14

I am trying to format a drive using the Ubuntu Disks utility. When I select and try to format the drive I get

Error wiping device.  Command-line wipefs -a "/dev/sdb" exited with non-zero exit status 1: wipefs: error: /dev/sdb: probing initialization failed: Device or resource busy (udisks-error-quary,0)

Nothing I know of us using it and I am doing this from a Live CD boot. What to do?

4
  • ? Would probably work with a GParted live cd ( usually does ) distrowatch.com/… Jun 18, 2017 at 13:12
  • try: umount /dev/sdb then retry your command
    – Olimjon
    Jun 18, 2017 at 13:21
  • @KnudLarsen Please post your comment as an answer. I will then delete the community wiki answer below. (so you can get the reputation)
    – fosslinux
    Apr 27, 2018 at 7:04
  • @Olimjon Please post your comment as an answer. I will then delete the community wiki answer below. (so you can get the reputation)
    – fosslinux
    Apr 27, 2018 at 7:25

5 Answers 5

20

Use the -f (force) option:

wipefs -af /dev/sdb
13

Unmount the disk and all the partitions on it:

sudo umount /dev/sdb*

Then retry the wipe.

0

Use a GParted live CD (or some other distribution containing GParted) to wipe the partition.

1
  • 5
    I recommend that you edit this with details explaining how to do that. Apr 27, 2018 at 14:27
0

Just wanted to add, in my case I had attached 4 drives that were previously in a RAID on that machine. I had never stopped the existing RAID after disconnecting the drives, so I had to:

mdadm --stop /dev/mdX, replacing X with whatever your previous RAID was.

0

You have to unmount the drive. You can run lsblk to see where the drive is mounted, and then you can umount it, for example, when trying to wipefs on sdc:

lsblk output:

sda           8:0    0 476.9G  0 disk 
├─sda1        8:1    0 476.4G  0 part 
└─sda2        8:2    0   523M  0 part 
sdb           8:16   0 698.6G  0 disk 
└─sdb1        8:17   0 698.6G  0 part 
sdc           8:32   1  28.9G  0 disk 
├─sdc1        8:33   1   748M  0 part /run/media/user/ARCH_202109
└─sdc2        8:34   1    84M  0 part 

then I had to run: sudo umount /run/media/user/ARCH_202109

and then, I could wipefs --all /dev/sdc

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