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I can't seem to get my USB drive to format anymore or be recognized by the file system (including gparted). How do I just wipe the whole thing and start over!?

dmesg

[ 5036.408102] usb 2-3: new high-speed USB device number 10 using ehci-pci
[ 5036.541307] usb 2-3: New USB device found, idVendor=14cd, idProduct=125a
[ 5036.541317] usb 2-3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=3, SerialNumber=2
[ 5036.541324] usb 2-3: Product: Mass Storage Device
[ 5036.541329] usb 2-3: Manufacturer: Generic
[ 5036.541335] usb 2-3: SerialNumber: 812520090519
[ 5036.542113] scsi7 : usb-storage 2-3:1.0
[ 5037.540969] scsi 7:0:0:0: Direct-Access     USB Mass Storage Device        PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
[ 5037.543899] sd 7:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
[ 5037.545946] sd 7:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk

fdisk

$ sudo fdisk /dev/sd
sda   sda1  sda2  sda3  sda5  sda6  sdb 
$ sudo fdisk /dev/sdb
fdisk: unable to open /dev/sdb: No medium found

dd

$ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1M
dd: opening ‘/dev/sdb’: No medium found
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2  
It seems to be that it is finished and cannot be used any more. – Xavierjazz Nov 27 '13 at 3:48
    
Is it making any weird sounds? Can you hear the heads moving? I guess smartctl /dev/sdb doesn't work either? – terdon Nov 27 '13 at 4:00
1  
It's a micro SD card and has no palette – Eric Fossum Nov 27 '13 at 4:06
    
If you still have this problem look at this: superuser.com/a/974426/289479 – Ifch0o1 Sep 17 '15 at 16:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It looks like reading from the NVRAM chip in the flash drive has failed, or the controller on the flash drive failed. Time to buy a new drive.

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Nooooooooo!!!!! Any way to check? – Eric Fossum Nov 27 '13 at 3:58
    
Try to access or format it on another computer. You could have a permissions issue, but I kind of doubt that. They are cheap enough that it's not worth putting too much effort into it. Amazon had some MicroSDs on sale - 16gb for ~$8, 32gb for ~$18 (USD). – Mat Carlson Nov 27 '13 at 15:05
    
Turns out it was the reader had failed. At a couple bucks, everyone should have a spare. – Eric Fossum Dec 19 '13 at 0:51

You should unmount the drive with root privileges.

$ sudo umount /dev/sdb

Ejecting the drive from the shell with user privileges won't cut it.

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