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Formating a drive (to EXT3) with gparted

Well, I’ve shown you how you can upgrade your HDD in the various Humax PVRs, but with the newer ones the filesystem is the Linux FS EXT3, and with bigger than 1TB drives the box can not format them.

So here’s a quick post to show you how I formated my 1.5TB drive with Ubuntu and gparted (to complete my disk upgrading post).

The nice thing about Ubuntu is that it includes the GParted disk utility. It is graphical so easier to use than the CLI.

HDR-FOX T2 attempted to format the HDD

As you can see from the screengrab above, when I fired up gparted and selected the right HDD from the pulldown (highlighted in the red box), I can see the the HDR T3 started partitioning the drive – the first partition being 1GB in size… (This led me to the suspicion that it might have been able to format the whole drive given enough time. It might have taken it a lot longer than the 25 mins or so for me to doing to this by hand, however.)

So first thing to do is to complete the first partition by formatting it in EXT3 filesystem.

Put EXT3 filesystem on the partition

Select the right partition (here /dev/sdb1) and pull down the Partition menu, selecting Format and then ext3. Click on Apply to perform the action. A pop-up will ask you to confirm what you want to do.

Next thing to do is to divide up the second partition into two – remember the original HDD’s configuration? – three partitions: start partition 1Gb, end partition 10Gb, middle partition rest of disk.

Partition rest of disk

Select the second partition, and click on the ‘Partition’ menu option at the top, select ‘New’ from this menu. A pop-up should appear like the screengrab above. First uncheck the ‘Round to cylinders’ option (A). Type ‘10240’ into ‘Free space following’ text box (B). When you tab away from box (B), the value of box (C) should be the remainder of your HDD. Simple! Remember you want to create your filesystem in the EXT3 format, so select that from the pulldown (D). Click on the Add button when finished.

Apply changes to HDD

You can now apply the changes to the HDD as you like it to be, or you could ‘format’ the third partition as EXT3. No changes will be made until to click on the ‘Apply’ button at the top, and confirm that you want to make the irreversible actions.

When gparted has finished it will give you a summary of actions made:

GParted summary

If you haven’t formated the 3rd partition to EXT3, do so now. When this is applied it should be fast and you have a HDD ready to put back into your HDR-FOX T2…

New partitioned and formatted 1.5TB drive

  1. Will
    March 25th, 2011 at 12:24 | #1

    Thanks for the info, proved very helpful. I used MiniTool Partition Wizard to duplicate my original drive (keeping all my recordings) but I had to use Arconis Disk Manager to them move and resize the partitions (MiniTool Partition Wizard was having none of it). Here’s what I ended up with:


    Seems to have worked fine!

  2. son_t
    March 28th, 2011 at 14:43 | #2

    Thanks for the comment Will. Unfortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard is a commercial product, and unless a user regularly format HDDs, then it is not worth purchasing when a free tool is available.

    I notice that the above format is the FOXSAT-HDR filesystem. I will be blogging a way of formatting USB drives for use with the FOXSAT-HDR with the Slax linux version soon. I’ve noticed that the latest Ubuntu does not have gparted as standard, and this version of Slax that I’ve built will be only 203Mb in size (save download bandwidth).

  3. Will
    March 30th, 2011 at 16:21 | #3

    I was using the free edition but whatever works I guess. Does GParted allow you to copy the data disk to disk as well as resize/move partitions?

  4. son_t
    March 31st, 2011 at 14:21 | #4

    OK, if the free edition allows you to do that, it could prove very useful.

    In fact, many thanks for the tip, and I will be trying it out and making a post about this Mini Tool Partition Wizard and comparing it with Slax-gparted, Ubuntu-gparted, and PartedMagic for completeness.

    (GParted is just a simple partitioner, so no it does not do more fancy stuff.)

  5. Will
    April 1st, 2011 at 08:07 | #5

    I only installed Mini Tool Partition Wizard because for some reason Arconis Disk Manager wouldn’t copy the partitions for. It seems like a nice program but to be honest I do prefer working from a live CD. Would be interesting to know if there’s something that can be bundled on to the slax live CD that would also image disk-to-disk, just in case 1.5TB isn’t enough for me and I have to do this again at some point in the future!

  6. Max
    October 11th, 2012 at 10:03 | #6


    is it possible for the Humax 5400s see more than one partition? I find out that it do not recongnize HDD larger than 500GB, so I used gparted to create one partition of 500GB. Is it possible use more than one partition with the humax?


  1. May 21st, 2011 at 17:23 | #1