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I just bought this flash drive on eBay. It's a 4GB Imation Swivel. I have no interest in the proprietary encryption software that comes with it, in fact I'd rather not plug it into my Windows PC until I've reformatted and preferably re-partitioned it.

My plan was to boot Linux from a live CD and re-partition the flash drive from there. Trouble is, fdisk gives me strange output and I'm concerned that I might brick the drive. Should I worry, or just go ahead?

# fdisk -v
fdisk (util-linux-ng 2.13.1.1)
# fdisk -l /dev/sda1

Disk /dev/sda1: 3875 MB, 3875602432 bytes
120 heads, 62 sectors/track, 1017 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 7440 * 512 = 3809280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x6f20736b

This doesn't look like a partition table
Probably you selected the wrong device.

     Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1p1   ?      104589      258017   570754815+  72  Unknown
Partition 1 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(357, 116, 40) logical=(104588, 19, 11)
Partition 1 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(357, 32, 45) logical=(258016, 104, 51)
Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda1p2   ?       22674      282893   968014120   65  Novell Netware 386
Partition 2 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(288, 115, 43) logical=(22673, 38, 47)
Partition 2 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(367, 114, 50) logical=(282892, 20, 42)
Partition 2 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda1p3   ?      251329      511547   968014096   79  Unknown
Partition 3 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(366, 32, 33) logical=(251328, 18, 30)
Partition 3 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(357, 32, 43) logical=(511546, 119, 39)
Partition 3 does not end on cylinder boundary.
/dev/sda1p4   ?      387861      387868       27749+   d  Unknown
Partition 4 has different physical/logical beginnings (non-Linux?):
     phys=(372, 97, 50) logical=(387860, 44, 25)
Partition 4 has different physical/logical endings:
     phys=(0, 10, 0) logical=(387867, 99, 33)
Partition 4 does not end on cylinder boundary.

Partition table entries are not in disk order
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

/dev/sda1 is a partition, not a drive. You want /dev/sda.

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Right. Silly mistake! – Hugh Allen Mar 27 '12 at 9:15

Try writing

fdisk /dev/sda

in stead.

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While fdisk is a great tool, Gparted is a straight-forward GUI alternative. It's available in most live CDs, including Puppy.

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