Adding a New Disk Drive with Centos

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Adding a New Hard Drive on Centos 6


Have you ran out of Hard Drive space on your server. One of the cheapest options to upgrade is the Hard Drive.

Is the New Hard Drive found on the Server

New physical hard drive has been installed on the system and is visible to the operating system. The best way to do this is to enter the system BIOS during the boot process and ensuring that the BIOS sees the disk drive. Sometimes the BIOS will provide a menu option to scan for new drives. If the BIOS does not see the disk drive double check the connectors and jumper settings (if any) on the drive.

Find the New Hard Drive in Centos 6

Assuming the new hard drive is visible to the BIOS, it should be detected by the OS. Typically, they are labled with either sd or hd followed by a letter to indicate the device number. Example, the first hard drive should be sda, second should be sdb.

The following is output before the addition of the new hard drive

ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda  /dev/sda1

This shows that first hard drive is divided into multiple partitions.

The following is the output after the addition of the new hard drive has been installed.

# ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb

Creating the Linux Partitions

The next step is to create one or more Linux partitions on the new disk drive. This is achieved using the fdisk utility which takes as a command-line argument the device to be partitioned:

# su -
# fdisk /dev/sdb
Device contains neither a valid DOS partition table, nor Sun, SGI or OSF disklabel
Building a new DOS disklabel with disk identifier 0xd1082b01.
Changes will remain in memory only, until you decide to write them.
After that, of course, the previous content won't be recoverable.

Warning: invalid flag 0x0000 of partition table 4 will be corrected by w(rite)

WARNING: DOS-compatible mode is deprecated. It's strongly recommended to 
        switch off the mode (command 'c') and change display units to
        sectors (command 'u').

Command (m for help):

As instructed, switch off DOS compatible mode and change the units to sectors by entering the c and u commands:

Command (m for help): c
DOS Compatibility flag is not set
Command (m for help): u
Changing display/entry units to sectors

In order to view the current partitions on the disk enter the p command:

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/sdb: 34.4 GB, 34359738368 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 4177 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xd1082b01

  Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System

As we can see from the above fdisk output, the disk currently has no partitions because it is a previously unused disk. The next step is to create a new partition on the disk, a task which is performed by entering n (for new partition) and p (for primary partition):

Command (m for help): n
Command action
  e   extended
  p   primary partition (1-4)
Partition number (1-4):

In this example we only plan to create one partition which will be partition 1. Next we need to specify where the partition will begin and end. Since this is the first partition we need it to start at the first available sector and since we want to use the entire disk we specify the last sector as the end. Note that if you wish to create multiple partitions you can specify the size of each partition by sectors, bytes, kilobytes or megabytes.

Partition number (1-4): 1
First sector (2048-67108863, default 2048):
Using default value 2048
Last sector, +sectors or +size{K,M,G} (2048-67108863, default 67108863):
Using default value 67108863

Now that we have specified the partition we need to write it to the disk using the w command:

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered!

Calling ioctl() to re-read partition table.
Syncing disks.

If we now look at the devices again we will see that the new partition is visible as /dev/sdb1:

# ls /dev/sd*
/dev/sda /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb /dev/sdb1

The next step is to create a file system on our new partition.

Creating a File Sytem on the CentOS 6 Disk Partion

We now have a new disk installed, it is visible to CentOS 6 and we have configured a Linux partition on the disk. The next step is to create a Linux file system on the partition so that the operating system can use it to store files and data. The easiest way to create a file system on a partition is to use the mkfs.ext4 utility which takes as arguments the label and the partition device:

# /sbin/mkfs.ext4 -L /backup /dev/sdb1
mke2fs 1.41.12 (17-May-2010)
Filesystem label=/backup
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
Fragment size=4096 (log=2)
Stride=0 blocks, Stripe width=0 blocks
2097152 inodes, 8388352 blocks
419417 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super user
First data block=0
Maximum filesystem blocks=4294967296
256 block groups
32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group
8192 inodes per group
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
        32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208,
        4096000, 7962624

Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (32768 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done 

This filesystem will be automatically checked every 36 mounts or
180 days, whichever comes first.  Use tune2fs -c or -i to override.

Mounting a File System

Now that we have created a new file system on the Linux partition of our new disk drive we need to mount it so that it is accessible. In order to do this we need to create a mount point. A mount point is simply a directory or folder into which the file system will be mounted. For the purposes of this example we will create a /backup directory to match our file system label (although it is not necessary that these values match):

# mkdir /backup

The file system may then be manually mounted using the mount command:

# mount /dev/sdb1 /backup

Running the mount command with no arguments shows us all currently mounted file systems (including our new file system):

# mount
/dev/mapper/vg_CentOS6-lv_root on / type ext4 (rw)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,gid=5,mode=620) 
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,rootcontext="system_u:object_r:tmpfs_t:s0")
/dev/sda1 on /boot type ext4 (rw)
none on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw)
sunrpc on /var/lib/nfs/rpc_pipefs type rpc_pipefs (rw)
/dev/sr0 on /media/CentOS_6.0 x86_64 Disc 1 type iso9660 (ro,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=udisks,uid=500,gid=500,iocharset=utf8,mode=0400,dmode=0500)
/dev/sdb1 on /backup type ext4 (rw)

Lets make the system Auto Mount the Hard Drive on System Startup

In order to set up the system so that the new file system is automatically mounted at boot time an entry needs to be added to the /etc/fstab file.

vim /etc/fstab

Now add the following to the bottom of the file

LABEL=/backup /backup      ext4    defaults        1 2