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I have two hard drives. One is for Windows and the files I have accumulated over time. The other hard drive is an empty hard drive that I want to use to install and use Ubuntu on. I have the Ubuntu 12.04 ISO disc and I booted with that disc.

Should I convert the empty hard drive's file system to ext4? If so, how do I do that? Would choosing "Erase and use the entire disc" convert the filesystem to ext4 automatically?

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I've converted this question to one of the subquestions I don't think has duplicates. As for your other question, @mathguy54, see this question to see how to identify /dev/sdb –  Jacob Johan Edwards Sep 29 '12 at 13:28
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closed as not constructive by mikewhatever, hexafraction, Jorge Castro, Mik, Stephen Myall Sep 30 '12 at 12:26

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1 Answer

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  1. Linux does not run on an ntfs filesystem. You will need to select another filesystem like ext4.
  2. Think about partitioning the disk first. For instance, two 25G partitions for system installations (one for trying out new releases, one stable one you use until you like a new one better), a swap partition (two times the memory size is the standard for swap size), and a big partition you can use for your files, which you can mount in your home directories. The system and data partition should be ext4.
  3. partition and select the filesystems and mount points during installation, select "do something else" instead of using whole disk. Really, only a / and swap need be initially defined at this time.
  4. Erase and use whole disk would work, but see #2 for other options.
  5. I always check the size of the disk being used for installation. /dev/sda is usually the internal hard disk, but check anyway.
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I will not be testing new releases. If I just have one 500GB partition on the hard drive (by selecting "Erase and use the entire disc") can I still put files on it? Your comment about making a large partition for files seems to imply that I can't. –  mathguy54 Sep 29 '12 at 16:54
    
The purpose of the separate file partition is to be able to share it between two systems. You will have a home in each system and can install anything you want that fits. –  ubfan1 Sep 30 '12 at 17:03
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