Simplified steps to add a second hard drive to a Debian server running Proxmox.

Firstly physically install the Hard Drive in the server chassis.

Startup the server and run the following from commandline to find the device name for the disk:

fdisk -l

This should return something similar to this:

Disk /dev/sda: 21.4 GB, 21474836480 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2610 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 2517 20217771 83 Linux
/dev/sda2 2518 2610 747022+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 2518 2610 746991 82 Linux swap / Solaris

Disk /dev/sdb: 32.2 GB, 32212254720 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3916 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Disk /dev/sdb doesn't contain a valid partition table

If it is the first new disk you have added it will more than likely be /dev/sdb as the device name.

Now we partition the disk:

cfdisk /dev/sdb

Select the following options:

  • New > Primary > Enter (use the size in MB already specified)
  • Write
  • Quit

Now we format the disk to the ext3 filesystem:

mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdb1 

Mount the drive to a new folder:

mkdir /mnt/backups
mount -t ext3 /dev/sdb1 /mnt/backups 

Lastly we add the disk to /etc/fstab so it auto-mounts when we reboot the machine:

/dev/sdb1 /mnt/backups ext3 defaults,errors=remount-ro 0 1 

That’s your drive mounted and ready to be added as backup storage in Proxmox.

To test: reboot the machine and confirm that the drive is still mounted.

Written by Matt Cooper
Hi, I'm Matt Cooper. I started this blog to pretty much act as a brain dump area for things I learn from day to day. You can contact me at: