Make a gparted thumb drive:
1. Find old thumb drive (as small as 128mb)
2. Download Gparted (Thank you for downloading GParted LiveCD from CNET Download.com
3. Burn it to optical media (Thumb drive unnecessary if you use this method) or…
4. Download UnetBootin (Download UNetbootin, Universal Netboot Installer from SourceForge.net
a. UnetBootin is quite a simple tool. Start UnetBootin select the “Diskimage” radio button make sure ISO is selected browse to the download destination of gparted-live-0.9.x-x.iso and select it make sure usb drive is selected/inserted make sure your old thumb drive is selected hit okay and next a few times.
b. Allow this process to run…can take a while some times.
c. When it is completed you will have a bootable gparted thumb drive.
5. When this is finished you can reboot and in your bios boot priority move your gparted drive to first priority. This will boot the utility when you reboot your rig. When it loads it’ll look like a type of linux gui.
6. Double click the partition editor(could be called something else but you’ll know)
7. On the device dropdown find the drive you want formatted (your 500gb drive) and find the device tag. It’ll most likely be named sda, sdb, sdc…sdx. You will use this in your terminal window.
8. (This is the drive destroyer step – it will wipe the drive totally to zeros including wiping the partition table/mbr. If this step is not allowed to finish you may not like what you’re left with) Switch over to terminal. Type dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx bs=1M. (where sdx is the tag you’ve retrieved from the partition editor) Bye Bye data.
9. Go back to the partition editor. Refresh devices. You’ll notice the device you are looking to format will be accompanied by a grey box (where accompanied by a box of some other color before) and a triangular exclamation sign. This drive needs a new partition table written to it before we can format it.
10. Go to the menu bar and select Device Create partition table. Default settings will be fine (msdos table type). Click apply. (exclamation sign is gone now) Now you’re ready to partition.
11. In partition editor click the drive you’d like to format and click new.
12. Fill in your desired label in the label box.
13. Select FAT32 filesystem.
14. Click okay and then click apply at the top.
I really enjoy fixes that grant me a new tool to use in the future. This should accomplish that. Gparted is a great utility so I hope if you decide to go this complex route you find it as useful as I do.
Be very careful you don’t mistype ANYTHING while in the terminal. You don’t want to delete anything that you don’t want to delete…am I right? If you feel uncomfortable bone up on this process by searching for videos, there are plenty.