Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 04-30-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2008
Location: France and UK
Distribution: 10.10
Posts: 86

Rep: Reputation: 15
Formatting a USB memory stick

I have a 4 Gb memory stick which used to have OpenSuse on it but I don't use OpenSuse and wanted to use the stick for something else - for backing up my Mozilla Thunderbird installation.

I thought that by re-formatting the stick, using a file obtainable from the HP web site, suggested in connection with installing Linux on a memory stick, that it would leave me with an empty one but it hasn't; there is still a lot of OpenSuse stuff on it.

How can I "empty" it so that I can use it to transfer my Ubuntu Thunderbird to another computer which is also running Ubuntu.

I was going to open a terminal and type:

sudo cp -avr /home/chris/.thunderbird/ /media/disk

I have already tried this but it didn't appear to work, so is this not the right way to go about it?
Old 04-30-2010, 04:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Louisville, OH
Distribution: Debian, CentOS, Slackware, RHEL, Gentoo
Posts: 1,833

Rep: Reputation: 166Reputation: 166
Well lets take a look at what you actaully did there--

sudo cp -avr /home/chris/.thunderbird/ /media/disk
SUPER-USER-DO COPY --archive --verbose --recursive FROM /home/chris/.thunderbird/ TO /media/disk

So basically you added files to the key but you didn't remove anything or format in any way shape or form.

If you wish to DELETE the contents on the key use REMOVE
sudo rm -rf /media/disk/*
As with anything related to deletion or removal of files I suggest you have a tested good backup on hand... etc.

Generally you're not going to format something unless you need to change the file system that resides on it.
Old 04-30-2010, 06:34 PM   #3
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: cheltenham
Distribution: asus 1005ha/2gb ubuntu 9.10 + debian lenny on a tower and asus 901 /1gb backtrack 4
Posts: 33
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 16
ive formatted a few sd cards and usb sticks and have found that the easy method is when you plug in your stick an icon will appear on your desktop if not you will find it in places or computer but with the icon on the desktop right click and on the menu you will see format click and your there you have about 4 options to format to ie fat for linux/windows compatible or ext2 ext4 or encrypted also from the same dialogue box you can jump to disk utility where you have exta options ie partions
the other way to get to disk utility is /system/admin/disk utility
ive never had any problems using these methods
Old 05-01-2010, 12:29 AM   #4
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Japan
Distribution: Mostly Debian and CentOS
Posts: 6,075

Rep: Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433Reputation: 1433
fdisk and mkdosfs are probably the commands you are looking for.


1 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-01-2010, 04:31 AM   #5
Registered: Jul 2008
Location: France and UK
Distribution: 10.10
Posts: 86

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks, rweaver, for explaining what the command actually does. I am wondering if the destination is correct because when I did that command again there was a lot of activity but the LTD on the memory stick did not flash like it usually does when something is being written to it. Perhaps it should be /dev/sdd ? At the end of the process it said that it was written to /media/disk/ but the memory stick is empty.

Thanks too,bjrn64 and evo2, I have now formatted the memory stick


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Two USB memory devies (stick memory/jump drive) one works one not Mark_in_Hollywood Linux - Hardware 5 05-20-2008 08:35 PM
*** USB external hard drive and USB memory stick linux_2007_ Linux - General 1 07-17-2007 05:20 PM
USB memory, Compact Flash, Memory Stick energiza Linux - Hardware 2 08-22-2006 10:29 PM
Missing memory in USB stick, flash memory, removable hd etc bamboo_spider Linux - Newbie 3 06-14-2006 06:39 PM
Formatting my USB stick with ext3 makes stuff crash Khang Linux - Hardware 0 02-20-2005 08:11 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:17 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration