Formatting a USB with Windows


I was recently helping some students format a USB drive to run the Kali Linux distro. After formatting the USB for Linux the USB will not be accessible to a Windows system. Below are the steps to get it back to normal operations for a Windows system.

These instructions are assuming you are using Windows 7 or 8.


  1. Insert your USB disk into computer.
  2. Run cmd as an Administrator.
  3. Run diskpart.exe. Use ? if you need help in this program.
  4. Type: list disk
  5. Find the disk that corresponds to your USB disk.  
  6. Select disk X where X is the number of the disk. Confirm that you're using the right disk or you will have a bad time. You can just type in the X number and it should select it.
  7. Type: clean (Warning: This command wipes the disk's partition. Any data on the disk will no longer be accessible.)
  8. Type: create partition primary. 
  9. Type: format fs=fat32 quick. You can choose NTFS or exFAT instead of FAT32 if you want.
  10. assign. Assigns the disk a drive letter. I would go with NTFS is you are only using your USB drive in a Windows system.
  11. Type: exit to quit.
Enjoy your newly formatted USB drive.



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