Restore Your USB Key to its original state
After having tooled around with a USB Linux version using your image overwritten or multi partitioned flash pen drive, you might find it necessary to revert it back to a single fat partition (restore the flash pen drive to its original state) that can again be read by all computers. Windows users can follow the Windows instructions below to Restore a Flash Drive using the HP USB Format Tool. For those working from Linux this task can easily be accomplished via the Linux Flash Drive Restoration tutorial that follows.
Restoring your USB key to its original state using Windows/Mac OS:
– Manual Method via Diskpart – Windows:
- Open a command Prompt as administrator (cmd.exe)
- Type Diskpart and press Enter
- Type List Disk and press Enter
- Type Select Disk X (where X is the disk number of your USB drive) and press Enter
- Type Clean and press Enter
- Type Create Partition Primary and press Enter
- Type Active and press Enter
- Type Format fs=Fat32 Quick and press Enter
- Type Exit and press Enter
– Multiple GUI Methods – Windows:
Windows and or Mac OS users could use the SD Formatter Tool to reformat and restore a USB Drive.
Or alternately, Windows users could use BOOTICE
- Download, extract, and run Pauly's BOOTICE Tool
- (1) Select your USB Flash Drive from the list, (2) Click Parts Manage
- (1) Click Repartitioning
- (1) Under Disk Mode, Choose USB-FDD, USB-HDD, or USB-ZIP mode I use USB-HDD as it works with every BIOS I use. (2) Click OK
Restoring your USB key to its original state using Linux:
A. First we need to delete the old partitions that remain on the USB key.
- Open a terminal and type sudo su
- Type fdisk -l and note your USB drive letter.
- Type fdisk /dev/sdx (replacing x with your drive letter)
- Type d to proceed to delete a partition
- Type 1 to select the 1st partition and press enter
- Type d to proceed to delete another partition (fdisk should automatically select the second partition)
B. Next we need to create the new partition.
- Type n to make a new partition
- Type p to make this partition primary and press enter
- Type 1 to make this the first partition and then press enter
- Press enter to accept the default first cylinder
- Press enter again to accept the default last cylinder
- Type w to write the new partition information to the USB key
- Type umount /dev/sdx1 (replacing x with your drive letter)
C. The last step is to create the fat filesystem.
- Type mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sdx1 (replacing x with your USB key drive letter)
That's it, you should now have a restored USB key with a single fat 32 partition that can be read from any computer.