If there’s anything I love about windows, it’s the command line!
If you find yourself dealing with a USB stick that just wont mount, has multiple partitions, or among other things won’t format this might just save your sanity.
HOW TO: Format a troublesome USB stick in Windows with DISKPART
(FOLLOW THIS GUIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK! I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF YOUR ACTIONS OR THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS FOLLOWING THIS GUIDE)
Step 1) Open a CMD window.
Click on the Windows “START” button, and in the search box type “
cmd“. You should see “cmd.exe” appear at the top of the list under programs. Right Click it and select “Run as administrator”. Click “Yes” if/when promoted. You should now see a terminal window pop up on your desktop.
Step 2) Using DISKPART
What is it? diskpart is a command-line disk partitioning utility and is the successor to fdisk.
DISKPART” (Not case sensitive) and press “ENTER” on your keyboard. With DISKPART now running type “
list disk“. Locate the USB drive you want to format. I’m using an 8GB USB by Kingston for this example and it shows up as “Disk 3” “7500 MB” (Remember 1,024MB = 1GB, and formatting requires some use of the available space).
Now type “
select disk x” (x being the number that is your USB stick, mine is 3 yours may be different). It will then tell you “Disk x is now the selected disk.” at which point you can type “
clean“. You should see a message stating that “DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.” At this point windows doesn’t know the capacity of the drive because we haven’t created a partition, so we need to fix that. Type in “
create partition primary” and press “ENTER”. At this point you can now close the command window and format the USB stick as you normally would in Windows by right clicking on the drives icon and selecting “FORMAT” from the drop down menu.
Questions? Comments? Your feedback is welcome! Let me know if I helped, it motivates me to post more guides like this =)