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Jun 03

How To Reformat a Bootable ESXi USB Flash Drive

If you are one of the people who has installed ESXi on a bootable flash drive and then wanted to either erase the drive or start over, you might realize that Windows doesn’t like to give you permissions to format the entire flash drive. I ran into this situation a few months back and decided to share the easiest way to re-format your drive without downloading additional software:

  1. From Command prompt type ‘diskpart
  2. type ‘list disk
  3. it should then look something like this:

               DISKPART> list disk

               Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt

               ——– ————- ——- ——- — —

               Disk 0 Online 247 GB 1024 KB

               Disk 1 Online 186 GB 0 B

               Disk 2 Online 7 GB 0 B

          4. Once we see which Disk is your USB drive, you will want to type ‘select disk‘  (change “disk 2” to the number of your drive):

        5. DISKPART> select disk 2

               Disk 2 is now the selected disk.

           6. DISKPART> clean

                DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

        7. DISKPART> create partition primary

               DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

        8. DISKPART> select partition 1

               Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

        9. DISKPART> active

                DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

      10. DISKPART> format fs=ntfs quick

             100 percent completed

             DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.

      11. DISKPART> assign

             DiskPart successfully assigned the drive letter or mount point.

COMPLETE!


so that might seem like a lot of steps but in all reality, the whole process will take only a few minutes to execute.

Enjoy

 

55 comments

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  1. josh

    Or just use Linux. BAM! Microsoft burn …

  2. Mark

    really helped me out here. thanks!

  3. Hiral R.

    Voila! worked like dearm.. Thanks man !!

  4. jaskeerat

    Hey! This helped me 100 % to format my bootable USB. Thanks a lot for the tutorial.

  5. erik

    superb usefull help! thanks a lot

  6. Xenix

    Perfect! worked 100%

  7. Ahmed

    thnx buddy.. its help a lot.. i thought i have lost by drive..

  8. Jin

    YOU’RE AWESOME!!! THANKS!!!

  9. saad

    thanks alot GOD bless you really helped me!

  10. Kneight Reinagel

    Thanks! Made a linux boot-USB on a backup USB, but windows reformatting didn’t wanna overwrite the boot record *sigh*.

    And my computer’s old. It didn’t boot from the Stick, though Bios saw it, so I thought it worth a try. … Time to find a working CD Burner…

    1. Sleepy John

      [quote=”Kneight Reinagel”] Thanks! Made a linux boot-USB on a backup USB, but windows reformatting didn’t wanna overwrite the boot record *sigh*.

      And my computer’s old. It didn’t boot from the Stick, though Bios saw it, so I thought it worth a try. … Time to find a working CD Burner….[/quote]
      Yes, it looks as if you’ve suffered from very much the same problem as I’ve just posted about above. In my case I successfully burned linux .isos on to my flash drives and they did work, but the same problem as yours arose when I eventually tried to recycle them with new isos.

  11. Rich

    worked with one bootable USB. Tried the same steps and the list disk step results in “No Media 0 B”. Can you help? thanks!!

    1. Brian Graf

      What other details can you give me. what OS are you on? what types/sizes USB’s are you working with, etc?

      1. Thank You

        THANK YOU VERY MUCH! I am using Win 7 Ultimate SP 1 on 64 bit OS and wanted to do some “experiments” with my USB 2 stick (2 GB) on USB 3 port so I intentionally wiped it with ,,MiniTool Drive Wipe“ but cannot reformat afterwards. So, I’ve tried with several programmes (MiniTool Partition Recovery, Recuva, Wise Data Recovery) but it was impossible to reformat. Finally I’ve searched on net came to this web site, followed the tutorial and it worked 100% from the very first time. Once again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

  12. Brad

    Thanks for the info! Very helpful.

  13. Kamiar

    Thank you, that was really helpful.

  14. Pratik

    Thanks it really helped!!

