The Hard Disk And Partition Representation In Linux And Unix

In this short article I will tell you how the hard disks and partitions are represented, in Unix and Linux Systems:

The hard disks are represented with letters and the partitions with numbers, as I have explained in my examples.

Note: The Hard Disk representation stars from ‘a’ and the partition representation start from ‘1’.

The IDE (or ATA or PATA) Hard Disks are represented by /dev/hd?* .

Examples for representing IDE hard disks:

  • First IDE Hard Disk: /dev/hda
  • Second IDE Hard Disk: /dev/hdb
  • Third IDE Hard Disk: /dev/hdc

Examples for representing partitions on IDE hard disks:

  • First Partition on the first IDE Hard Disk: /dev/hda1
  • Second Partition on the first IDE Hard Disk: /dev/hda2
  • Third Partition on the first IDE hard Disk: /dev/hda3

The SCSI and S-ATA Hard Disks are represented by /dev/sd?*

Examples for representing SCSI and S-ATA hard disks:

  • First S-ATA and SCSI Hard Disk: /dev/sda
  • Second S-ATA and SCSI Hard Disk: /dev/sdb
  • Third S-ATA and SCSI Hard Disk: /dev/sdc

Examples for representing partitions on S-ATA or SCSI hard disks:

  • First Partition on the first S-ATA and SCSI Hard Disk: /dev/sda1
  • Second Partition on the first S-ATA and SCSI Hard Disk: /dev/sda2
  • Third Partition on the first┬áS-ATA and SCSI hard Disk: /dev/sda3

The Grub has different notations for the hard disks and partitions.

The first SCSI CDROM is representated by /dev/sr0, the first SCSI joystick is /dev/js0 and the first floppy drive by /dev/fd0.

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