June 24, 2011, 5:01 a.m.
posted by jack
In the past few years, the ability of Linux to detect and configure hard disks has greatly improved. In most cases, you don't have to do anything to have Linux properly probe your hard disk during installation, choose good settings (transfer rates, read/write-caching, and so on), and even select and create usable partitioning.
However, if something goes wrong with your disk or file systems, it's nice to be able to understand what is going on and possibly even fix up a few things. Using tools such as hdparm, you can tune your hard disk behavior. With utilities such as fdisk and mkfs, you can create and modify your own partitions and file systems. With a little bit of care (and, hopefully, the security of good data backups), you can tune your disks and file systems to peak efficiency.