I can’t format my live-USB pendrive (udisks-error-quark, 11)

I can’t format my pendrive (where ubuntu was loaded as live-usb) . Whenever I do , they say .

This partition cannot be modified because it contains a partition table; please reinitialize layout of the whole device. (udisks-error-quark, 11)

What to do ? I use Disks in Ubuntu 16.04

enter image description here

Solution #1:

If you don’t have any valuable data on that drive you can create a new partition table with Gnome Disks if it doesn’t like the current one:

  1. Click on the cogwheel for drive operations and select “Format…”.

  2. Select a suitable partition table type and click on “Format…” again. For a USB flash drive you probably want “MBR/DOS” as the partition type like in the screenshot.

  3. Confirm that you want to overwrite the partition table and lose all data on the drive.

  4. Afterwards create a new partition and format it.

    1. Click on the button with the ? sign below the partition layout.

    2. Select

      • suitable partition boundaries (you probably want to cover the entire available space which is the default),
      • a file system (for a USB drive probably FAT, exFAT, or NTFS), and
      • optionally a name.

    3. Click on “Create”, wait a while for the file system creation to finish (can be in the range of minutes for a large but slow drive) and you’re done!

Respondent: David Foerster

Solution #2:

The best way to do is…

Open Terminal

sudo fdisk -l

This will list your all mounted/unmounted device..

Look for your USB device … you can cross verify it by from Disk utility…It may list something like

/dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc1…

sudo fdisk /dev/sdb — if your USB is sdb

Command (m for help): d Partition number (1,2, default 2):

Partition 2 has been deleted.

Command (m for help): d Selected partition 1 Partition 1 has been

Command (m for help): w
The partition table has been altered. Calling
ioctl() to re-read partition table. Syncing disks.

That’s it..

Now go back to Disk utility and then format the drive as you wish!…

Respondent: EngineSense

Solution #3:

I had this problem before and i fix it like this:

  1. install GParted and open it.
  2. from upper-right part select your USB Flash Memory.
  3. select your storage from list box and create a partition table (menu bar: device -> create partition table).
  4. create one or some partitions and format them by GParted or any other partition programs.

good luck

Respondent: MH314K

Solution #4:

Here is what did the trick for me:

  1. Select all partitions of the USB stick and for each of them press the “Stop” button, then the “Minus” button
  2. When there is only one partition left, select it
  3. Press the “Gears” button
  4. Click “Format Partition…” and format. This times it works, somehow.
Respondent: Nicolas Raoul

Solution #5:

Ubuntu 18.04:

Similar to nicolas’s answer

  1. click super
  2. type and open disks
  3. on left corner go to device you want to reformat
  4. Important:

You have to remove the middle partition with the - icon before you can reformat the device.

enter image description here


  1. click on the cog-wheels and press format partition
  2. choose what the options you want for your reformating
Respondent: Trake Vital

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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