I have a Mentor Media Dell USB drive that holds Windows 8 recovery media. Obviously, this is completely useless. I'd much rather have this drive store something actually useful, like a Ubuntu install.

However, I can't format this drive. It always comes up as "read-only filesystem" even after running sudo hdparm -r0 /dev/sda on it.

I found this guide online, but I can't use the linked tool because I'm not on Windows. Is there any way I can format this drive from Linux only?

  • I would try MKUSB's "restore to a storage device" option first. – user589808 Apr 1 '17 at 11:31

Having a couple of these myself, unfortunately you either need to use Windows to write the firmware or you could try and reverse engineer the firmware yourself using Flashrom or similar to bitbang it.

You could also try and use the software through something like Virtualbox or WINE by doing a passthru of the USB drive, but with the extra layer the firmware reprogramming is much less likely to work.

Your best bet might be to make a temporary bootable Windows PE repair/recovery disk and put the software you linked on it to run against the USB (you'll need at least 2 USB ports on your system for this to work).

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