As an example I had an old 16GB USB thumb drive
that I wanted to make use of. It had already been partitioned in some
way but could not be mounted and I was unable to determine its
contents. Perhaps it had become corrupted in some way (which could be
a sign that it is not reliable, so best no to use it for archival
purposes). I plugged it in and used gnome-disks to
determine the device name after selecting the 16 GB Thumb Drive (San
Disk Cruzer Slice) entry from amongst the identified disks. The device
/dev/sde1. Since we may want to use this same USB thumb
drive in different computers we will format it with an NTFS file
$ sudo mkfs.ntfs /dev/sde1 Cluster size has been automatically set to 4096 bytes. Initializing device with zeroes: 100% - Done. Creating NTFS volume structures. mkntfs completed successfully. Have a nice day.
This took quite some time given the zero wipe of the disk (writing zeros to the disk to reduce the possibility of data breach).
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