USB drive identified as non-block device

For setting up a partition table and file system, my recommendation is to begin with creating a partition table, either a new GPT or old MSDOS, and then proceed with creating a partition. The next step would be to create a file system in the partition, which can be done using command line tools or a graphical desktop environment. If you choose to use the latter, you can simply select “Device – Create Partition Table…”, followed by “Partition – New”. Ensure that all the details are correct before clicking on the tick icon to complete the process. If the aforementioned steps fail, it’s likely that the drive hardware is damaged.


My USB stick is causing issues. Although I can view its size, model, and Serial Number through disks utility, I am unable to create an NTFS partition on it. This is not the first time I’ve encountered problems with this USB stick. Is there a solution to fix it?

$ sudo mkfs -t ntfs /dev/sdb
/dev/sdb is not a block device.
Refusing to make a filesystem here!

USB stick info from ubuntu's disks utility


Wipe the first mibibyte

Initially, you have the option to use mkusb to erase the initial mibibyte. Doing so can eliminate any data that could potentially cause confusion for the tools you plan to utilize at a later time.

To access the repository Universe while running standard Ubuntu live, an additional instruction is required. However, it is worth noting that Kubuntu, Lubuntu, and Xubuntu already have the repository Universe activated by default.

sudo add-apt-repository universe  # only for standard Ubuntu
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mkusb/ppa  # and press Enter
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mkusb mkusb-nox usb-pack-efi

Create partition table and file system

My recommendation is to start by generating a partition table, which can either be a new GPT or an old MSDOS. After that, partition


should be created and subsequently formatted with a file system.

  • You can do it with command line tools,




    depending on which partition table you want, and then


  • If you’re working in a graphical desktop environment, using


    can make your task simpler. This is applicable for
  • Device –
    Create partition
    Table …
  • ,

  • Partition – New
  • ,

  • Double-check that things are correct
  • , and

  • Click on the
    tick icon
    to perform the actions

  • .

Final comment

If the aforementioned steps are ineffective, it is my belief that the drive hardware has sustained damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

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