Formatting Large USB Sticks for MP3 Use

Formatting Large USB Sticks for MP3 Use

A lot of newer vehicles have USB sockets for plugging in your music collection. The default FAT32 format that Ubuntu does in the disk manager just doesn't cut it. In many cases, the vehicle may not even be able to read a stick formatted with the default Ubuntu method.

So, here's how you do it. Let's say your USB stick is located at /dev/sdc and that it currently is NOT mounted. If it is mounted, be sure to unmount it first.

Warning* This will delete everything on the disk. Make sure you don't need it, and make absolutely certain you enter the correct path to the device (i.e. /dev/sdc or wherever your device is located. Your path will likely be different than mine!)

Try the following:

fdisk /dev/sd[c]
Eliminate the braces above and enter the proper path to your device. Inside fdisk, do:
  • o - Create a new DOS partition table
  • n - Create a new partition - choose the proper size to fill your device.
  • t - Change the partition type - select "c", which is W95 FAT32 (LBA)
  • w - Write the changes and exit.
It probably wouldn't hurt to remove and reconnect the USB device at this point. Next, format the partition:
mkfs.vfat /dev/sd[c]1 -s 64 -F 32

Again, replace the braces section above with the proper path to your device.

When complete, eject your device one more time just to make sure all is written.

Now, you can use the Ubuntu disk manager to rename the partition if you like, or whatever, but this format is one of only a few for large 64GB drives that I found my Volvo liked to accept.

Posted by Tony on Apr 26, 2013 | Linux Tricks, Desktop Linux