formatting protected USB memory sticks

Colin Rowat c.rowat at
Mon Jun 2 14:03:00 UTC 2008

> Unless there is a typo, the first partition is named /dev/scd1. That
> would mean it is actually recognized as a CDROM and is probably not writeable. 
> Then you can't reuse the space because the device actually behaves like 
> two devices - one CDROM and one writeable disk.

Thank you Nils - yes, I can confirm the /dev/scd1 designation for the
first device.

> You can find out if that is really the case. Unplug the device and open a 
> terminal. Enter the command
> tail -f /var/log/messages
> Now have a look at what is displayed after you plug the device in again. 
> If there is something like this
>  sr1: scsi3-mmc drive: 52x/52x cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
>  sr 4:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 5
> it really behaves like a CDROM (I left away the first part of the lines 
> for readability).

I receive the virtually identical:

sr3: scsi3-mmc drive: 40x/40x writer cd/rw xa/form2 cdda tray
sr 6:0:0:1: Attached scsi generic sg3 type 5

There's nothing that I can do about this, then?

This may seem like a lot of work for a single USB stick.  In this case,
everyone in my office has an identical one, though, so I'm trying to be
a good colleague.

Best, and thank you,

Colin Rowat

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