I used the Startup Disk Creator to create a USB Boot disk on my thumbdrive, but now I would like to clean the USB stick and re-use it at full capacity. I don't have permission to erase or format the USB stick. How can I clean this USB stick of all files?


I would plug in the USB, open up gparted, select the correct /dev/sd*, unmount it, and erase the partition. When you open to gparted it will prompt you for your password however.

  • Arie vW is correct. gparted is the utility you want and one you should get reasonably familiar with. I use it a couple of times a month. Just make sure you don't format the wrong device. – Marc Jul 30 '17 at 3:56

Firstly you need to identify your USB Flash drive, so open up terminal and type sudo fdisk - l. It usually appears as the last one (in my case). BE CAREFUL! YOU MUST BE 100% SURE THAT YOU HAVE FOUND THE CORRECT ONE, OR ELSE YOU MAY LOSE DATA! Secondly, open up gparted and select the CORRECT DEVICE (in my case sda). Then delete all the partitions you find and create a new one, as filesystem I recommend using FAT32, but you can use whaterver you want, fill all the blanks and click OK. Lastly click APPLY and let it do it's job. Good Luck!

  • Thanks for all the help! I have my thumb drive back now. – Bajer Jul 30 '17 at 16:50
  • No problem, happy to help :) – Jimster Jul 31 '17 at 17:48

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