Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Making an Amazon EBS Volume Available for Use

After you attach an Amazon EBS volume to your instance, it is exposed as a block device. You can format the volume with any file system and then mount it. After you make the EBS volume available for use, you can access it in the same ways that you access any other volume. Any data written to this file system is written to the EBS volume and is transparent to applications using the device.

You can take snapshots of your EBS volume for backup purposes or to use as a baseline when you create another volume. For more information, see Amazon EBS Snapshots.

Making the Volume Available on Windows

Use the following procedure to make the volume available. You can get directions for volumes on a Linux instance from Making the Volume Available on Linux in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

To use an EBS volume

  1. Log in to your Windows instance using Remote Desktop. For more information, see, Connecting to Your Windows Instance.

  2. Start the Disk Management utility. On Windows Server 2012, on the taskbar, open the context (right-click) menu for the Windows logo and choose Disk Management. On Windows Server 2008, choose Start, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, and Disk Management.

  3. In the lower pane, select the disk that represents the new EBS volume.

                  Select the new volume.
  4. On the Disk Management menu, choose Action, All Tasks, Online.

                  Online menu selection.
  5. (Conditional) A new disk needs to be initialized before it can be used.


    If you're mounting a volume that already has data on it (for example, a public data set, or a volume that you created from a snapshot), make sure that you don't reformat the volume and delete the existing data.

    To initialize a new disk:

    1. In the Disk Management utility, select the new EBS volume disk.

    2. On the Disk Management menu, choose Action, All Tasks, Initialize Disk.

    3. In the Initialize Disk dialog, select the disk to initialize, select the desired partition style, and choose OK.