I used the Ubuntu "Startup disk creator" and two 8GB USB flash drives with Ubuntu 14.4 and 16.4 on them respectively. I then installed both OS side by side on this laptop. All good.

Now when I plug the USB drives in they come up with an icon with a mauve USB and black Flash card. I'd like to re-use them now as just normal flash drives but Nautilus declares them as read-only.

If I sudo su then I can write to them.

I tried using GParted, Unmount, Delete, New-with-NTFS so they could also be read on windows drives. Nautilus still finds them as read-only and they still have the mauve and black images in the icon.

How can I revert these back to usable drives?


Startup Disk Creator creates a ISO9660 image that can be hard to get rid of. Best bet is to use the Wipe function of mkusb/dus.


Wipe the first MB of the drive and then create a msdos partition table with a FAT32 partition.

The drive will end up like new.

Zeroing the first MB should be enough as zeroing the whole drive can take a long time.


Following are instructions to install mkusb:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install mkusb mkusb-nox usb-pack-efi

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