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Reusing a USB Boot Drive - Format back to factory state?

I have an 8GB PQI USB stick, which has been giving me a hard time lately. Sometimes a file can't be read, other times uploading files to it gets stuck.

I was thinking about reformatting it completely, probably even erase the partition and create it from scratch?

I have Windows 7 and Ubuntu 11.04 available. What should I do with the USB stick to "restart" its life?

  • How old is the USB stick? Flash memory has a limited number of writes (like a solid state drive), so it could just be that your USB stick is near the end of it's lifetime. – Breakthrough Jul 7 '11 at 0:22
  • That's the problem - it's not very old. It was a rather expensive key I bought less than 1 year ago. I didn't really use it that much, I doubt I have depleted the number of writes on any sector. I may be wrong though ... – Richard Rodriguez Jul 7 '11 at 0:24

How old is the stick, and how much do you write to it? It's entirely possible that the memory cells are exhausted and failing.

From Win 7 I'd just try a full format. If that doesn't help, it's time to throw it out and buy a new one.

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