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Thread: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

  1. #1
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    How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    Hello All,

    I have a Sandisk cruzer USB 4gb flash stick - - that is very annoying to use on Windows machines. The problem is that 2 drive letters are assigned by Windows when using a U2 type drive, versus the standard 1 (causing all kinds of directory mgmt issues).

    Anyway, I want to see if I can use Ubuntu, to reformat the drive totally wiping out the current data, and assign the standard FAT32 file type to it.
    (I can't use my XP machine because I don't have admin rights (at work)).

    IF I were using it only on Linux, I would choose either Rieser or Ext3, but I need to use it in both OS's.

    So, what would be the command in Linux (or gui if available) to reformat the whole 4gb flash drive and install FAT32??

    Thanks much.

  2. #2
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    Easiest thing to do:

    On Gutsy:

    System>Administration>Partition Editor

    On the top right there should be an option to change disk (usually the current one is selected, i.e. you're ubuntu partition), change it to the usb stick (you can tell its the USB stick because of the size.

    Then click on the partition(s) of the usb drive and click on delete.

    Then right click and select Format, and select FAT32

    Then when you are happy with everything click Apply.

    Thats it!

  3. #3
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    Thanks, using Partition Editor sounds exactly like what I'm needing, but unfortunately, I don't have that option via "System>Administration" or via "System>Preferences".

    Is Partition Manager an application I can get in Synaptic? Or I could probably use a Live CD (don't have the Ubuntu Live with me) - but do have Mepis 7 which as gParted . . . ?

  4. #4
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    Sorry I assumed you had Ubuntu Gutsy. Partition manager is basically gparted.

    If you open a terminal and type in gparted it will run it.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    Partition Editor IS gparted. So just install gparted and you will be good to go

  6. #6
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    Thanks Guys! . . . your advice worked perfect. I searched for gparted in Synaptic, installed it, and it took less than a minute to reformat the flash drive and create a new fat32 partition. . (ain't Linux great, or what. . ).

    Greg
    Last edited by GregA; April 22nd, 2008 at 05:11 PM. Reason: typos

  7. #7
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    you can run
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gparted
    and then that option will be there. Woops, too slow - damn you multi-tasking!!! *shakes fist at the sky*

  8. #8
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive?? Not Solved Yet . .

    Well, let me report back that the overall mission (to remove the dreaded U2 data (programs) from the drive was not successful, even after using gParted to reformat the drive.

    It seems that these flash drives that have the U2 applications installed, somehow bypass the main partition of the drive, and either use a small hidden partition, or maybe the file has something like a MBR where these apps are stored.

    So, when I use the drive in XP, it still is assigned to F and G, with F being the U2 system apps & launcher. Even deleting the folders and "LaunchU3.exe" didn't remove these either.

    But I know these drives can be "cleansed" of this commercial techno-crud, but I don't how how yet. I wonder if there is some type of "low level" reformat command in Linux that will "see" and "wipe" ALL data from the Flash stick?

    Any other tips appreciated. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive?? Not Solved Yet . .

    I'm quite surprised because I had a 4gb corsair, and it erased everything. Make sure you delete ALL partitions in gparted before creating a new fat32. As in there should only be one line of partitions.

  10. #10
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    Re: How 2 Reformat a USB Flash "U2" Drive??

    There's about 9.3 megs of data on the drive "somewhere". gParted is only showing 1 partition of something like 3.89 gigs . . . let me try it again, or maybe I'll also try Qparted on the Mepis Live CD and see if it sees the hidden partition. . .

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