After using EtchDroid, you may find that your USB drive is no longer recognized by your computer or Android device. This is because most operating system ISOs use filesystems and partition schemes that are not supported by Android or Windows.

Some Android versions might also show notifications saying that the USB drive is unsupported or that it has issues. This is normal and you can safely ignore it.

Once you’re done using the USB drive, you can format it with a regular filesystem and it will work again.

How to format the USB drive after you’re done using it

Once you’re done with the image you’ve written you may want to format it with a regular file system. This will allow you to use the USB drive to store regular files once again.

On Android

New! Watch this YouTube video tutorial:

  1. Close EtchDroid, plug your USB drive.
  2. Tap the “Unsupported USB Drive” or “Issues with USB drive” notification. If it does not show up:
    1. Open Settings
    2. Find “Storage”
    3. Tap the name of the USB drive
    4. If the file explorer opens, tap the menu button, “Storage settings”, “Format”
  3. Tap “Format USB drive”

Remember to eject the USB drive from settings before unplugging it.

Format USB drive (Android)

On Ubuntu

New! Watch these video tutorials on how to do it with graphically and with the terminal:

This should work for regular Ubuntu with GNOME or Unity and with other GNU/Linux distributions with GNOME.

If you have a different desktop environment and you cannot find the “Disks” app, you can follow the terminal instructions. It’s a bit more complicated, but if you follow the instructions correctly and use your brain, it will work just fine.

  1. Open the Activities dashboard
  2. Type “disk” and open “Disks” or “Disk Utility”
  3. Select your USB drive from the left sidebar
  4. If you see any volumes with a “play” icon on the bottom right, make sure you click on them and click “Stop”
  5. From the overflow menu on the upper right, select “Format Disk…”
  6. Use default settings, then confirm.
    • The default is to use a MBR partition table. If you want to use GPT, you can select it now. But it won’t make any difference for most users.
  7. Click on the new empty volume, it will say “Free space”. Then click the “+” button
  8. Keep as is for the maximum size, then go on to the next page
  9. Enter a name for your USB drive, under type select “For use with all systems and device” (FAT32)
  10. Click “Create” and confirm

Format USB drive (Ubuntu)

On Windows

Watch this video tutorial on how to format your USB drive on Windows:

It’s ironic but you have to use a command prompt to format a USB drive on Windows, and the process is quite complicated.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing it on Windows, I suggest you do it using Android since it’s super easy.

  1. Open the Start menu and search for the “Command Prompt”
  2. Right-click it and select “Run as administrator”
  3. Launch the command diskpart: type it and press Enter
  4. Type list disk to see the currently recognized disks
    • Warning! Make sure you double and triple check so you don’t erase the wrong drive!
  5. Select the correct disk by typing select disk #
    • For example, select disk 1
  6. Type clean to clean up the disk
  7. Type convert mbr or convert gpt to create a MBR/GPT partition table
    • MBR is the most compatible, GPT has some new and cool features. However, it doesn’t really matter, they both work.
  8. Type exit to close diskpart. Close the command prompt
  9. Open “File explorer”
  10. Right-click “This PC” and select “Manage”
  11. In the panel on the left, under “Storage”, select “Disk Management”
  12. You will see the same disk as before, it should say “Unallocated”
  13. Right-click it and select “New Simple Volume…”
  14. Click Next, then Next again to keep the maximum size, then once again Next to assign a drive letter
  15. Under “Format this volume with the following settings”, select FAT32 as “File system” for best compatibility
    • You can type a disk name here
  16. Click Next and Finish, and you’re done.

On macOS

Watch this tutorial on how to format a USB drive on macOS:

  1. Open the Disk utility
  2. Select your USB drive
  3. Click on “Erase” on the top bar
  4. If it doesn’t let you erase with the default settings, select “MS-DOS (FAT)” or “ExFAT” in the “Format” menu
  5. Click “Erase”