Formatting USB hard drive without Disk Utility


macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 15, 2007

I've got an 8GB Sony Micro Vault Pen Drive that's stopped working. When I opened up Disk Utility it appears but doesn't give me the option to erase. Can I try doing it with anything else before I bin it and buy a new one.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2008
Philadelphia, PA
Can you partition it? Just create 1 partition, it will format it there.

Actually from the looks of it (5.5KB) the drive might just be bad. I've noticed flash drives tend to be rather disposable. I've never had one last more than a year or two.


macrumors member
Feb 14, 2009
Without using disk utility? There's a method through the terminal but I don't remember it. Another option is download GParted and burn it or an Ubuntu live CD, burn it to disc and just use the partition editor. THey're both free.

google it


macrumors 68020
Oct 21, 2009

your drive says it is 5kb in size, I think that may be a sign that the drive is no good anymore. Likely it won't let you erase it properly because 5kb isn't big enough for it to be able to put the hidden files on the disk that are needed to make it bootable


macrumors member
Feb 14, 2009
What happened, are you confused? I had a similar problem with a USB drive. It worked in my girlfriends computer but not my mac. I was able to access it in Ubuntu and format it using the partition editor.

I suggested to someone else who's having trouble deleting an application to use the terminal. His response was, "ummmmm okay"

Are you people are retarded?
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