Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
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 02-24-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
Registered: May 2008
Posts: 89

Rep: Reputation: 15
How to format a USB drive?

Simple question.

I'd like to format a NTFS drive to EXT3.

Is there a simple way to do this?

All of the documentation I find is far too complex for the task at hand.

Please help?
Old 02-24-2009, 07:32 PM   #2
LQ Guru
Registered: Jan 2009
Location: Gordonsville-AKA Mayberry-Virginia
Distribution: PocketWriter/MinimalX
Posts: 5,087

Rep: Reputation: 338Reputation: 338Reputation: 338Reputation: 338

Use Gparted, after opening-goto "gparted menu and pick your USB-see screenshot.
Next, right click on the USB in gparted and unmount it-see screenshot.
Now, right-click again on it and choose either DELETE or FORMAT TO...FAT16 or FAT32-your choice, or EXT3.
Now hit apply and your done!

Last edited by linus72; 03-11-2009 at 07:48 AM.
Old 02-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #3
Registered: May 2008
Posts: 89

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Sorry i Should have clarified

This is for a Redhat based system

command line only

fdisk may be my only option..
Old 02-24-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
LQ 5k Club
Registered: Aug 2005
Distribution: OpenSuse, Fedora, Redhat, Debian
Posts: 5,398
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908Reputation: 908
Assuming the partition already exists,
mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdc1
Replace sdc1 with the appropriate partition name for your thumbdrive.

man mke2fs

--- rod.
Old 02-24-2009, 07:57 PM   #5
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Kolkata, India
Distribution: Debian 64-bit GNU/Linux, Kubuntu64, Fedora QA, Slackware,
Posts: 2,766

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Use parted

or mkfs.ext3 mkfs.... for the task

mkfs gives you more control

#man mkfs

parted lets you manipulate the partitions and do lot more
Old 02-24-2009, 08:24 PM   #6
Registered: Feb 2009
Posts: 100

Rep: Reputation: 21
Assuming that you know the device name of your hard disk and the partition name of the part that needs formatting. First step is to unmount that volume from it's mount directory (if it is mounted).
umount /mnt
Then you can format your partition on the unmounted device (needs to be root for this)
/sbin/mkfs.ext3 /dev/sda1
Of course replace my samples with your device and mountpoint.

The formatting tool is actually mke2fs, but some distributions provide script or binaries for specific filesystem formatting. mkfs.ext3 is typical on Fedora. Read man mke2fs for details.

The above information actually only overwrites the filesystem. For full hard disk formatting and repartitionaing you need /sbin/fdisk (type m for help info).


Last edited by gergely89; 02-27-2009 at 11:59 PM. Reason: added fdisk note
Old 02-25-2009, 01:15 PM   #7
Registered: May 2008
Posts: 89

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15


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
How to format a usb flash drive eypros Linux - Software 4 04-19-2006 02:06 PM
How to format a USB flash drive? Erik_the_Red Linux - Hardware 4 08-29-2005 01:47 PM
USB Drive Format and Image aeuzent Linux - Newbie 2 06-25-2005 01:39 AM
USB Drive in 8.3 File Format dkpw Slackware 4 03-21-2005 06:31 PM
trouble format USB hard drive shortname Fedora 2 03-11-2005 12:05 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:45 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
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration