Ubuntu shows 3 of my partitions as desktop icons that look like external drives. The drives are internal, though. And partitions are not drives. So how about representing partitions in a way that is closer to the truth?
Using pie charts, each partition looks different. I considered doing a “chart in the chart” to also show disk use, but there are only so many pixels, so I propose to use colour instead. From green for almost empty to red for full. It could start blinking to call the user to action. The little arm could be animated to indicate activity. Personally, I can hear hd activity just fine and would find such movement rather distracting, though 😉 Colour coding of the background could be used to differentiate between drives.
The last version is easier to read, but lacks the form factor hint and is similar to CD icons.