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I have a memory stick which I had cleaned of old data fragments.

The memory stick was mounted on /dev/sdc1 so I did:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc1 bs=1M

After the task was complete, my usb memory stick became unrecognized.

What do you do in this case to make the drive recognized again and partition it as FAT?

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The "dd" command do not format any partition. It simply write blocks from/to devices. Your command just write zeros to the device of your usb stick partition. This is a easy way to cleanup the whole partition from old datafragments. But it is no formatting. – f4m8 Nov 8 '11 at 12:14
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you want to create a filesystem on your usb stick partition, you should do

    mkfs -t vfat /dev/sdc1

as a user who as access rights to write to the partition, like root

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Thank you very much for the answer. – 0101amt Nov 9 '11 at 21:03

Use parted (gparted if you want a GUI) or fdisk to format partitions

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fdisk creates partitions. To create a filesystem (format in DOS/Windows terminology), use mkfs. – Gilles Nov 8 '11 at 22:58

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