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It all started when I was attempting to format my PNY USB drive because it was full of junk. When it asked me what type of file system, I selected FAT but there was a checkbox below that said "Encrypt" and I accidently checked it and continue.

I had no choice but to come up with a passphrase for it, and so I did, thinking I was able to remove that encryption. But after that at Disk Utility I thought I would find a "Remove Encryption" button or something like that but I didn't.

I tried formatting it to remove the encryption but it gives me an error:

Error Formatting, The device is busy"
Detail>>> One or more block devices are holding /dev/sdb/.

I am stuck, what should I do?

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I had the same problem. The solution I found was to first lock (make data unavailable) the device in the disk utility application. Then I could delete/format the partition. Hope this can help someone in the future. – user265563 Apr 5 '14 at 10:08

To remove the encryption, you should format the partition. This is the steps:

  1. Open Disk Utility
  2. Click Unmount Volume below the drive label
  3. Click on Format Volume

If steps above doesn't format the drive, use Gparted. (To install Gparted, open terminal / Ctrl+Alt+T then type sudo apt-get install gparted).

  1. Open Disk Utility
  2. Click Unmount Volume below the drive label
  3. Close the Disk Utility
  4. Open Gparted
  5. Select your drive on /dev/sdx (you can know your drive via the drive size)
  6. Right click the partition
  7. Click Format to and select the filesystem you want to use.

The error Error Formatting, The device is busy shown because you didn't unmount the volume.

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On Gparted, The usb drive appears as unallocated! Help! – Timic Oct 30 '12 at 9:44
Have you tried the first way? Can you access your flash drive data? – lambda23 Oct 30 '12 at 11:54
oh dont worry now. i turned it into a partition and its all fine – Timic Oct 31 '12 at 8:20

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