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Looking for a tool to format a disk without admin privilages

indivisible - February 11, 2010 - 11:28am
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I've been using the site and its apps for a while and want to firstly say thanks. I have a 16Gb Kingston DataTraveller that has been travelling around with me for a few months. Everything was going fine until a few days ago after connecting the OS can't read the filesystem.
Formatting is not an issue as I've been uploading periodic backups to my own webspace. However, I can't format the disk without administrator privileges using standard windows means (from the dialogue that prompts after a failed read or in console). No permissions for disk manager.
Getting an admin password or privileges isn't currently an option for me. And thus I began my search to find a tool that could format a usb flash drive without any higher permissions. The search didn't go so well though. Having to use very common words in the search causes a plethora of paid programs promising the moon, ads, warez and programs that do need admin access filling every attempted google.

So could anyone help me identify a freeware tool that will allow me to format my disk back to Fat32 without having administrator privileges?

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I would try running CHKDSK on it first to see if it can repair it.

Barring that you need to create a Live CD, Linus or XP, boot it and then reformat your USB stick.

Are you sure the problem is your USB stick and not some security setting on the pc preventing access to it? Have you tried it in other pcs? Other USB ports?



I've tried chkdsk but have the same privileges issue.

I guess a live cd or dos floppy is the option I'll have to go down then. I just hope the bios isn't password protected or set to boot from disk.

I've tried the stick on multiple computers and had the same problems.

dos screenshot

You could try some social engineering

How about asking at the cafe / library / school / wherever if it would be possible for a staff-member with admin access to a machine to just format the drive for you?

Got to be worth a try

Safe Mode?

Maybe if you go to safe mode, IT may have been ignorant enough to forget to password protect Administrator.
Good luck.

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