Question I keep killing USBs and can’t fix them

Aug 12, 2022
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I have flashed multiple Linux iso’s to multiple USBs, and whenever I try to reverse it back to normal the USB just kills itself. I try diskpart clean, using Disk Manager, everything, and it always returns “Insert a disk into this drive” or “the specified file could not be found”, and I can’t find any solution to this. Why do I keep killing my USBs, and how can I fix it?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Update your post to include full system hardware specs and OS information.

Disk drive(s), all types: make, model, wattage, capacity, how formatted.

How many installed USB devices? Are you using any USB hubs either system powered or independently powered?

= = = =

Explain more about "whenever I try to reverse it back to normal the USB just kills itself ".

What do you do or what procedure do you use to "reverse" it [USB] back to normal?

What happens if you use another PC to do the "reverse"?
 
Aug 12, 2022
4
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Update your post to include full system hardware specs and OS information.

Disk drive(s), all types: make, model, wattage, capacity, how formatted.

How many installed USB devices? Are you using any USB hubs either system powered or independently powered?

= = = =

Explain more about "whenever I try to reverse it back to normal the USB just kills itself ".

What do you do or what procedure do you use to "reverse" it [USB] back to normal?

What happens if you use another PC to do the "reverse"?
Apologies, I am new to posting here; is there somewhere I can edit my post above? If so I cannot find it; otherwise should I just reply with the specifications?

I have tried to delete the partition and reformat, used diskpart clean, format from both from the file explorer and diskpart, and practically anything you can find about how to do this on the internet. Every time I have tried to do so, whenever I try to format it or plug it in or anything, it says "insert disk into drive" or it doesn't show any space on the usb, or it just fails to format and I can't figure out why; it basically renders the USB stick useless. I have done this 6+ times with a couple different models, brands, and sizes of USB sticks. I have done this on a few different computers too, usually with the front USB ports.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Hardware specs?

You should be able to click the red pencil icon & Edit option that appears at the bottom of your posts.

Will the computer read and write to USB's created by someone else? Be sure that the data is backed up and that the USB drive is considered expendable.... just in case.

I am not familiar with the creation of Linux iso's - what are you using to create (or attempt to create) the iso and what process are you following?

Your post has been in the Storage category for just a month.

I am going to move this thread to Open Source. More applicable category and solicit further comments and suggestions.
 
Aug 12, 2022
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It doesn’t seem like I can edit the original post, but I am able to edit the comment; odd.

Yes, mine will, my work computer will, all the computers I have done it on will.

I am using Balena Etcher to flash the iso to the thumb drive.

I personally thing Storage is more applicable - my issue is with thumb drives dying, not the Linux iso’s. I believe it might be something with the way I go about cleaning and reformatting them, I’m just not sure what though.
 

dwd999

Honorable
It doesn’t seem like I can edit the original post, but I am able to edit the comment; odd.

Yes, mine will, my work computer will, all the computers I have done it on will.

I am using Balena Etcher to flash the iso to the thumb drive.

I personally thing Storage is more applicable - my issue is with thumb drives dying, not the Linux iso’s. I believe it might be something with the way I go about cleaning and reformatting them, I’m just not sure what though.
The main problem is that you're using Windows, which does not play well with other operating systems. So you'll need to think outside the Windows box and use a disk maintenance utility like Gparted or Partition Wizard or something similar to reset the usb. The biggest problem may be that the usbs have an MBR partition table marker. You'll need to create a GPT partition marker on the usb and the reformat to NTFS standards. But it has to be done outside of windows.
 
Last edited:
Jan 25, 2023
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On linux try the program gparted
On a debian base distro you can get it with:
sudo apt install gparted

Partition this drives with 'FAT32' or NTFS, and use gpt partition table.

Interestingly there is a live CD (you can use on usb too) produce by gparted:
https://gparted.org/livecd.php

If you scared of using USB drive again you could use the CD/DVD,
or alternatively if you have usb CD/DVD drive (like you dont have cd drive on PC) I've found that they will actually work on quite a few system to boot.
 

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