Installing A Second Hard Drive in Ubuntu

This is a tutorial for installing a second hard drive in Ubuntu. Partition. Format. Change label. Mount it. UUID. fstab.

I got a refurbished Thinkpad T430 for very cheap. It came with 250GB SSD but wanted to upgrade it 500GB.

I got a 500GB SSD.

When I got the computer and opened the hard drive panel I noticed that it was empty. I thought that maybe I got scammed.

After much head banging I learned that the hard drive was stored on the RAM panel. I first thought was a mini wireless card. But reading the label it said “256 GB”. Uh? I learned it was an “mSATA SSD”.

I couldn’t fit the new SSD in the hard drive panel cause it was missing the tray.

I installed Ubuntu on the current drive.

Then I got a “Caddy” adapter that replaces the DVD drive with a way to insert another hard drive. That was pretty easy to install.

Now you need to configure the hard drive.

I followed this tutorial from the Ubuntu docs. Although it has a section that is outdated.

Find the logical name of the new drive

$ sudo lshw -C disk

This means: lshw List hardware. -C with Class of type disk.

I identified the new disk because it said product: Crucial. Which is the brand I got. The size was 525GB. And it didn’t say “partitioned”, while the other one said capabilities: partitioned.

The logical drive of the new SSD was /dev/sda

Partition the disk using GParted

I started the process using the Terminal instructions. But got confused half way. I closed that and I decided to use the GUI. Then it took 5 seconds.

The tool should be under Applications/System Tools/Administration

In my case it wasn’t there so I installed it with:

$ sudo apt-get install gparted

After installing. I opened the tool and it asked for the root password.

When the program opens. There is a drop down to select the drive you want. I chose the new drive. In my case it was /dev/sda

Create a partition table

Go to Device/Create Partition Table

Select msdos.

Then I clicked on the green check mark to apply.

Create a partition

Then I right clicked on the white rectangle that said my drive name.

Selected: New

Chose: Primary Partition.

Filesystem: ext4


Green check mark to apply.

Change the label of the drive

When I completed the process I realized that under “Places” my drive was listed as “525 GB blabla”. Kind of boring name.

I right clicked on the white rectangle again and hit “Label File System”. I entered an awesome name that I could remember.

Create a mount point

$ sudo mkdir /media/name_of_new_drive

For the name_of_new_drive I used the same name as the “label name”.

Now you need to find the UUID of the new drive as mentioned here. UUID means “Universal Unique Identifier”.

$ sudo blkid

It says that blkid is used to “locate device attributes”.

The result was something like this:

/dev/sdb1: UUID="bunch of numbers with letters here" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="some other number here"
/dev/sdb5: UUID="another bunch of numbers" TYPE="swap" PARTUUID="other number here"
/dev/sda1: LABEL="awesome name I chose" UUID="number I need" TYPE="ext4" PARTUUID="number here"

Now you need to edit the file fstab like this:

sudo nano -Bw /etc/fstab

The -B is used to create a backup of the file under /etc/fstab~.

The w is used to disable wrap of long lines.

Then I added this line to the end of the file:

UUID="number I needed from above" /media/name_of_new_drive ext4 defaults 0 2

For UUID above you don’t need to put the quotes.

Then quit the file with Ctrl X. It will ask if you want to save. Enter Yes.

Mount all disks

The new disk should be mounted but just in case:

sudo mount -a

Restart and Update the BIOS

I restarted and realized that it wouldn’t boot. I flipped out. I just enabled the Virtualization settings so I thought that probably I broke something.

I thought if it was booting from the 2nd hard drive and that was it.

Change the BIOS and make sure the sequence order starts with your main drive. Otherwise it won’t boot.

Last observation

Inside the fstab I noticed the following on my main SSD:


Not sure what that is.

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