Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I found a 6 GB IDE HDD in my basement. I want to plug it in and see what might be on it. The drive seems to be recognized in BIOS.

I can't find it in Ubuntu to view files, and Ubuntu is the only OS on that particular computer. I was wondering if Ubuntu has an equivalent to the Windows feature "My Computer", which lists all available drives/storage devices. Typically, My Computer shows C:, which can be opened to view all of your directories and files. At this point, it is very similar to Ubuntu's Home Folder.

How to view/select all available partitions of that drive or all available HDD's without formatting or tampering with the contents in any way?

share|improve this question
Use Gparted, but with care! This can be a dangerous tool. If you just look at the partitions it's fine –  user164752 Jun 5 '13 at 19:38
Likely duplicate (perhaps even the canonical question): Which hard disk drive is which? –  Peter Mortensen Jul 19 at 9:14

5 Answers 5

There are many ways but my favorite is lsblk. Here is a demostration:


would show the following:

sda           111.8G            
├─sda1 swap     121M [SWAP]     
└─sda2 ext4   111.7G /          
sdb             2.7T            
└─sdb1 ext4     2.7T            xtreme
sdc             3.7T            
└─sdc1 ext4     3.7T            titan

It is showing the name of the drive and the partitions it has. The type of file system. The size the whole drive has and the size each partition has. The mount point and if available, the label for them.

You can play around with the options by first looking at the ones available with lsblk --help. I like lsblk because of the friendly way of showing the information if compared for example with fdisk or parted.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, lsblk is more readable than fdisk to me. –  aditya menon Oct 24 '13 at 14:45

The command-line solution:

  • to check which drives your system can see:

    sudo fdisk -l

If your drive is in the list, you'll be able to see what partitions are on the drive, like this:

Disk /dev/sda: 160.0 GB, 160041885696 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1   *          63      208844      104391   83  Linux
/dev/sda2          208845     2313359     1052257+  82  Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda3         2313360   312576704   155131672+  83  Linux

Then create a directory somewhere and mount one of the partitions. For example, to mount a FAT32 partition located at dev/sda3 read-only into directory /media/my_test_mount you can do

sudo mount -t cifs -o ro /dev/sda3 /media/my_test_mount

This approach gives you more control, as you can use different mount options, for example mount the partition read-only.

See man mount for details.

share|improve this answer

Nautilus (where you view your home folder) will show all mounted drives on the system. If the drive is recognized by the computer you can mount it and begin to use it.

Directions and information about mounting drives can be found here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Mount

share|improve this answer

Late answer but try this:

  1. Open files (Application from dash or open a folder)
  2. Go to "File System"
  3. Go to "media"
  4. Go into your user E.g. Lola Chang (From Ubuntu.com)
  5. It should list all attached drives, not including the SDA 1 (In your case probably C:)
share|improve this answer

I second Luis in that lsblk is probably the most straight forward and concise solution. Its very easy to visualize what is there and gives you all of the information needed quickly:


For your convenience, here is a list of all available colums that can be used.

Available columns:
       NAME  device name
      KNAME  internal kernel device name
    MAJ:MIN  major:minor device number
     FSTYPE  filesystem type
 MOUNTPOINT  where the device is mounted
      LABEL  filesystem LABEL
       UUID  filesystem UUID
         RO  read-only device
         RM  removable device
      MODEL  device identifier
       SIZE  size of the device
      STATE  state of the device
      OWNER  user name
      GROUP  group name
       MODE  device node permissions
  ALIGNMENT  alignment offset
     MIN-IO  minimum I/O size
     OPT-IO  optimal I/O size
    PHY-SEC  physical sector size
    LOG-SEC  logical sector size
       ROTA  rotational device
      SCHED  I/O scheduler name
    RQ-SIZE  request queue size
       TYPE  device type
   DISC-ALN  discard alignment offset
  DISC-GRAN  discard granularity
   DISC-MAX  discard max bytes
  DISC-ZERO  discard zeroes data
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.