How do you Format a RAW USB Flash Drive under WinXP

By richelm · 116 replies
Nov 28, 2004
  1. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    if you follow my instructions, you will have it back.

    GO TO disk control panel
    goto administrative tools
    go to computer management
    go to disk management

    find the letter of your flash drive
    low level format it under FAT32

    BAM! you have it back

    whatever you had on your flash drive is gone.
    if you can't read your flash drive and you haven't tried my fix, assume your data is lost.
    you can try a tool like PC inspector smart recovery, but if your computer recognizes your flash drive, yet won't access it, your data is gone.

    An easy way this happens is:
    1. You formatted the flash drive by accident thinking it was another hard disk. (Always remove flash drives when partitioning other hard disks.)
    2. You failed to STOP the flash drive before removing it and the flash drive became corrupted.
  2. logitech

    logitech TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Im trying to format mine but its unable to format using the disk administrative tool ...

    Any other suggestions ?? (The partition thing is not highlighted for my Sandisk Cruzer Mini)

    Need help urgently !!!!!
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    then it's dead
  4. logitech

    logitech TS Rookie Posts: 17

    Is there another program that i could use ??

    Cuz this thing is brand new ... i jus used it for a couple of minutes ....
  5. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

  6. logitech

    logitech TS Rookie Posts: 17

    The HP program says "The Media Is Write Protected" ...

    How do i remove the write protection ??
    (It dosent have a notch on the side or anything ...)

    I URGENTLY need to fix it ...
  7. Vinnie

    Vinnie TS Rookie

    THANK YOU for your KillDisk fix! I didn't know that app existed, and it brought my poor little 64MB flash drive to 62MB of strength! Of course, it's still down 2MB, but its better than 47!

    Thank god for bigger geeks than me ;)
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    then you still have a partition issue.

    Go to disk management and find that usb drive.

    format the remaining parition, or delete the existing one and do a total format.

    You have to be careful with USB drives.

    if they're really stubburn, it's much better to just get a new one. heck. you can get a 1gig USB drive for $50 has them
  9. sam8988378

    sam8988378 TS Rookie

    I followed your instructions, then tried the buslink. "No Music" it said, although I had loaded some music. I moved the side toggle to voice. "no Music" it replied. The response was the same when I went through music, voice, information, music, & format :knock:

    I said harsh things to it, then put it into the USB port. I wanted to check it out with windows explorer, which told me that the drive wasn't formatted :dead: ???

    I've pretty much given up on it but hate the idea of something happening and not knowing why or what. After all, if you don't know w or w, how can you make sure it doesn't happen again?

    On a more positive note, the generic 128mb mp3 (which had been quick-formatted into oblivion), is now operating, using the Lyra firmware update. Go figure!
  10. BarryRon

    BarryRon TS Rookie

    The HP Tool Saved Me!

    I have a generic no-mane brand flash drive that was "stuck" in RAW format mode and Windows XP was unable to do a thing with it.

    This HP flash drive formatter fixed it in an instant, and as far as I'm concerned it was a miracle worker — and it was FREE!

    Thank you very much Mictlantecuhtli :)
  11. agentjam

    agentjam TS Rookie

    I need help as well! My 4gb usb key was formatted by my stupid when i plug it in, XP loads a "generic usb storage device driver" and when i try to click on the drive (E: ) in "My Computer," it says to "insert a disk in drive E:"

    Now i can't re-format it, or even find it in the Device Manager, Killdisk, or anything else related to solving this problem.

    Sorry guys, but i'm lost...

  12. Tempo

    Tempo TS Rookie

    I have a similar. My Sony VAIO 2GB USB Flash was in FAT format. Since it was making errors (files and folders could not be opened, or opened with data as 0's), I re-formatted it in FAT32. I tried to copy about 1.5GB of data onto it, but not everything was copied. Then I tried to re-format it again but the message "Insert a disk in drive E:" appeared. In Windows Explorer it appears as a removable drive, but when one clicks on it, that insert disk message appears.

