Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Making an Amazon EBS Volume Available for Use on Windows

After you attach an Amazon EBS volume to your instance, it is exposed as a block device, and appears as a removable disk in Windows. 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.

You can get directions for volumes on a Linux instance from Making a Volume Available for Use on Linux in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

To make an EBS volume available for use on Windows

  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 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, Disk Management.

  3. Bring the volume online. In the lower pane, open the context (right-click) menu for the left panel for the disk for the EBS volume. Choose Online.

              Bring the volume online.
  4. (Conditional) You must initialize the disk before you can use it.


    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), do not reformat the volume or you will delete the existing data.

    If the disk is not initialized, initialize it as follows. Open the context (right-click) menu for the left panel for the disk and choose Initialize Disk. In the Initialize Disk dialog box, select a partition style and choose OK.

              Initialize the volume.
  5. Open the context (right-click) menu for the right panel for the disk and choose New Simple Volume. Complete the wizard.

              Mount a simple volume.