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Formatting Your USB Drives

Have you ever formatted a USB drive? Well, whether it was on purpose or not, it would be my bet that some of you ran into a problem while doing so. Perhaps the USB drive wouldn’t function at all. That’s a pretty common one, but don’t worry about it too much. There is a simple fix for this problematic situation and it involves using the tools provided with any Windows operating system.

Now, just to be sure, double click on the My Computer icon on your desktop and then click on your USB drive. For me, it’s drive E:, but yours could be different. When you click on that icon, you should see a pop up that says something very similar to this:

Click Yes and then you should see this box:

If you have gotten this far and everything has gone as I have stated, a solution is right around the corner. The next thing to do is make sure you are signed in under your Administrator account, as you will be using the Administrative Tools. Once you are, go to Start, Control Panel (make sure you have it set to the classic view option), Administrative Tools, Computer Management.

Now, what you must do is click on Disk Management.

The screen you will see is shown above and all the information you need is on the bottom right. So, where it indicates your USB drive letter, click on it.

Click on New Partition and then go through the Wizard steps.

Just in case your Wizard allows you to select any other options, make sure you select Primary Partition. (A Primary Partition is basically, the main storage area).

Also, be sure to make sure you select FAT32 as the File System. This just makes it so everything is stored in the proper format. Once done, click Finish. The USB drive should be formatted once the screen pops up saying that it has been

formatted. To test the USB drive to make sure it works properly, put a couple of files onto the drive. Then unplug the drive, but make sure you do it properly, using the Safely Remove Hardware icon in your taskbar ().

Take the USB drive to a different computer or just plug it back in. Then wait and see if the files are still there and if they open up. If they do, congratulations! You have just fixed your USB drive. If it doesn’t work, contact the maker of your USB drive. Often times, if formatting doesn’t work, the company requires there be certain drivers on the drive itself. Confusing as this may be, it is critical for the USB drive to have them.

I hope this works for you! And the next time you format, for whatever reason, make sure you back up the data on your USB drive first. Enjoy this one!

~ Dylan Essing