    I DO NOT need to recover any data from it. All I want is to totally erase/kill all the files on it before returning it to the seller because there are some sensitive data among the files copied onto this USB Flash. Any low-cost/free solution would be whole-heartedly appreciated. Many thanks in advance!
  13. lefterlefterovs

    lefterlefterovs TS Rookie

    USB formating

    who can halpp me
    i have USB My Flash 512 and it's write protected, I tried to solove the problem by killdisk and HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool but itisn't worked
  14. dark_destiny

    dark_destiny TS Rookie

    I have similar problem with this guy but I have 2 GB instead of 4 can anyone help me
  15. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Usually the write protection is a switch on the side of the stick. Is this not the case here?

    It could also be that USB devices have been set read-only in Windows as a security measure. Have you tried it as an administrator?
  16. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    One low-cost (or free) thing to do this would be to download a Linux live CD, boot to it, and wipe the USB stick with dd command. Does that sound too difficult?

    The drive shredder utilities I found for "Windows" seem to be bootable floppies, so you'd need drivers for USB devices before using them, gets even more difficult if you ask me.
  17. dark_destiny

    dark_destiny TS Rookie

    that mean I need to buy Linux live CD and use that to format my USB stick? :knock:
    also can you show me step by step of doing this because I want my USB stick come back please?
  18. osram

    osram TS Rookie Posts: 47

    well im glad running around with my iAudio U2 from cowon systems as i read this.

    1GB of storage.. perfect mp3-flash-player software and its just wonderful. i can only recommend this one.

    Also there is a special nifty glorious reset button on this unit. so u can simply reset the player yourself when having problems. ^^

    i can only laff @ the people with the sticks. you belong into the woods evil woodelves!
    now i can finally print my own t-shirt: "dont laff thai!"
  19. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Here's how I wiped my Kingston DataTraveler Elite:

    1. Download BG-Rescue Linux (I got the bootable CD image)

    2. Burn / write it, boot from it.

    3. Reply yes to use USB 2.0 support.

    4. dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1k will fill the stick with zeroes.

    5. fdisk /dev/sda to create a new partition to it.

    6. press n to create new partition, p = primary, 1 = first one. Enter twice for the size.

    7. press t to change the partition type, type b for FAT32.

    8. press w to write changes and exit.

    9. mkfs.fat32 /dev/sda1 will create a FAT32 partition to the stick.

    10. Reboot to Windows.
  20. dark_destiny

    dark_destiny TS Rookie

    I download disk 2 and I can't open it do I need disk 2???
  21. t_bird1199

    t_bird1199 TS Rookie

    Hey Tedster, how do i exactly delete the old partition and create a new one. You see, i have a 512 Mb flash drive/mp3 player and i formatted it and now it only claims to have 118 Mb. How do i restore it to 512 Mb. I followed you up to the part of going to the disk management on the computer. But what do i do after that? I would really appreaciate the help. Thanks

  22. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

  23. cryptkeeper

    cryptkeeper TS Rookie

    THE answer to formating your flash usb drive 128mb

    simply follow theses steps
    1.right click on my computer
    2.choose manage disk magement
    and then look for disk 1 removeable drive
    4.right click and choose partion
    5.then just follow the wizard

    later brought 2 you by illusions ent.
  24. cryptkeeper

    cryptkeeper TS Rookie

    THe Answer to formating our usb drive 128mb

    Please Help.
    simply follow theses steps
    1.right click on my computer
    2.choose manage disk magement
    and then look for disk 1 removeable drive
    4.right click and choose partion
    5.then just follow the wizard

    later brought 2 you by illusions ent.
  25. skali

    skali TS Rookie

    formatting new drive/usb/external hdd under winxp

    i've just bought a notebook hdd and put it into my sarotech casing.*pling* and now i've got an usb hdd. after browsing for information since my winxp didn't recognize my new hdd, i've came across here: and it had helped me a lot! it turns out that using computer management in winxp (already there!) is easy!. ;) try it my friends!! peace :giddy:
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