I recently added a new 3TB hard drive to a headless media server (HP proliant microserver) running Ubuntu server 12.04. I followed this tutorial, which uses fdisk to create a single partition of the maximum size reported by fdisk. I have choosen ext4 format. I then copied across all my media, which took some time.

I am guessing that fidisk has a 2TB limit, because du is reporting this as the size. Is there any way to increase the size of the partition to 3TB without having to copy all my media over again?


MBR partition only supports 4 primary partitions per hard drive, and a maximum partition size of 2TB. That is why you're only seeing 2TB.

GUID (GPT disks) can support a volume up to 18 EB (Exabyte’s) or 1 million terabytes.

So you will have to change the partitioning scheme from MBR to GUID (GPT Disk) to be able to see the full capacity.

NOTE: When dealing with partitions, always make sure that a backup is available in case something goes wrong. You may consider Clonezilla

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  • How do i go about changing from MBR to GUID? – mR_fr0g Aug 7 '12 at 17:13
  • You can use the Live CD, to accomplish that. – Mitch Aug 7 '12 at 19:26
  • It is a headless server without a CD drive. Is there a command line tool i can use? The OS is not on the 3TB disk if that makes a difference. – mR_fr0g Aug 8 '12 at 10:17
  • Put the Live CD on a flash drive, and you can use a USB flash to boot from. – Mitch Aug 8 '12 at 10:22
  • Yes but this doesn't actually tell me how i go about doing this. – mR_fr0g Aug 8 '12 at 17:08

This will delete all your data.

Download and install Gparted :
Install via the software center
Open it, then select your 3TB drive, erase partition, create new table (then, in the little window that opens, change MBR to GPT), then create a new partition in EXT4 or whatever.

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  • Well, this erases all data currently residing on the partition. – phoibos Oct 19 '12 at 13:35

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