Adding a backup drive

I just bought a brand new 4TB SATA drive that I hope to use as a backup.
I was expecting to see it as /dev/sdb and then use fdisk to create a partition and mke2fs to format it, but there doesn’t seem to be a dive there.

I tried both blkid and lsblk but they don’t seem to show it either, they just show my /dev/sda boot partitions so I’m wondering what to try next.

Any suggestions please?

p.s. Assuming I do get it connected, is there a recommended practice for mounting backup drives, and assigning permissions?

How exactly did you attach the drive, as a normal internal drive or via some other means?
Does it start spinning on bootup?

Basically it’s an old computer that I plan to now use as a backup machine over my lan. I installed Manjaro on an SSD that is the boot drive and then added this new 4TB drive connecting in the usual way with a SATA cable and power.

Yes it does sound like it spins up when I switch it on.
(I also swapped the SATA cables to make sure it wasn’t a cable fault).

As a test I reconnected the old Windows IDE drive and that shows up as NTFS and can be mounted too in the Manjaro file system, but it’s not really big enough for my backup purposes.

Note, I just read somewhere that hard drives over 2TB need a special driver on Windows. Are there any such restriction on Linux?

Could you go into bios and check if the drive is detected there as a SATA device? If not could you cross-check, if the drive is detectable on another newer pc?
If it is not, the drive is likely doa(dead on arrival), if it is, the issue might be your motherboard being to old and not correctly recognizing it as it could not be supporting GPT/UEFI standards.

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Yes, that’s it. :blush:
I did find Windows doesn’t need the bios unless it’s the boot drive. Windows does allow me to partition it as MBR rather than GPT (thus only using the 1st 2048 GB) but Linux won’t see it because the bios still doesn’t recognise it.

Evidently I need to buy two 2GB drives rather than one 4GB… if I want to use that old computer for backups (or use Windows)…

OTOH I could put the backup drive in my new computer… it’s just that I prefer to have it as a separate machine on a network as the new computer is a fan-less quiet-PC with all SSD and no whirring disk drives at the moment. Not sure what to do yet, but thanks for the explanation. :slightly_smiling_face:


I reformatted one of my old 1TB drives as ext4 and mounted it as /backup in the old computer. Added it to smb.conf there. Tested it works fine for backing up over the network.
I even removed the graphics card and have no need for mouse, keyboard or screen on that machine… and put in a safe place in another room.

When this drive is full I’ll just add another drive and make that the one that mounts by default.

Maybe I will install SSH server so I can login remotely to unmount and remount different backup drives then. Note: There is a link on some drives that makes them powerup in standby mode. Thus they won’t even start spinning unless accessed (i.e. mounted, I presume?)

p.s. The 4TB disk I shall use to store all my files off the Windows system, and hopefully I can connect it when needed in my much newer quiet-PC as bulk storage there.

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