formatting protected USB memory sticks

Colin Rowat c.rowat at
Sat May 31 17:43:09 UTC 2008

Thank you Karl and Dan.

Could you walk me through the console commands that I should run?  

It sounds like I need to use (i) umount; (ii) fdisk; and (iii) mkfs. 
The first I can do (inc. from the ubuntu GUI).  As to the second, I
designate the whole USB stick by /dev/sdb?  How do I tell fdisk that I
want it to remove the existing partitions and impose a single new one?

Thank you for your patience with these newbie questions.



On Thu, 29 May 2008 17:27:37 -0600, "Karl Larsen" <k5di at>
> Colin Rowat wrote:
> > I was recently given a 1GB USB memory stick, formatted as drives E: and
> > F: for Windows.  One of the drives (/dev/sdb1, or /media/DISK_IMG) is
> > formatted as a fat16 blank disc.  The other is loaded with promotional
> > material that I would like to remove.  However, I cannot get gparted to
> > even recognise this partition (/media/Autorun).  It has also been
> > protected against reformatting by standard Windows XP administrative
> > tools.
> >
> > Is there any way to completely clear the memory stick, creating a
> > single, 1GB partition?
> >
> > Thank you in advance,
> >
> > Colin Rowat
> >
> >
> >
> >   
>     Try to use fdisk and it will let you do what you want. I unmount the 
> medium first and when umount you can put the file system on. I have some 
> of my 4 GB medium in VFAT and the rest is ext3.
>     To format use mkfs.ext3 -L name /dev/sdf1 and for the other use 
> mkfs.vfat -n name /dev/sdf2.
> You will love it.
> Karl
> -- 
> 	Karl F. Larsen, AKA K5DI
> 	Linux User
> 	#450462
>    PGP 4208 4D6E 595F 22B9 FF1C  ECB6 4A3C 2C54 FE23 53A7

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