Flash Drive (Memory stick) not working properly. Cannot format it or delete files

removable Flash drive  (15 GB) is not working.

 I was able to transfer all the files on it to the hard drive of my laptop.  I can open them successfully.

However when I try to delete the files on the removable flash drive I get the message 'cannot find the specified file'. When I try to format it, I am told 'the format did not complete successfully'.  
I have gone into the Disk Management Screen, but cannot format it from within this.

Any Advice?
Michael MurphyAsked:
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R. Andrew KoffronCommented:
try and drop the partitions with a Mac's disk utility if you know anyone that'd help you with a mac.
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EirmanChief Operations ManagerCommented:
Some flash drives have a tiny hidden switch that make them read only
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Frank McCourryV.P. Holland Computers, Inc.Commented:
Things I've done:
1. Pop it into a Linux box and use Gparted.  Works very often.
2. Try running Fdisk from a command prompt.
3. Toss the Flash drive - Their cheap and time is money...
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
What is a Linux box? Help me here.
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nobusCommented:
check if it does the same on another PC, or laptop
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
To boot from Linux...

You can boot with a "live" DVD into Knoppix or Ubuntu and then run the gparted utility.

http://knoppix.net/

http://www.ubuntu.com/

You burn a disk with either of the above, boot your computer from this disk and then run the disk partitioning utilities.

You will have to "burn" the ISO to the disk so that it is bootable.

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ht/burnisofile.htm
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Scottcha, thanks for your post. You have to forgive me as I am a pensioner (senior) and am not always up to speed - although I am very persistent. I m always curious to see how things work and have done a lot of electronics over the years. In any case, you will have to talk me through your post a little more before I'll know what to do.
 Can you give me a step by step?  (for me it is not a question of tossing the item and purchasing another - I can afford that - but one of curiosity). I'm Irish
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nobusCommented:
Eamon, did you test the problem on another PC yet?
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smckeown777Commented:
Hi Eamon...nice to bump into another Irishman on the site ;)

I'm with @nobus on this as well - have you tried another pc to eliminate issues on your current pc?

Other way to try this is with diskpart possibly

Click Start - Programs - Accessories - right click on Command Prompt and select 'Run as Administrator'

Follow this guide and see if it works - http://www.doztech.net/howto/format-your-flash-drive-with-diskpart/

2nd question - can you create files on the drive right now? You copied from it ok, but does it allow you to put new stuff on it? If not, and the above doesn't work(diskpart) then it could simply be a fault with the drive which isn't recoverable(have come across a few of those over the years...never got working no matter what software/os I used)
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Yes I tested with another PC and same problem. Its looking like 'unusable', but I'll try the other advice before binning it.
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nobusCommented:
try safelyRemove :  <http://safelyremove.com/?pid=1
very handy

or these :
http://www.handyrecovery.com/            handy recovery
http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/Other-DRIVERS-TOOLS/Others/Sony-EzRecover.shtml                EZrecover
http://www.snapfiles.com/download/dlsmartrecovery.html                  usb key recovery
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Tried various suggestions without success. I cannot create files and transfer them onto the flash drive.  When I run 'diskpart' and 'list file' the flash drive does not appear on the list.
In the CMD screen I have changed the opening screen to the flash drive (Drive I) and then run the format command. It appears to carry out the format down to the last second when an error message appears, saying the format cannot be completed. It says the the flash drive is 'unusable'.
So I'm calling it a day on this one. Thanks for ideas and help. They will be useful later, I'm sure.
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nobusCommented:
did you try the software i listed above, and what were the results?
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BillDLCommented:
I love that comment Eamon:  "I'm Irish" ;-)
What you perhaps didn't realise is that you may have inadvertantly insulted a fellow Irishman who posted earlier.  His user name should stick out like a sore thumb to somebody from the same island.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Wow. Now I'm looking. Got it.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Nobus, thanks as always for your help. I did try the various links given by you. So I know the item is unusable.
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nobusCommented:
thanks for the update, EamonX
too bad  the stick is bad (but it happens often)
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nobusCommented:
oh - and don't forget to close this, if no more help is needed
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
For the step-by-step.

Just download one of the Knoppix or Ubuntu ISO files.

Then follow the steps in my last link.  That will give you the steps to properly burn the ISO so that it is bootable.

Boot from that optical disk.  From within use the utiliites to try to format your flash drive.  Under Knoppix you want to look for a program called gparted.  That will let you create a new file structure if possible.

If this doesn't work then after looking at the above comments it does look like your drive is dead.

But keep these disks as they are good for a variety of troubleshooting other issues.
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Michael MurphyAuthor Commented:
Did'nt solve the issue. The item is unusable. However it  points someone with a similar issue in the right direction.
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