I have a 16gb USB key. I'm unable to use it properly between Windows 7 and Ubuntu. I formatted it as an NTFS drive in Windows (did a full format, not the 'quick' option). Once I write to it with Ubuntu however and load it back up in Windows, I get a

"This disk needs to be formatted before it can be used" message from Windows. It seems to read and write okay in Ubuntu though. What's going on? It seems like everytime I use Ubuntu to write something to it, Windows can no longer read the drive.

I'm on 12.04. I eject the drive before physically removing it.

  • It might be a question of type of partitioning. I had a similar problem in the past but I don't remember how I solved the problem. You might try to experiment with the partition type in Ubuntu's disk utility. – To Do Jul 26 '12 at 14:02

Does Ubuntu recognize it as NTFS? I like to use gparted for my disk management. I also use it to view disk properties, including the partition layout, file system type, partition sizes, space available, etc.

You could also try deleting and recreating the partition on the drive with gparted, then format it with Windows, then try again. If that still fails, format it with gparted (it can format NTFS.)

  • Formatting with Gparted fixed the issue – sever Jul 26 '12 at 19:17

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