Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was trying to setup an Ubuntu Remix boot-up drive on my 4 GB microSD card and accidentally formatted the card in some unknown format.

  1. Is there a way to determine what format I actually did format it into?
  2. Is there a way to re-format the card so I can use it again? Right now Ubuntu and Debian won't even recognize the card at all ... I don't see it anywhere.
share|improve this question

migrated from Jul 10 '10 at 17:46

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

When you say that they won't recognize the card at all, do you mean that they won't mount it, or that they don't even appear in /dev/? I'd get a partitioning tool (GPartEd is my favorite on Linux) and take a look at the card. Does it appear in the device list? – jcrawfordor Jul 9 '10 at 19:10
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try GParted first. It should show the device, as long as the card is plugged in. If not, the long way around it is:

  1. Take care at each step below. If you choose the wrong device in step 5, you will destroy all data on that device upon repartition/format
  2. Open up a shell (Terminal) window.
  3. Execute sudo fdisk -l (will ask for your acct password) and take note of the output, seeing which disk entries are listed (like /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, etc.).
  4. Plug in your card and re-run sudo fdisk -l to see the list of devices. There should be a new one in the list. Let's say it's /dev/SD for example, but substitute accordingly.
  5. Execute sudo fdisk /dev/SD
  6. Hit p to see how many partitions are on the device, then d with the appropriate number to delete all of them.
  7. Hit n and create a new primary partition. If you now hit p you should see it in the list. Hit w to write the new partition table to disk.
  8. Format the new partition with mkfs.ext2 /dev/SD1
  9. It should now show up.
share|improve this answer
Thanks, I don't care about any data on the drive. I'm looking to just put the Ubuntu Remix install bootup file on there. I'll try this out. – Brian T Hannan Jul 9 '10 at 20:34
Thanks, this helped a lot! – Brian T Hannan Jul 13 '10 at 18:00
Glad to have helped =) – xorbyte Jul 14 '10 at 19:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.