Installing a new hard drive isn't a particularly arduous task, but there are a few commands I usually forget. Here are the steps I take after hooking up a new drive: Run fdisk -l and find the new drive's device (we'll call it xxx). Run sudo fdisk /dev/xxx and create a new primary partition (enter n , p , 1 , default, default). Run mkfs.ext3 /dev/xxx1 to format the new partition. Label the new ext3 partition using sudo e2label <new-label> Refresh /dev/disk/by-uuid using sudo /etc/init.d/udev restart Edit /etc/fstab to add the new partition to the list of mounts.