How To Format A USB Drive In Ubuntu 14.04

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How to format USB and SD card in Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10

This article was originally written for an earlier version of Ubuntu but you should be able to format USB drive in Ubuntu 14.04 following the same steps.

I never thought I could ever be troubled with formatting a simple SD Card or USB/Pen Drive until I came up with this problem in Ubuntu 12.10. I don’t really remember how I used to format a removable disk prior in earlier version but this time when I looked on the options given by right clicking on the mounted removable disk, I found none for formatting.

So I tried with the default disk utility of Ubuntu: Disk. But it failed and gave me the following error:

Error formatting disk – Error synchronizing after initial wipe: Timed out waiting for object (udisks-error-quark, 0)

Error Formatting The Disk

The above mentioned error is a known bug which has been unresolved for months and Disk is still being served as the default disk utility program (why?).

I had to go around and format the removable disk with the help of GParted. And thus I came up with this tutorial to help others know how to format a SD card or USB key in Ubuntu 14.04, 14.10.

Format USB in Ubuntu 14.04

Step 1:

Install GParted. It is a free and open source partition editor for Linux. You can install it in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo apt-get install gparted

Step 2:

Insert the SD Card or USB key. Now launch GParted. To do that go to Unity dash and search for GParted. It takes some time to search for all the disks present on the system. Have some patience. When it has recognized the drives, you will see a screen like below. By default it goes to the hard drive of your computer. To access the removable media, go to the top-right corner of the application and choose the removable media. You can see the size of the removable media to identify the right one :

GParted-Format-USB-Disk-Ubuntu-1

Step 3:

Now you will see a screen like the one below. This shows the partition of removable disk. Before you go for formatting, unmount the disk by right clicking on the partition in the following manner:

GParted-Format-Disk-USB-Ubuntu-3

Step 4:

Once you have it unmounted, right clicking on it will show you the Format To option. You can choose whatever type of file system you want on the disk. Once you have selected the drive to format , click on the Tick sign on the top to start the format:

GParted-Format-Disk-USB-Ubuntu-4

Step 5:

Nothing more needs to be done now. You will see couple of warnings and the format procedure will be commenced.

GParted-Format-Disk-USB-Ubuntu-5

GParted-Format-Disk-USB-Ubuntu-6

Voila! You are done. Was the tutorial helpful to you and were you able to format USB key in Ubuntu? Have questions? Feel free to go to comment section of the page.