Can't format USB Stick

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whois1230
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Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:26 pm

Hello, I am running Mint 18.3 Cinnamon 64-bit on a new Lenovo Laptop. I have a USB-Stick(Intenso Alu Line 64GB anthrazit) which I had encrypted on my older laptop(which is broken and can't read USB devices anymore) under the same operating system. I can't use this USB stick and I can't format it. I tried copying files, but it doesn't work too. I tried to format it with Linux's USB Formatting Tool and LUKS(Disks), as well as G-Parted and Windows's 10 USB Formatting Tool. None of these methods work. I looked up in Google whether there's a way to open the stick, but can't find any info. It's a german brand of USB which is relatively new I guess. Any ideas on how I can make it usable again? I get the following Error, when I try to format it using the program 'Disks': Error formatting Volume: Error synchronizing after initial wipe: Timed out waiting for object(u-disks error-quark, -0)

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AndyMH
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by AndyMH » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:55 pm

I'd first have a look at it with gparted (you will have to install from software manager). I think creating a new partition table will wipe it. Then add a new partition in the format of your choice.

Alternatively - Don't know whether this will work, but worth a try. Install mkusb, see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb on how to. There is an option to 'restore to a standard storage device'. Normally I use this option to 'reset' a USB stick after I've used it as a bootable USB and want to use it for storage again. Might work.
Screenshot from 2018-11-15 23-46-25.png
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notned
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by notned » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:55 pm

This has been my exact question. Thank You! I don't see a way to bookmark or favorite. Can I leave this here so I can find this again?

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AndyMH
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by AndyMH » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:22 pm

That's one of the ways of doing it - so it shows up in 'my posts' :) I have to say that I have loads of bookmarks in my browser pointing at forum topics of interest.

BTW, if using gparted make sure you are looking at the usb stick before you create a new partition table (drop down box top right in the gparted window) - wouldn't want to wipe your primary disk :(
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:11 am

As I had said in my original post, I already tried G-Parted.

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kc1di
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by kc1di » Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:44 am

I'm afraid if you encrypted it it may be lost without the original encryption key.
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whois1230
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:17 pm

kc1di wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:44 am
I'm afraid if you encrypted it it may be lost without the original encryption key.
Yes, that is a possibility, however, I don't even get prompted to enter the encryption key so that I can unlock it. I remember the key

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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by AndyMH » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:30 pm

Have you seen this:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/377253/ ... or-quark-0

Did you unmount the usb stick before trying to wipe/reformat it?
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:00 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:30 pm
Have you seen this:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/377253/ ... or-quark-0

Did you unmount the usb stick before trying to wipe/reformat it?
I did, and it still didn't work

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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by notned » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:48 pm

Did you try the mkusb idea?

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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:59 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:55 pm
I'd first have a look at it with gparted (you will have to install from software manager). I think creating a new partition table will wipe it. Then add a new partition in the format of your choice.

Alternatively - Don't know whether this will work, but worth a try. Install mkusb, see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb on how to. There is an option to 'restore to a standard storage device'. Normally I use this option to 'reset' a USB stick after I've used it as a bootable USB and want to use it for storage again. Might work.

Screenshot from 2018-11-15 23-46-25.png
I tried mkusb, didn't work either.

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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:59 pm

notned wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:48 pm
Did you try the mkusb idea?
Yes, it didn't work

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CaptainKirksChair
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by CaptainKirksChair » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:21 pm

If you have a Windows computer available, I recommend using diskpart. Here is the command line syntax.

Insert the USB drive into the Windows computer and open a command prompt as administrator, then enter this:

Code: Select all

diskpart
Wait for the DISKPART> prompt then enter this:

Code: Select all

list disk
The disks will be listed starting with 0 (zero) as your main hard drive. Look for the drive that matches your USB drive. If it is an 8GB drive, the size should be somewhere above 7500MB. Example: I have a hard drive and a DVD drive, so the first two disks on my system are Disk 0 and Disk 1 (hard drive and DVD drive respectively). When I insert a USB drive, that becomes Disk 2. Now enter this:

Code: Select all

select disk #
Where # is the number of your USB drive. You will told that Disk # is the selected disk. Enter the following to show which is the selected disk:

Code: Select all

list disk
The selected disk will have an asterisk (*) next to the name. If your USB drive has the asterisk (and before you continue, IT SHOULD) then all commands from this point forward will be on the selected disk. Enter this:

Code: Select all

clean all
This will destroy all information on the drive by writing zeros to every sector. The larger the drive the longer this will take. Again, be sure your selected disk is the USB drive! When it is finished, enter:

Code: Select all

exit
Diskpart will exit. Now, insert the USB drive into your Mint computer and use the USB Stick Formatter on it. Everything should be good.

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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:32 am

CaptainKirksChair wrote:
Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:21 pm
If you have a Windows computer available, I recommend using diskpart. Here is the command line syntax.

Insert the USB drive into the Windows computer and open a command prompt as administrator, then enter this:

Code: Select all

diskpart
Wait for the DISKPART> prompt then enter this:

Code: Select all

list disk
The disks will be listed starting with 0 (zero) as your main hard drive. Look for the drive that matches your USB drive. If it is an 8GB drive, the size should be somewhere above 7500MB. Example: I have a hard drive and a DVD drive, so the first two disks on my system are Disk 0 and Disk 1 (hard drive and DVD drive respectively). When I insert a USB drive, that becomes Disk 2. Now enter this:

Code: Select all

select disk #
Where # is the number of your USB drive. You will told that Disk # is the selected disk. Enter the following to show which is the selected disk:

Code: Select all

list disk
The selected disk will have an asterisk (*) next to the name. If your USB drive has the asterisk (and before you continue, IT SHOULD) then all commands from this point forward will be on the selected disk. Enter this:

Code: Select all

clean all
This will destroy all information on the drive by writing zeros to every sector. The larger the drive the longer this will take. Again, be sure your selected disk is the USB drive! When it is finished, enter:

Code: Select all

exit
Diskpart will exit. Now, insert the USB drive into your Mint computer and use the USB Stick Formatter on it. Everything should be good.
Hi, I followed your instructions to the letter, and when I reached the clean all command, the following error appeared: DiskPart has encountered an error: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error. See the System Event Log for more information.. After that I entered the exit command and it closed.

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CaptainKirksChair
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by CaptainKirksChair » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:06 pm

If you selected the USB drive (and not the optical drive or the primary hard drive) then the USB stick is bad.

Basically, the clean all command from diskpart is a low level format of the drive. It sounds like diskpart can't access the drive. You can select it because the operating system recognizes that a USB drive has been inserted. It's just that the drive media may be corrupted beyond the capacity of any utility to format it. Even if you were able to format it, I would question the integrity of the stick itself. You probably don't want to put data on it anyway because you may lose it. I would get another USB stick; it's safer and more reliable.

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all41
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by all41 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:48 pm

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whois1230
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Re: Can't format USB Stick

Post by whois1230 » Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:57 am

all41 wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:48 pm
Have a look at this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=276754&hilit=treat#p1520631
Hi, I ran sudo shred -s $((2048*512)) -vzn0 /dev/sdc and an error appeared, the output is: shred: /dev/sdc: pass 1/1 (000000)...
shred: /dev/sdc: error writing at offset 0: Remote I/O error
.Here is a detailed view: https://pastebin.com/raw/uLVxFZhN

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