Tag Archives: hard

gdisk: A familiar face

I’ll try to keep this one quick; I am already short on time this weekend because of personal obligations. But I also think gdisk is something that resembles fdisk enough (and even perhaps cfdisk and some other partition tools) that mentioning it at all is a rehash of sorts.

Anyway, feast thine eyes:


gdisk, for what I have seen, just about matches fdisk keypress for keypress, with the major difference being its relative comfort in working with the newer generation of hard drives that use GUID partition tables and not MBR style.

Wikipedia tells me the changeover took place sometime around 2009, and so it doesn’t surprise me that I use it so rarely. The newest, most powerful machine I have in the house right now is 8 years old, and I’m wondering if it isn’t time for me to upgrade that. …

I wouldn’t want to fall behind on the times, now would I? 🙄

parted: The forgotten partition tool

Maybe it’s just me, but when I need access to disk partitions, I have a tendency to either run for fdisk or cfdisk. parted just never comes to mind.

I will list that as a flaw in my character, since I have no reason to doubt that parted is just as effective and powerful as its counterparts.


Unfortunately there’s not much I can show about parted in action, lest I scramble my hard drive so badly as to require Clonezilla to repair it.

And while I like you all, I’m not ready for that kind of commitment. 😛

As far as how parted compares to fdisk, or for that matter to cfdisk, I don’t see much that differs. The man pages suggest they both are capable of manipulating or creating partitions. Obviously they both have their own styles.

And of course if you distill the Internet and decant the same question from it, you get a mish-mosh of opinions and unhelpful posts decrying one or the other.

So I leave it to you to decide which you prefer. The fact that you have a choice at all is what matters.

hdparm: Out of respect for times past

I’m going to mention hdparm in passing, mostly because I think it’s becoming more and more rare, with each passing hour, to find machines that need it, let alone people who use it.

Which is not the fault of hdparm. It’s an issue of hardware improvements over time … which suggests it still might be influential, if you’re working with older drives.

Drive lifetimes are limited though, and I have only one traditional IDE drive in the house now — in this machine — even if you can still find them online for fairly cheap.

I used to work a lot with hdparm as a tool for keeping systems speedy, or for getting whiny hard drives to shut up.

Results, for what I remember, depend very much on the hardware and the tweaks you use, which implies that a certain measure of expertise is required if you’re going to see good results.

The converse of that is, it will take some time to learn what works and in the mean time, there is the possibility of screwing things up royally — as in, dead hard drive.

I leave it to you to decide if hdparm is worth tinkering with. Newer drives probably won’t see much improvement; old, old ones will go from junk to jewel with it.

And as a Parthian shot, I will only suggest this over a decrepit hard drive — with or without hdparm — any day of the week. 😐