Notes to Self

Alex Sokolsky's Notes on Computers and Programming

Formatting (Flash) Disk


Identify it

After you plug the flash disk into your PC:

alex@latitude7490:~/ > lsblk
sda           8:0    1   3.8G  0 disk
├─sda1        8:1    1   212K  0 part
├─sda2        8:2    1   2.8M  0 part
├─sda3        8:3    1  1001M  0 part /media/alex/PVE
└─sda4        8:4    1   300K  0 part
nvme0n1     259:0    0 465.8G  0 disk
├─nvme0n1p1 259:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─nvme0n1p2 259:2    0 465.3G  0 part /run/timeshift/backup

Flash is identified as sda.

Optional: Wipe it

alex@latitude7490:~/ > sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=4096 status=progress
[sudo] password for alex:
1332625408 bytes (1.3 GB, 1.2 GiB) copied, 44 s, 30.2 MB/s^C
325404+0 records in
325404+0 records out
1332854784 bytes (1.3 GB, 1.2 GiB) copied, 44.9295 s, 29.7 MB/s

Partition it

You may need to unmount flash:

sudo umount /dev/sda1

Then partition it using GNU parted:

sudo parted /dev/sda --script -- mklabel msdos

Create a primary partition of type fat32 taking all the space:

sudo parted /dev/sda --script -- mkpart primary fat32 1MiB 100%

Format it

Format disk as exfat:

sudo mkfs.exfat -n LABEL /dev/sda1

As vfat:

sudo mkfs.vfat -F32 /dev/sda1


Depends on the file system used in the previous step, e.g.:

sudo fsck.exfat /dev/sda1