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!?


[ 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


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


$ sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1M
dd: opening ‘/dev/sdb’: No medium found
  • 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

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.

| improve this answer | |
  • 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.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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