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I have a problem reformatting my USB drive. Its showing this error message whenever I try to reformat it using GParted:

Parted 0.11.0 --enable-libparted-dmraid

Libparted 2.3
Format /dev/sdb1 as ntfs  00:00:01    ( ERROR )

calibrate /dev/sdb1  00:00:01    ( SUCCESS )

path: /dev/sdb1
start: 22,768
end: 31,248,383
size: 31,225,616 (14.89 GiB)
set partition type on /dev/sdb1  00:00:00    ( ERROR )
libparted messages    ( INFO )


Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.
Can't write to /dev/sdb, because it is opened read-only.
Unable to open /dev/sdb read-write (Read-only file system). /dev/sdb has been opened read-only.

Reason I wanted to reformat it, is because it just suddenly stopped working when I was transferring files from my PC and also it erased every content that was saved in the USB drive.

I tried various tutorials on the Internet regarding this, however, I can't find a solution on how to make a USB drive change its read-only property to read-write or anything that would enable me to reformat this USB drive.

I have also checked this link format read-only USB drive but this one doesn't have a solution. Also am attempting to do this on Ubuntu 12.04.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Maybe there are errors on the disk. I think I remember that I could not mount a disk in read/write when the OS had problems with the disk.

Maybe TestDisk might help here. Or you could try to fix it with fsck. But if it is a vfat filesystem, you could also try a Windows checkdisk program like chkdsk or the GUI program of it in Windows. If you have Windows at hand you could additionally try to reformat it with Windows. Maybe that will work.

You could also try removing the partitions and then build them again.

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Thanks for your suggestion, I was thinking of the same thing to just reformat it in windows. Although a linux solution would be great not only for myself but to other people who encountered the same problem. –  dimas Sep 8 '12 at 21:45
    
Use Disk Utility for the same purpose. –  Uri Herrera Sep 8 '12 at 22:33
    
Be sure that there is no partition on that drive appearing unejected in Nautilus--if there is use the eject button next to it. You can also double check this by looking at the output of the mount command for anything mounted on /dev/sdb. –  John S Gruber Sep 9 '12 at 5:51

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