  15. Alex

    HaHaHaHaHaHa IT WORKS THANK YOU

  16. Sleepy John

    Thanks but no, I’ve found diskpart and many other recovery tools don’t work with all brands of flashdrive. I’m trying to find out which flashdrive brands support making them bootable, and which ones don’t. For example I’ve discovered the hard way that Kingston don’t. It seems that most flashdrives (including Kingston) can be made bootable once, and they will work OK, but the problem comes when you try to reformat them ready for burning a new .iso on to them. I’ve destroyed two flashdrives this way; something (but I’m not sure what) happens to their boot sector and they become read-only and can’t be reformatted. I’ve tried a whole host of different tools to try and resurrect them without success. I’ve posted some details of all this at http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/answers/id-1916525/removing-write-protection-bootable-flash-drive.html#xtor=EPR-8809. It seems that the boot sectors on different flashdrives are all different and proprietary, and they react in different ways to having an .iso burned on them. Some people have reported they’ve been able to successfully reformat and re-burn new .isos on to their flashdrives, so I know it’s possible to do this with some brands, but I need to know which ones. Before anyone burns an .iso on to a flashdrive, they should find out what brands allow this process to be recyclable and which ones don’t. If anyone has info on this branding issue, please post it on the above tomshardware url or e-mail me directly on sleepy@zzjohn.co.uk. Thanks

    1. ioewjdoie

      I found skipping the “clean” part worked for me. It couldn’t clean it, but could create a partition then I could format it and use it. Mine is a Kingston usb which isn’t supposed to be bootable.

  17. Sleepy John

    Kneight Reinagel wrote QUOTE
    Thanks! Made a linux boot-USB on a backup USB, but windows reformatting didn’t wanna overwrite the boot record *sigh*.

    And my computer’s old. It didn’t boot from the Stick, though Bios saw it, so I thought it worth a try. … Time to find a working CD Burner….END QUOTE

    Yes, it looks as if you’ve suffered from very much the same problem as I’ve just posted about above. In my case I successfully burned linux .isos on to my flash drives and they did work, but the same problem as yours arose when I eventually tried to recycle them with new isos.

  18. Cliff

    Thanks mate. Didnt know about the “Clean” command 🙂

  19. sukhbir

    Thanks. really helped…

  20. Rajesh

    Thanks a lot. I thought pen drive got corrupted and purchased new one also.
    Now this process worked for my old pen drive.

  21. Sp

    Thanks, It really helped me …..

  22. Digvijay

    Thanks a lot,
    It really helped me 🙂

  23. Paul

    This worked perfectly. Thanks

  24. sanidhaya

    When i format My bootable pendrive ,It went to RAW format so after performing your steps through CMD now it is working fine Thanks for sharing 🙂

  25. Purushothaman

    Thanks it worked

  26. Dina

    Thanks!! It really worked

  27. Cory

    Thanks a lot. Worked.

  28. tabi

    thanks bro this has really help me out here. i have lent some thing new bro thanks very much

  29. ku

    thank you so very much. it worked!

  30. Azer

    It worked perfectly for me. Thanks a lot.

  31. Janusz

    Post still actual and still working good! Thanks!

  32. tola

    yes ok thx

  33. mohammad

    hi
    thank you very much

  34. Alien Coders

    I will add similar post in our website as well. This is really informative and 100% working.

  35. LordNazgul

    I love the internets. Googled “format usb key windows esxi”, this article was first, and worked like a charm. Thanks so much for this!

  36. Awesome Guy

    You are genius bro !
    Worked like charm thanks a lot

  37. getachew

    that is wonderful thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Joe

    They’re great instructions.
    Thanks a lot!!!

  39. Parminder Singh

    Thanx For Helping me . You are Awsome

  40. Khan

    That was very helpful! God Bless u Admin.

  41. harsha

    I have tried this with MiniTool Partition Wizard but didn’t work .thanks.this is nice way to do it.and i have done.

  42. JEED

    sir pls.help..my usb drive(8gb sandisk orbit cruiser) i can’t reformat, it always says “write protected” i try some steps of yours but still there…the file on my usb drive is window 7 os bootable i can’t erase or delete..and the icons look like “short cut”..hoping for ur help..my OS window 7 sp1…tnk u so mch.

  43. Mihai

    Thankyou

  44. yash

    thank u veru much sar for save my 350rs.

    1. Debu

      many thanks for sharing the procedure to reformat a used bootable pen drive.
      its perfect!!!!

  45. Irfan Salam

    Worked like a charm .. Thanks a lot

  46. akash

    my usb disk is not showing in disk list..plzzz help..

  47. Maja

    Thank you so much 🙂
    This is such big help :))

  48. AMAN

    IS THIS ONLY WORKS FOR ESXI USB FLASH OR THIS METHOD CAN BE APPLIED ON WINDOWS USB/DVD TOOL ALSO PLSS REPLYY…..

  49. Alexander

    Great How-To, worked perfectly for me. Thank you very much

  50. joe

    Great. Thank you so much.

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