5. Format the new disk

Use the following command to format Linux partitions using ext2fs on the new disk:

mkfs.ext2 /dev/hdb1

To check the disk for bad blocks (physical defects), add the -c option just before /dev/hdb1.

If the new disk will have more than one Linux partition, format the other partitions with mkfs.ext2 /dev/hdb2, mkfs.ext2 /dev/hdb3, and so on. Add the -c option if desired.


With older distributions, the command mkfs -t ext2 -c /dev/hdb1 didn't check for bad blocks under any of Red Hat, Debian or Slackware, contrary to what the man page stated. This has now been fixed.

To format a swap partition, use this command:

mkswap /dev/hdb1

Again, you can add the -c option before /dev/hdb1 to check for bad blocks.