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How do you Format a RAW USB Flash Drive under WinXP

By richelm ยท 116 replies
Nov 28, 2004
  1. linuxactivist

    linuxactivist TS Rookie

  2. wov18x

    wov18x TS Rookie

    Be aware that using killdisk will most likely lead to deleting system files on the device you are formatting. Many of these system files may not be recovered since killdisk (depending on version) will erase write-protected clusters and if not will skip clusters until it has done its job. The device is then a RAW system which can be formatted on XP under disk management. I would not recommend using killdisk unless the drive cannot be formatted by partitions using windows disk management formatting.

    Depending on the device too, you will be able to find it's system files online incase you have deleted them completely. This is completely different procedure.
  3. CMNetworx

    CMNetworx TS Rookie

    My Solution

    Ok, So I pulled out my flash drive after I was working on it and the program I was using locked up and would not close after clicking "end now" various times..

    When I reinserted the drive it was detected, mounted and given a drive letter G:

    However, When I went to open it, it would say Incorrect Function. So I uninstalled the drivers and reinstalled, tried to format, would always say format failed, the disk may be bad/whatever...

    Tried most of the utilities, nothing could find my drive, tried the disk manager thing and the delete partition option was greyed out, Tried everything that I saw mentioned in the first 2 pages.

    What worked for me, CHKDSK !!!

    If you dont know how to run this, here is a quick rundown..

    Start > Run > CMD (press enter or click ok)
    In the emulated dos window now type
    chkdsk e: /f

    Assuming your disk is e, Change this accordingly to what your flash drive letter is..

    Chkdsk does a scan for Lost Chains, essentially corrupt crap..

    worked for me, hopefully it will work for you
  4. gabizodik

    gabizodik TS Rookie

    I have an mp3 player with 2G I have formated it with Win XP and now I can only see 128M of memory available. When I open it in the XP Disk Manager I can format it but I can't remove the partition nor do I see another partition there. The 128M works fine but I really want back my 2G, any ideas ?
    I saw some suggestions to use KillDisk, I tried it but it won't recognize my disk.
    Any other suggestions ?
  5. Zhoulom

    Zhoulom TS Rookie

    This worked for me

    Ok here we go.

    1. Reboot with your xp cd.

    2. Delete all partitions on your flash drive (do not delete the ones on you normal harddrives ;)).

    3. Create a new partition with the exact number of mbs your flash drive can handle (eg. 2gb is 2048mb) it will say its unable to format just ignore that.

    4. Then exit and reboot to XP.

    5. Use the diskmanagement tool in administrative tools to format your flash drive (I used FAT32).

    Hope this works for you :)

    Thx everyone else here on the board for your tips
  6. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    That won't work if your key/pen is stuck with a RAW file system.
  7. Zhoulom

    Zhoulom TS Rookie

    Have you tried..?

    Greeno did you try my example?

    I had an RAW flash disk and it worked.
  8. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    Yeah mate, It's just a defective unit I think
  9. gabizodik

    gabizodik TS Rookie

    how to delete the partition on the USB Flash memory

    Can you please elaborate on the idea of rebooting XP from the CD ?
    If I simply use the XP install CD then it will try to reinstall WinXP.
  10. Zhoulom

    Zhoulom TS Rookie

    Before the installation process copy the installation files to your harddrive you are asked where you want to install XP and then you can chose to delete and create new partitions. (Thats what you want to do)

    So bascily you do what you want to do with your paritions and then reboot before the step of copying files to your harddrive.

    Hope thats enugh for ya ;)
  11. gabizodik

    gabizodik TS Rookie

    how to find lost memory on a Flash USB

    Thanks for the clarification, it worked ! I was able to delete the partition. Unfortunatly this didn't solve my original problem, KillDisk and WinXP still allow me only to create a 119MB partition. At this point I give up I must assume the memory is damaged or else I have no other ideas.

