Tag Archives: pen drive

Forcing a USB pen / key drive format

A colleague asked me if I knew of a means of restoring a PNY Attaché Pro 1GB pen drive back to a usable state.

It was one of these “partitioned” pen drives with an 8MB drive containing a small executable program that, after entering the correct password, opens up the rest of the drive. However my colleague had forgotten the password and was wondering if the drive could be formatted such that the full 1GB was available. I don’t use protected pen drives myself, however I believe some pen drives are “partitioned” like using private and public areas.

I had a look around on the PNY web-site, tried their pre-test tool, all to no avail. I even tried a couple of big-name disk utilities, however they didn’t “see” the USB pen/key drive.

Then I stumbled upon this post. It basically said, download and use this tool (via here), but don’t let it finish its format. So instead of letting it finish its format, I waited a moment or two, then removed the PNY drive. Windows then let me format the full 1GB without any further problems. Possibly an unorthodox approach, but a win nevertheless. Huge thanks to TTC Shelbyville for pointing this trick out.

I’m sure that there are other tools available that would achieve the same result, however this was my “5 minute solution”. I would be happy to hear about other approaches in the comments for this post.

Disclaimer: YMMV

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