How can I reformat my non-functional USB drive?

a2warik October 27, 2011

In order to get Ubuntu on a USB I installed gparted and then created partitions on my USB assuming that Ubuntu formatting wont let me use the USB with Windows. However my hardware didn’t support booting from USB. After a while I gave up on the idea and deleted the partitioning, and now the entire 4 GB stick is of no use. Can I fix the drive?

  1. a2warik
    October 28, 2011 at 7:31 am

    I thought that usb need to be formatted in something other than fat so that i can install Ubuntu on it. So partitioned half of 4 Gb to fat and other in ext 3 (most probably) that time.

    The article says fat is supported by both ubuntu and windows so i need not partition them at all.

    I have a query, if i try to install ubuntu on usb without partitioning would it run like any portable app on any pc i stick it to.

    Thanks for help once again, i feel the problem of the usb stick not working is solved just by installing another os. I also could format this drive. Thanks

  2. Jay
    October 28, 2011 at 4:58 am

    What exactly you want to do ? do you want your usb device to be accessible on both OS, and transfer data normally, or you want to use it for booting.

    You can try it on another pc using windows.
    If it works on ubuntu but not on windows, then :

    Check the current format of your usb device, is it linux supported RiserFS, linux-swap etc?
    Format it to Fat32 using Gparted.

    how to :

  3. a2warik
    October 28, 2011 at 4:30 am

    I had Ubuntu 8.04 installed earlier on which  my usb device was not detected. I tried it on  XP which detected the usb device but could not format the usb stick.
    Today i installed ubuntu 10.10 and just tried my usb stick on it and it detected. But i wonder if it would be detected in windows. I have to wait till i get to access windows, to try it on.
    How do one reformat usb drive on ubuntu 10.10 or should i reinstall gpart just for formatting.

    Thanks for helping

      October 28, 2011 at 6:10 am

      Hello, to reformat your usb drive using ubuntu, you can reach the utility by going to the following path:

      -- System
      -- Administration
      -- DiskUtility
      -- select your usb drive
      -- select Format
      -- pick the format you want to format to, etc.

      Make sure that you pick the usb drive for reformatting, if not you may format a drive you need.

  4. Jay
    October 28, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Try using another PC or another pc using different OS to detect and format the pen drive.

    October 27, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Hello, is the usb drive recognized? If it is, did you trying using the formatting tool?  If you did it probably told that the format is unrecognized.  I had a usb stick with ubuntu on it, I tried to format it and that is what it said.  What I ended up doing was, format it twice.  The second time the formatting went through and the drive was ok. 

    You could also try formatting your drive by using diskpart:

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