Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software
User Name
Linux - Software This forum is for Software issues.
Having a problem installing a new program? Want to know which application is best for the job? Post your question in this forum.


  Search this Thread
Old 04-19-2006, 05:46 AM   #1
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Salonica
Distribution: Xubuntu
Posts: 40

Rep: Reputation: 15
How to format a usb flash drive


firstly I am not sure if it's more hardware than software issue.
Anyway I have a 512MB flash drive/ radio. I used it to transfer files from a win98 in work to Fedora Core 3/winXP system back home.

First the XP stopped to recognise the drive saying it was unformatted. It didn't mind me much since fedora worked fine as win98 also.

But then win98 failed and finally fedora also.

Now only Suse 10 recognise it but it crashes after a while if I see it with Konqueror.

I tried to format it with XP failde, I figured with linux it would be ok if I choose fat32.

With mkfs.ext3 all seemed to work but when the process is over nothing has changed. Old data are still on the flash. The same occur with mkfs.fat (or something like that I can't remember whether is fat32 or fat).

How could I low level format it. And I guess formatting means lossing all data right. I can't figure why is this happening.

My radio now it doesn't work either and just displays "wrong file system" and shuts down.

Help for any ideas
Old 04-19-2006, 06:42 AM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: London, England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,460

Rep: Reputation: 48
You could use "shred" to completely wipe out the whole disk. Or "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda" would do much the same (Replace /dev/sda with whatever's correct)
Old 04-19-2006, 07:08 AM   #3
Wim Sturkenboom
Senior Member
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Roodepoort, South Africa
Distribution: Ubuntu 12.04, Antix19.3
Posts: 3,794

Rep: Reputation: 282Reputation: 282Reputation: 282
Originally Posted by eypros
I can't figure why is this happening.
It might be that your flashdisk is at the end of it's life. The amount of write cycles is limited. Each time you write a file to disk, the fat is updated. Maybe the fat can't be updated anymore and got corrupted.
Old 04-19-2006, 01:08 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 8

Rep: Reputation: 0
usb survival guide link

hello! well i am not really an expert but on the page

there was an intro that helped me quite a lot (thanx a lot eric! ) you can also have a look which slot was used by the command dmesg:
[4331776.608000] usb 5-2: USB disconnect, address 3
[4331779.024000] usb 5-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 4
[4331779.103000] scsi1 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
[4331779.105000] usb-storage: device found at 4
[4331779.105000] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[4331784.106000]   Vendor: SanDisk   Model: Cruzer Micro      Rev: 0.1
[4331784.106000]   Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
[4331784.109000] SCSI device sda: 501759 512-byte hdwr sectors (257 MB)
[4331784.110000] sda: Write Protect is off
[4331784.110000] sda: Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
[4331784.110000] sda: assuming drive cache: write through
[4331784.114000] SCSI device sda: 501759 512-byte hdwr sectors (257 MB)
[4331784.115000] sda: Write Protect is off
[4331784.115000] sda: Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
[4331784.115000] sda: assuming drive cache: write through
[4331784.115000]  /dev/scsi/host1/bus0/target0/lun0: p1
[4331784.125000] Attached scsi removable disk sda at scsi1, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
[4331784.133000] usb-storage: device scan complete
[4331784.701000] FAT: utf8 is not a recommended IO charset for FAT filesystems, filesystem will be case sensitive!
the "sda:" entries tell you which device was used; sda(1) here (only one partition on my usb-stick )

hope that helps!

cu ede

Last edited by edeCh; 04-19-2006 at 01:15 PM.
Old 04-19-2006, 02:06 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2006
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Why are you formating the drive with EXT3? You might want to check the partion table using cfdisk or parted.

Try this:

parted /dev/sda (or whatever you drive is linked to)
(parted) mkfs 1 fat32

Make a fat32 file system on partition 1.


disk, fdisk, flash, format, mkfs, usb

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
Format a jump drive or flash card on linux richardo Linux - Software 1 03-26-2006 05:57 AM
Format a Compact Flash Drive While Mounted sadarax Linux - General 2 12-15-2005 04:26 AM
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 > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Software

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:29 PM.

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