Why is it necessary to format a USB flash drive?


There are several scenarios that can force you to format USB using cmd. Know the situations that can lead you to format the USB from cmd and also learn to repair it in Windows 10.

It is no secret that USB flash drive comes with more flexible features for different uses. They are the most widely used removable storage devices. And when you buy one, the possibility of formatting never crosses your mind.

But the truth is, over time, the need to format the flash drive will arise. It is not always a bad situation to troubleshoot a USB flash drive, but it may take more effort.

So the question arises that puts things in perspective: When is it appropriate to format the flash drive?

Keep reading this guide and let’s explore together some situations that require formatting the USB using CMD.

1. To change the file system

The default file system for most USB drives is Fat 32, which is only appropriate if you are using it on different operating systems such as Mac OS, Linux, and Windows. But if it is used exclusively on Windows, it may be better to change the file system to NTFS safely.

Here are some of the reasons for how the NTFS file system will serve better in Windows:

  • The NTFS file system is more powerful and includes features that can host active directories.
  • NTFS has better protection against unauthorized physical access.
  • The drive will support files larger than 4GB.
  • Work faster in Windows as it is designed for speed and even more.
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However, it is not advisable to convert the file system to NTFS, if the flash drive is less than 2GB, as this will affect performance.

You should know that to change from one file system to another, you must format the USB flash drive.

2. To delete data quickly and in bulk

Deleting personal data from a flash drive could be the most common reason many people format flash drives. This is most common when you want to donate, sell, or buy a new disk and need to set it up for a new use.

Keep in mind that if you are looking for data privacy by formatting, it is not 100% safe since the digital signature of the information on the storage medium is not erased. The new user can recover the non-overwritten files using recovery software.

3. To fix Bad Sector and flash drive corruption

Sometimes the flash disk drive denies user access due to RAW data file system. In this situation, Windows will ask for the drive to be formatted before it can be used and there will be no other way to do it.

If the data on that drive is important and you don’t want to lose it, you can format the USB drive with CMD and then use a recovery tool to get the data back.

4. To create a bootable flash drive

If you need to create a bootable USB flash drive to deploy the essential Windows server or install an operating system to have a portable Windows USB drive, you will need to format the flash drive first.

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A Windows bootable portable USB drive can save you a lot of time and energy when transporting your computer.

5. To get rid of viruses

If the computer is infected with viruses, formatting or erasing the flash drive and starting over will certainly remove any viruses. However, this is not the proper way to deal with malware. If the backup still has a virus, the computer will be reinfected.

With the correct reasons to format the flash drive, the next question you need to ask yourself is:

How to effectively format the drive?

As you know, there is a more direct way to format the flash drive in Windows. But you should go to format the USB using CMD if you have the following problems:

  • When Windows is unable to complete the format
  • When the disk cannot be fixed and formatted with disk manager.
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