24.11 Format a USB Thumb Drive


As an example I had an old 16GB USB thumb drive that I wanted to make use of. It had already been partitioned in some way but could not be mounted and I was unable to determine its contents. Perhaps it had become corrupted in some way (which could be a sign that it is not reliable, so best no to use it for archival purposes). I plugged it in and used gnome-disks to determine the device name after selecting the 16 GB Thumb Drive (San Disk Cruzer Slice) entry from amongst the identified disks. The device was /dev/sde1. Since we may want to use this same USB thumb drive in different computers we will format it with an NTFS file system. Thus:

  $ sudo mkfs.ntfs /dev/sde1
  Cluster size has been automatically set to 4096 bytes.
  Initializing device with zeroes: 100% - Done.
  Creating NTFS volume structures.
  mkntfs completed successfully. Have a nice day.

This took quite some time given the zero wipe of the disk (writing zeros to the disk to reduce the possibility of data breach).

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