Can't Reformat a thumb drive

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  • #1
anorlunda
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Today is not a good day. @Wrichik Basu can't boot his Windows PC. Today my Chromebook said "Can't find ChromeOS ..." and won't boot. :H

Following Google's instructions, I made a recovery device on a USB thumb drive using another computer. The recovery failed; it must be a real hardware memory failure on the mother board. :H:cry: So scratch my Chromebook. But I at least want to recover my USB thumb drive.

But now, when I plug the thumb drive into my Windows 10 PC, it is not recognized at all. I can't erase files because there is no drive. I can't reformat the drive, because it recognizes no drive. However, under Device Manager, I can see a "USB Mass Storage Device" appear when I plug it in.

Any ideas on how to reformat the USB thumb drive?
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #3
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cmd.exe (run as administrator) -> diskpart -> list disk (find usb drive in list, note disk number) -> select Disk 1 (substitute correct number for 1) -> clean -> exit -> diskmgmt.exe (right -click on USB drive) -> New Simple Volume -> follow prompts to create new partition table, and then format (NTFS or exFAT -- Win 10 uses NTFS, but exFAT is more lightweight and more intercompatible and was designed for USB flash devices).
 
  • #6
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Today is not a good day. @Wrichik Basu can't boot his Windows PC. Today my Chromebook said "Can't find ChromeOS ..." and won't boot. :H
Seems two computers across the globe teamed up over the internet and decided to put their owners in trouble. :devil:

This is not an answer to the question in the OP, but you can reinstall the OS on a Chromebook and get it up and running again. See the instructions. The sad part is that you will lose your data. If possible, you can send your hard disk for data recovery before reinstalling the OS.
 
  • #9
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Would Knoppix on a thumb drive help to retrieve the data on the drive?

https://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
Found this on Unix SE:
It's not possible to boot from external devices on a Chromebook as they use a firmware NOT a BIOS. It is possible to install it in a "chroot", where you use a directory as your filesystem and run it alongside ChromeOS.
Not being able to boot from external devices just made using Knoppix more difficult, in my opinion. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth a try.
 
  • #10
anorlunda
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It seems that details on these things are different under Win10.

cmd.exe (run as administrator) -> diskpart -> list disk (find usb drive in list, note disk number) -> select Disk 1 (substitute correct number for 1) -> clean -> exit -> diskmgmt.exe (right -click on USB drive) -> New Simple Volume -> follow prompts to create new partition table, and then format (NTFS or exFAT -- Win 10 uses NTFS, but exFAT is more lightweight and more intercompatible and was designed for USB flash devices).
I'm working on it.
  • I did the diskpart clean operation OK.
  • diskmgmt.exe doesn't exist on my Win10 machine.
  • But Disk Management does work. Under Disk Management, when I right click on the thumb drive the only option is "Change Drive letter and paths" and that doesn't work.
  • I went back to DISKPART. I can see the disk, see the volume, select the volume, but the FORMAT command says " The system cannot find the file specified."
 
  • #11
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You have to create the partition table before you can do the format:

diskpart -> list disk -> select Disk 1 (USB flash drive) -> create partition primary -> select partition 1 -> format FS=NTFS label=Data quick
 
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  • #12
anorlunda
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diskpart -> list disk -> select Disk 1 (USB flash drive) -> create partition primary -> select partition 1 -> format FS=NTFS label=Data quick
:bow: Yes, that did it. Thanks.
 
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  • #13
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anorlunda said:
  • diskmgmt.exe doesn't exist on my Win10 machine.
  • But Disk Management does work.
  • My mistake, @anorlunda ##-## just for reference, the command isn't diskmgmt.exe, as I mistakenly said it was in post #3 ##-## it's diskmgmt.msc ##-## not .exe ##-## it's just another way to get to the same Disk Management utility.
 
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