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,mode=1777)
udev on /dev type tmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=620)
fusectl on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
lrm on /lib/modules/2.6.27-11-generic/volatile type tmpfs (rw,mode=755)
securityfs on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
binfmt_misc on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
gvfs-fuse-daemon on /home/zeth/.gvfs type fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon (rw,nosuid,nodev,user=zeth)


zeth@tks01:~$ fdisk -l
Can not open /dev/sda
Can not open /dev/sdb

Thanks in advance
Question by:zeth
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

fmarzocca earned 125 total points
ID: 24126738
1. Install gparted ( sudo apt-get install gparted)
2. insert your hard disk into USB
3. When the hard disk icon appears on dektop, richt-click on it and unmount the volume
4. Run System->Administration->Partition Editor
5. From the top-right dropdown menu select your external hard disk
6. Right click on the partition. You will have a menu with the format option.
7. Click on Apply.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31569359
Thanks fmarzocca!
I came a message that the disk could not be mounted, and it did not appear on the desktop. But beside that your advice helped me to get the disk formatted just as you said. Its in progress right now, but I will still give you the points and hope it will be successful at the end :-)

Expert Comment

ID: 24126812
first off, to format this disk, I believe you are going to need root access. Open a terminal and enter the command:
:~$sudo su  (it will ask you for an admins password, hoping there is one and you know it. After entering pass, your prompt will change from a ~$ to a ~# showing root)

now it looks like the drive your plugging USB is going to be /dev/sdb. try using the gui under places to make sure linux is seeing the drive and is mounting it. After confirmation here's what you will need to do.

~#umount /dev/sdb1  (for confirmation the disk isn't mounted)
~#gparted ( this will start ubuntu's partition software which is easy to use. I tell you this way b/c I don't want to write out entire procedure for using fdisk)
--> You will be able to visually see the drive you want to delete, which will be easy enough to spot due to the entire NTFS filesystem being shown as red. Select this drive and click delete this filesystem. It will prompt with warnings, make sure everything is okay and continue. Once the partition is cleaned, you can either use FDisk or GParted to make the new FS.

~#fdisk /dev/sdb
-> 1-4 (enter 1 and then P when asks pri or logical) ( Now it asks about first sector: push enter for default, then size and last sector; enter at all prompts to use entire disk.
-> Will go thru percentages and after a bit tell you its done. Go thru the W process again to write and verify table.

Now finally, time to write the new FS to disk.
~#mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1

-> it will take a minute and prompt you, but after a minute or two your EXT3 filesystem is written to your disk. Keep in mind this proceess is the long and safe way, since you don't have any data you are worried about keeping you could just start with the last command (mkfs.ext3), which will overwrite all data on the NTFS partition. I think your problem so far is you were trying to do something without the proper run level access. Make sure you use the <sudo su> command to get administrator access.

Featured Post

Master Your Team's Linux and Cloud Stack

Come see why top tech companies like Mailchimp and Media Temple use Linux Academy to build their employee training programs.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
linux(debian) mouse poor performance 4 39
error log using ftp 7 39
bash file 10 36
number in printf 13 27
Introduction We as admins face situation where we need to redirect websites to another. This may be required as a part of an upgrade keeping the old URL but website should be served from new URL. This document would brief you on different ways ca…
It’s 2016. Password authentication should be dead — or at least close to dying. But, unfortunately, it has not traversed Quagga stage yet. Using password authentication is like laundering hotel guest linens with a washboard — it’s Passé.
Connecting to an Amazon Linux EC2 Instance from Windows Using PuTTY.
Get a first impression of how PRTG looks and learn how it works.   This video is a short introduction to PRTG, as an initial overview or as a quick start for new PRTG users.

776 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question