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Old 06-10-2008, 05:39 AM   #1
Registered: May 2007
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Formatting Flash drives / thumb drives

I'd like to format my thumb drive, of course on a linux machine, but I want it to also be readable on windows machine. So I tried the following:
sudo mkfs.vfat /dev/sdb1
But it turn out that the thumb drive cannot be mounted after formatting, showing the following error message.
mount:/dev/sdb1:can'tread superblock
What mistakes had I made? A wrong filesystem type? Wrong flags in the formatting command?
Old 06-10-2008, 07:39 AM   #2
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I suggest adding the -v option to mkfs.vfat to get more details. And if it shows nothing meaningful, try looking at the system's log as maybe there is some damaged sector in the pendrive
Old 06-11-2008, 11:53 PM   #3
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However, I later tried to plug the pendrive into a pc with Windows installed, and then I format the pendrive using Windows built-in tools. The pendrive then can be mounted again, like an ordinary proper pendrive!

This may suggest that the pendrive itself is alright, but I am formatting it improperly using mkfs.vfat, maybe due to incorrect flags.

Does anyone here had the experience of formatting a pendrive using Linux mkfs.vfat? Can any one help?
Old 06-12-2008, 03:28 AM   #4
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Many ways to do it:

mkfs -t vfat /dev/sdb1
mkdosfs -F 32 /dev/sdb1
If it doesn't work, use fdisk and make sure there's a partition on /dev/sdb.


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