I added a bunch of drives to an external enclosure and attached it to a server via eSATA and now need to get them ready for software raid. However they do not appear under fdisk -l

I've tried looking in /dev/disk/by-path and /dev/disk/by-id. The RAID card appears in dmesg. Plugging and unplugging the eSATA enclosure does not cause anything to "happen" when I tail /var/log/syslog

There is a decent chance that the eSATA card I am using in the machine is faulty (I found it laying around). But before I purchase a new one I want to make sure I am not missing anything obvious.


Run parted interactively, then use the print devices command, like below:

sudo parted
GNU Parted 2.3
Using /dev/xvda1
Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.
(parted) print devices                                                    
/dev/xvda1 (8590MB)
/dev/xvdb (429GB)

Try running the command ls /dev/sd*.

This should list all drives on the system with their device names. Compare that to the output of fdisk -l which will show the current list if you don't know which are which.

  • It was indeed hardware but I used this to confirm, thanks! Oct 21 '10 at 0:06
  • 1
    Don't forget to sudo fdisk -l
    – Blairg23
    Nov 29 '17 at 2:49

In Ubuntu, the command fdisk -l doesn't return anything because it is not proceeded by sudo. Do: sudo fdisk -l and it should return information about your disks.

ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 128.0 GB, 128035676160 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 15566 cylinders, total 250069680 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1   250069679   125034839+  ee  GPT

If you are on a graphical install, then GParted is the way to go (in the Software Centre).

  • 3
    server, check the tag. :) Oct 20 '10 at 17:24

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