How do I format a thumb drive that is 250GB as FAT or FAT 32?

Posted on 2009-04-24
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I have swissknife, HP USB DISK FORMAT tool and I have tried using the format tool in CMD to format my thumbdrive as FAT and FAT 32.  No luck.  In swissknife, I have a message that says "Media is write protected. Format cannot be completed".  I am almost certain it may be possible to format my flashdrive.  Can someone help me?
Question by:Submedown
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    Try using gparted on a liveCD like puppy or systemrescuecd to partition and format your disk:
    LVL 47

    Expert Comment

    Just check that there isn't a slide switch somewhere on the thumb drive that needs to be moved to unprotect the drive so you can format it.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Follow the advice of dbrunton, there are some flash drives with write protection functionality. Normally this could be a small switch key on flash drive body.
    In case there is no such switch then your drive turned bad. Return it to shop if the warranty not expired yet.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Also, found this utility that repairs some of flash drives:
    In case yours is bad only. Happens you have warranty - do not use any tool, simply replace it.
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    What specific model of Flash Drive are you using?
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    I ask because of FAT limitations. If your drive really is 250Gb, unless you want a lot of really small partitions (max volume size 2 GB) you won't be able to format it as FAT. You'll have to use FAT32, which has a 2TB max volume size.

    Expert Comment

    You could try partitioning and formatting using Max blast:

    It's a large download, but give that a try, seems to have good reviews.

    LVL 34

    Assisted Solution

    Since the biggest thumb/flash-drive is 64GB, I wonder about this question.
    HDD/SSD can be 250GB.
    If 250GB then NTFS is recommended.
    FAT info:
    thumb/flash-drive formatter:

    Author Comment


    Thanks for your help.  Your feedback gave me a direction but the Flash drive is in fact a 240GB Sony USB Micro vault.  I purchased it from China the week before and it is a fake drive.  It can be detected in XP explorer and disk management but cannot be formatted with any utilities.  In a nutshell it has been modded and cannot be used at all.  Thank goodness, I did a tough bargain.

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