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Flash drive won't format on windows or ubuntu

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I read a thread on another forum that came up in a google search suggesting maybe the MBR is buggered and that you can boot up to windows 98 and use fdisk to repair that. So far I haven't been able to boot up to either windows 95, 98, or 98se on either my sigrig or my compaq nc8000.

It's a nondescript 8GB flash drive, though ubuntu reports it as being a Transcend 2/4GB USB2.0 flash drive in lsusb.

In windows when I plug it in it pops up a box asking if I want to format it, and I click yes but the format always fails. Using the command line format has brought me no success either, saying the first NTFS block/sector is unwriteable.

In ubuntu using gparted it says it deletes the existing fat32 partition on it just fine, but right afterwards the fat32 partition is still there. I used mkfs.ext3 from a terminal and that supposedly worked, but I still couldn't access the drive afterwards and gparted reports it as being unreadable. Then I took it back to my windows machine and tried to format it again, still the same problem. Though this time disk management didn't freeze when I plugged it in like when I first plugged the drive in.

So now I'm lost. I have VMWare Player and thought about using that, but I'm not sure if I can access the drive directly through a VM. Maybe it's just that my install disks are really old and don't like booting anymore XD

EDIT: VM is not booting from neither the 98SE nor the 98 disk. I declare them dead.
Edited by biltong - 7/19/11 at 11:14am
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It plays TF2
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post #2 of 5
Maybe this will help?

http://www.overclock.net/hard-drives...l#post14278057

Quote:
Originally Posted by biltong View Post
Then I took it back to my windows machine and tried to format it again, still the same problem. Though this time disk management didn't freeze when I plugged it in like when I first plugged the drive in.
Hmm... it is possible something is wrong with the flashdrive. Hardware does die from time to time. I've had dying external hard drives lock up Disk Management.
     
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post #3 of 5
Edit: ^^ I see I'm not the only one who uses this around here. lol

I use this for formatting all of my flash drives now if I'm going to be making them bootable (as it formats the mbr of the flash as well)

HP USB Disk Storage Formatting Tool
    
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post #4 of 5
Using a Windows OS, you can try using diskpart to clean all of the partition data on the flash drive then create a new partition. Find your drive in disk manager and remember the disk number. Usually the C:\\ drive is disk 0. Then open a command prompt window and enter these commands, pressing enter after each.

diskpart
select disk 1 (replace 1 with the flash drive number)
clean

Then try using disk manager to create a new partition and format it. This method worked to recover my SD card that had a borked up partition map.
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: LOGAN-PC
DISKPART> list
Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601
DISK - Display a list of disks. For example, LIST DISK.
PARTITION - Display a list of partitions on the selected disk. For example, LIST PARTITION.
VOLUME - Display a list of volumes. For example, LIST VOLUME.
VDISK - Displays a list of virtual disks.
DISKPART> list disk
Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ------------- ------- ------- --- ---
Disk 0 Online 232 GB 0 B
Disk 1 Online 465 GB 1024 KB
Disk 2 Online 7864 MB 0 B
DISKPART> select disk 2
Disk 2 is now the selected disk.
DISKPART> clean
DiskPart has encountered an error: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.
See the System Event Log for more information.
Probably a dead drive. Ubuntu told me the same thing with fdisk, error closing file after an IOCTL call. Ah well, nothing lost

I'll give that HP Format tool a shot as my last resort, else this thing's going straight in the bin.

Thanks for the help

EDIT: If it makes any difference, the activity LED is permanently lit on this thing - sign of trouble?

EDIT EDIT: HP tool instantly says the drive is write protected - tried with the physical lock in both positions.

FINAL EDIT: Event viewer shows about 5 "The driver detected a controller error on \\Device\\Harddisk2\\DR14." errors, followed by tons of "An error was detected on device \\Device\\Harddisk2\\DR14 during a paging operation." errors. Ded.
Edited by biltong - 7/20/11 at 8:58am
It plays TF2
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OCZ Vector 128GB Seagate 2TB  Seagate 500GB 7200.12 Some LG that works properly 
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True HD IPS+ 1080 x 1920 pixels, 4.95 inches Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery LG Sexybox Capacitive touchscreen 
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i5 480m @ 2.66GHz GT420M 1GB 4GB DDR3 WD 750GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit 15" 1366x768 + two point touchscreen 
  hide details  
Reply
It plays TF2
(18 items)
 
LG Nexus 5
(12 items)
 
Acer 5745PG
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4790k ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Asus GTX980 Strix 4GB Kingston HyperX Fury Black 2x8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Vector 128GB Seagate 2TB  Seagate 500GB 7200.12 Some LG that works properly 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H105 Windows 8 Pro 64bit Samsung B2330h MS Digital Media Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
CoolerMaster Silent Pro M600 Coolermaster CM690II Advanced Logitech G500s CyberSnipa Something 
AudioAudio
JVC RX700 Creative X-Fi Titanium 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 LG Something + Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 Adreno 330 2 GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
32 GB internal storage 8MP AutoAwesomeHDRFace + 1MP SelfieMachine Air Android 4.4.2 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
True HD IPS+ 1080 x 1920 pixels, 4.95 inches Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery LG Sexybox Capacitive touchscreen 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i5 480m @ 2.66GHz GT420M 1GB 4GB DDR3 WD 750GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit 15" 1366x768 + two point touchscreen 
  hide details  
Reply
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