AWS/Azure/OpenShift Windows Server

How to Add and Format a New Virtual Disk to an EC2 Instance


With Amazon EC2 you can launch many virtual servers you need and you can configure the security, networking, and storage to your requirement. In this article, you will learn how to Add and Format a New Virtual Disk to an EC2 Instance. Amazon EC2 can help you to scale up or down in response to demand and help you to handle any future traffic. EC2 is just a virtual machine you can use to deploy your applications instead of purchasing a physical server, Amazon has taken care of the purchasing of the hardware and the maintenance while you only need to pay for using the EC2 VM.

Attach a Volume to your EC2 Instance

Please note that attaching a volume to your EC2 will come with some charges and always go for the least amount of volume but a volume that will always meet your system requirements.

Follow the steps below to add a new virtual disk to an EC2 instance. When you follow this article to the end as restricted, you will be able to add and Format a New Virtual Disk to an EC2 Instance. Here are some related guides: How to create and attach an extra Disk to Azure Virtual Machine, and how to install and configure iSCSI Target Server and iSCSI Initiator on a Windows Server.

Open your AWS Management Console showing your EC2 instance

Launching EC2

From the left menu, click on Volumes.

Adding Volume

To create a new volume, click the Create Volume button.

Creating Volume

Select the volume type you want and type a value for the actual Size you want. In this guide, i will be using the minimum size of 1 GiB. Please note that Amazon will charge you for any size you select and this is not reversible once the volume is created.

Select the value for Availability Zone and confirm it is the same as the zone of the EC2 instance to which you will be adding the volume, if it’s not the same you will later have an issue attaching the volume to the specific EC2 instance.

  • The snapshot is optional if you don’t want to preformat a disk with certain datasets. To create a new empty disk, choose No Snapshot.
  • Now go ahead to Click Create volume to start creating the volume and this can take a few seconds or minutes.
Create Volume
The New Volume was created successfully. 

You can read further guides on EC2: How to sync S3 Bucket with an EC2 instance, how to add an EBS volume to AWS EC2 via the AWS Console and CLI, how to Deploy Dynamic Website to AWS EC2, how to configure AWS Windows instance using EC2 Launch for Server 2016, and how to Deploy MVC Application to AWS EC2 Using RDP Connection and Web Deploy.

Volume Created

After successfully creating the volume you will notice in the image below that it’s not yet attached to the EC2 instance.

Volume Created

Follow the steps below on how to format the disk and attach it to your EC2 instance.

  • Right-click the volume you just created and click Attach Volume.
Attaching Volume

Select the specific instance from the drop-down list and remember that only instances in the same availability zone with the volume will be displayed for attachment.

  • Type the four-letter code xvdf as the device name and click Attach volume button.
Attaching Volume

Sometimes it takes few minutes to attach a volume to your EC2 instance. The image below shows the volume finally attached to the EC2.

Attaching volume to instances

Let’s now confirm this volume inside your EC2 instance by login into it using Windows Remote Desktop. You need to download the remote desktop file and also get the password.

RDP Connection

Initialize and Format a New Virtual Disk

Click Start and type diskmgmt.msc in the search box. Then press Enter. Here are some related guides on adding and formatting disks: How to add and remove a new virtual disk from a VM on VMware Workstation, and how to extend a VM’s Hard Disk on VMware Workstation

In the image below you will see a list of disks and among them is the new volume “Disk 1 – unallocated – Offline” we just created and attached.

Disk Management

Right-click Disk 1 and click Online.

Making Disk Online

Right-click the Disk 1 again and click Initialize Disk.

Initializing the Disk

Confirm the new disk is checked and choose a partition style in this guide we are choosing MBR. Then click OK.

Initializing the Disk

Create a New Simple Volume

Right-click the box that shows Unallocated and click New Simple Volume.

New Simple Volume

Just follow the New Simple Volume wizard to select the amount of space you want to assign to a drive and also the drive letter you want to assign to the drive. You may also want to change the Volume label.

New Simple Volume Wizard

Before you can use the volume it must be formatted and you can select the file system you want to use for the formatting.

New Simple Volume Wizard

After the volume is formatted and created you may decide to reformat with another file system. All what you need to do is to right-click on the volume and click Format.

Disk Formatting

Select the file system to use for the formatting. You can perform quick format and also enable file compression.

Disk Mgt

I hope you found this blog post on how to Add and Format a New Virtual Disk to an EC2 Instance interesting and helpful. In case you have any questions do not hesitate to ask in the comment section.

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