  12. Zhoulom

    Zhoulom TS Rookie

    Have you tried to manually enter the amount of mbs to be used in the partition? (With the XP cd) For example 2 gb is 2048 mb and 1 gb is 1024 mb.
  13. gabizodik

    gabizodik TS Rookie

    unable to re-create 2GB partition

    Yes I tried to create a 2048MB partition but it wouldn't allow me to go above 119MB.
  14. athul

    athul TS Rookie

    Re Helppp!!!

    hey mee too have the same prob. i was using a sony USB pen drive with mp3. It was having a 2 GB memory. I had to format the drive.. now it shows only a small 246MB memory, I am fed up. took it to many shops but to no avail.. now i am stuck up with 246 MB aftr paying a woopin amt for 2GB!!!
    Pls help..
    saw ur post on the same matter. wil be gr8ful if u would attach the driver u got, to my mail,

    pls help.. thx
  15. TheBigCheese

    TheBigCheese TS Rookie

    How I Did It

    I have a ACP-EP PrivacyDrive (1GB) and I'm running WinXP. I ran into the same problem you were all having. i tried every trick. I did low-level formatting on it (unsuccessfully). Disk Management wouldnt let me repartition, not to mention reformat it. In the end I disabled my Norton Antivirus (temporarily) and it worked like a charm. **You might have to 'eject', unplug, and re-plug in your flash drive before being able to reformat it. For those using similar systems as me, I recommend using a FAT partition. I hope you all receive the good fortune I had =D
  16. msafari

    msafari TS Rookie

    thanks so much
  17. athul

    athul TS Rookie

    hey tried tat but to no avail. still stuck up with 246 MB

    hey i wud be greatful if u wud attach n send me the driver which corrected your problem. my mail id is athul_007@rediffmail.com
  18. TheBigCheese

    TheBigCheese TS Rookie

    Drivers were never an issue for me. At first it might seem like using new drivers would help, but that turned out not to be my problem. Before during and after my issue, I was always using the default WinXP drivers (that install automatically)
  19. bani

    bani TS Rookie

    Hi All,

    I'm new to this forum and got here trying to fix my USB flash drive that I had effectively killed by trying to format it.

    Thanks MetroidFan2002 for your detailed post on how to fix it.

    The free version of Killdisk is DOS based, but it works just fine once you have booted in DOS from the boot floppy and open killdisk.exe.


  20. jgarcia916

    jgarcia916 TS Rookie

    try this free software


    I have a 1gb Privacy Drive that was RAW and it kept showing write protection when i tried to format it through windows. I tried everything that was on this forum before, but nothing worked. With this software I formatted (quick erase) and it worked!!
  21. pubudupnj

    pubudupnj TS Rookie

    Thank So much!!

    Had the same problem. Followed your advice. And I'm happy to say it solved my problem. I'll try to explain others how to do it without logging customer care.
    Thanks again!!
  22. pubudupnj

    pubudupnj TS Rookie

    Will this solve your problem?

    Formatting the built-in flash memory of the player.
    (Not sure for all, but for Sony- E series)


    Please follow the steps below to format the built-in flash memory of the player.

    Press and hold the /HOME button in stop mode until the HOME screen appears.
    Press the / button to select (MENU) and press the button to confirm.
    Press the / button to select Advanced Menu> and press the button to confirm.
    Press the / button to select Intialize> and press the button to confirm.
    Press the / button to select Format> and press the button to confirm.
    Press the / button to select OK and press the button to confirm. "Formatting..." message appears and formatting starts. When formatting is complete, COMPLETE message appears.
    To return to the previous menu. Press and hold the /HOME button until the display changes.

    To cancel formatting. Select Cancel in step 6 and press the button to confirm.


    Do not format the built-in flash memory of the player on the computer.
    All data stored in the built-in flash memory will be erased when formatted.

    -- Extracted from the Sony site...... Send your comments to me.
  23. Crabcancer

    Crabcancer TS Rookie

    Hmm, thanks for all the wonderful tips to recovering a flash drive.

    Have tried all of them but computer will still not allow me to access the damn thing. Says insert media but for all purposes, it shows up in my computer.

    Have tried
    1. Active Killdisk - unable to detect it (using floppy and cd)
    2. PC Inspector Smart recovery - can read all the sectors with no problems but can recover the files
    3. HP USB disk format tool - cannot detect disk
    4. Disk management (WIN XP) - drive is unreadable

    Hmm, only thing left to do is to use it as a door step I guess? But am hoping against hope that it will not be necessary.

    Drive specs - Astone Swift 1GB

    Anybody can offer help, I am more than willing to try. After all, what is the worst that can happen? It's 3/4 into the electronical grave anyway.
  24. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    You didn't try a 98se or a live linux format of it. Format as FAT32.
  25. Crabcancer

    Crabcancer TS Rookie

    Hmm, at the risk of sounding stupid, how do I get hold of a 98SE O/S. Use to have it in my laptop. But it's gone kaput! on me already.

    Is there some way about it? I do have the 98SE installation disc still (Hoarder instinct pays off).
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