can't format usb drive

December 13, 2008 at 11:14:12
Specs: windows xp, 1024
Hello, i got a damaged 4gb kingston datatraveler pendrive. Problem is that, although windows recognizes it, the pendrive seems to be dead, the system asks for formatting the device but it seems to be impossible, i tried disk management and low level format to no avail.

I read that deleting the partition might solve the problem but i cant find a way of doing so. What can i do?

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December 13, 2008 at 12:50:15
Throw it away. Is there all sorts of junk piling up at your home also? :)

Otherwise try a linux live cd or the HP tools.

Damaged and flash drive usually mean don't fool with it anymore.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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December 13, 2008 at 13:21:42
You can get false messages about a USB connected drive, including it's not formatted, if you connect to certain USB ports, or if there is a problem with the wiring to it, or if your power supply is out of whack regarding the 5v the USB requires.
See response 3 in this:

If you connect the flash drive to a properly working USB port, you should be able to format the drive in Disk Management if it's not physically damaged.

Some flash drives have a tiny write protect switch - you can't format the drive unless the switch is in the position that enables you to.

Windows greys out Delete Partition in Disk Mangement for a flash drive, so by default you can't delete it.
However, you can use something to trick Windows into seeing it as a non-removable drive, in which case you can delete the partition.
I answered a subject about a USB flash drive a long while back, and found a solution, and he found something else, but I can't find it presently.

Try searching on the web, using: "delete partition" "flash drive", and
"delete partition flash drive"
or similar.


wipe the partition table clean, the linux way:

Some flash drives come with software you install in Windows, or you can download the software from their web site, that you can use to remove (or create, or re-size, or format) the partition.

"How to I remove or resize a partition on my Imation Swivel Pro Flash Drive?

To resize or remove a secure partition, you will need to do the following:

Open the Flash Manager software on your hard drive
Choose Create a partition
Move the slider to zero (0)
You will see a message that your drive will reset to factory settings. All data on the drive will be lost, and the Imation Flash Manager software will reformat your drive to an all public partition. You will now be able to resize the partition."

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December 13, 2008 at 13:41:17
Does disk management show a partition?

If at first you don't succeed, you're about average.


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Related Solutions

December 13, 2008 at 16:34:15
Mechanix2Go: Disk management shows the partition, but the option of deleting partition cant be used.

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December 14, 2008 at 16:40:26
I've got a micro sd card like that, you could try windows enabler to get the option to delete the partition then reformat it afterwards, but it probably won't work...

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December 14, 2008 at 18:10:55
Judago: the program worked and delete partition wasnt greyed out this time, however i wasnt able to create a new partition. i think my usb has no chance after all, thanks anyway.

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December 14, 2008 at 18:50:51
Since the drive greyed out try formatting it with hp flash drive formatter
download site (click on the "Primary Download Site" link).

Apparently it is better to use this sort of utility to format usb flash drives, it's ment to be kinder on them.

It's a long shot, but hey 2mb....

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