Bear with me, I am new to Linux. I took an old HDD that had random files on it from windows, formatted and cleared it. I have formatted it several times trying to figure this out but have been unsuccessful. It is a 500Gb senate sda and shows 0 bites avaliable when attempting to install fedora through a bookable USB. Can anyone help me figure this out? Thanks!

  • 3
    Please edit your question and include the exact steps you took to format the drive.
    – Panki
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 15:43
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    Screenshot of the installer would be useful here. Note that if the installer says there is no free space on the disk, it doesn't necessary mean the disk cannot be used, it can just mean some space must be freed first. And the installer can usually do that itself, just check the I would like to make additional space available option or use manual partitioning. Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 7:23

2 Answers 2


You need to delete the existing Windows partitions, and let Fedora create its own. You should be able to at least see the disk and whatever is there at the moment.

  • I formatted it cleared it and partitioned it to the Linux compatible format but it still shows it has no space Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 16:19
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    Then we have no idea, as you have given little information. What disks do you have? What are already in use, what does the install program see?
    – Bib
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 16:22
  • @KeystoneActual
    – murphy
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 17:59
  • @KeystoneActual to be sure that linux sees an empty hdd: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/<YOUR_HDD_DEVICE> count=1 bs=512 this overwrites the first 512 bytes of the device with zeros and deletes the partiton table. BE VERY SURE to select the correct HDD_DEVICE. use the hdd_device without any trailing number, for example just hda not hda1
    – murphy
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 18:11

I had the same problem with the HDD being shown as full, even though I formatted it shortly before.

In my case Fedora 36.

When putting in a boot stick and booting from it, you can run Fedora via your boot stick (at least you get the option to run Fedora via external drive in Fedora 36). When running Fedora over the boot stick you can click on activities on the upper left corner (even when in the installer application) and search the disk utility tool.

From there you can format your drive and delete existing partitions. I recommend entirely deleting it and reformatting it to the recommended Linux-supporting format (ext4).

If formatted correctly, restart the installation application. Your hard drive should be shown as empty. If not, restart the device while leaving the external drive inside!

Then choose the installation application and try a new. If clicking on your chosen hard drive once doesn‘t do the trick, click twice (there has to appear a check-mark on the hard drive icon). Then you should be able to install Fedora onto your designated hard drive.

Hope this helps.

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