Format a WD drive to linux

February 18th, 2015

After buying a WD drive, I found it was difficult to make it work with Linux.

After much googling it appeared a common problem, I found although Gparted claimed it had formatted the drive, it would not mount nor read and write.

It turns out WD has decided to include hidden partitions that make reformatting it almost impossible, WD calls this technology “Smart Ware”

However, I found a combination of G-Parted and Parted solved this (do not type the quotes):

1. Open G-Parted
2. Locate your device in the Gparted drop down menu (Make sure you select the right device)
3. Unmount any mounted partitions
4. Foreach partition select delete
5. Click new, Create one large partition and click Apply
6. Take note of the device name (for example “/dev/sdg”)
7. In terminal start parted with elevated privileges i.e sudo parted
8. At the prompt, select your drive with “select /dev/sdf”
9. Type “align-check” to check the alignment
10. At the prompt “alignment type(min/opt) [optimal]/minimal?” type “optimal”
11. Enter the partition number (Typically 1 for a single partition)
12. Type “quit”

You will likely see the drive in Nautilus but be unable to write to it, to fix this:

1. Open the drive in nautilus, right click properties and look for Location i.e “/run/media/adrian”
2. In Terminal, navigate to this folder i.e “cd /run/media/adrian”
3. “ls -la” will list your -device- and likely state it is drwxr-xr-x for root:root (not writable for you)
4. Type “sudo chmod 777 -R /run/media/adrian/-device-” (777 is rwx for everyone, I would recommend tailoring this to your requirements and is an example only)

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