USB Formatting

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by semperlex, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. semperlex macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2010
    Please Help! I am trying to format a USB Thumb Drive. When I insert and use disk utility, I select the thumb drive and go to erase. I choose the MS-DOS option so that the thumb drive can be used in PC's. I then click erase and it reformats and lists a sub directory as UNTITLED and it is formatted as MS-DOS. HOWEVER the main thumb drive remains formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). This has happened on two iMacs and one MacBook Pro. I would like to get the entire thumb drive formatted as MS-DOS...

    Thank you for your time!
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Your thumb drive has the god-forsaken U3 partition. It cannot be used by MacOS X, but it does make the thumb drive a less pleasant experience. To the best of my knowledge, it cannot be removed by MacOS X. However, I recently thought of another trick to try to remove it, which I will test when I purchase my next thumb drive. If this trick does not work, then I will continue to do what I have always done to remove the U3 partition. The partition is controlled by a Windows-only utility that is stored on the thumb drive. One of its functions is to remove the partition. I find a Windows computer and use the utility to remove the partition. I can then use one of my Macs to reformat the drive as one of the variations of HFS+ or as NTFS (owing to the installation of NTFS-3G). Windows does not like to format removable storage as NTFS, but it works just fine. With NTFS-3G installed on your Mac, there is no reason to format a drive as FAT32, FAT16, or FATanything.
  3. semperlex thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2010

    I was unable to resolve the issue on any of my home macs (3 of them), so I went to the Apple Store to discuss with them. On their computers, I was able to format the USB drive in MS-DOS. They couldn't figure out the problem either. I brought my MacBook Pro with and they saw the issue first hand. Then I compared their version of Disk Utility (11.5.2) with my version (11.5.1). They stated that was probably the reason, then indicated that the stores sometimes get system updates before the rest of us. So he thought that Apple knew of the problem and created a fix for it, the updated Disk Utility just hasn't been released to the public yet... so I guess I'll have to wait and see.

    Thanks for your help and time

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