This post is mostly a remainder for me as it struggles me every time 😜. After making a USB key bootable with any distribution, I get an error message when I want to format it with a graphical interface (tested with gnome-disk, kde partition manager and gparted).

This is the steps I have to do to be able to modify this USB key using one of the graphical interfaces I listed.

Identify the USB key name on your system

First type the following command:


It gives you an output like this:

sda           8:0    1  28,7G  0 disk
└─sda1        8:1    1  28,6G  0 part /media/vincent/Kde Neon
nvme0n1     259:0    0 126,9G  0 disk
├─nvme0n1p1 259:1    0   512M  0 part /boot/efi
└─nvme0n1p2 259:2    0 126,4G  0 part /

Here, my bootable key has the name sda.

Fill the USB key with zeros

Be careful on this part, it can harm your system if you do it wrong! Now you have to type the following command and replace /dev/sda by /dev/<your usb name>.

sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=4k conv=fsync && alert

Now you can use your favorite graphical interface to format your key. The && alert command is not necessary. If you want to understand what it is, I suggest you to look at my post about my bash configuration.

Hope it helps some of you, it surely helps me 😄.

Cheers, Vincent.