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Computer Tips: Format a Flash Drive

Flash drives are the dominant storage media of the present world. These tiny devices allow us to carry a large volume of data at ease. There are instances when one needs to format a flash drive. Different operating systems offer varied mechanisms to format a flash drive. In this article we will get acquainted with the various ways to format a flash drive.

flash drive

Steps to format a flash drive on the Windows operating system:

1. Boot up your computer and attach your flash drive to the USB port.

2. Click on "My Computer". From there, click on "Manage" located in the "Explorer" window of "My Computer".

3. Launch the "Device Manager". Here, track down your flash drive. It should be located under a tab named "Disk Drives". You are required to right click on "Removable Disk Drive" and then select "Properties" from the context menu that shows up.

4. Under the "Policies" tab, pick "Optimize for Performance" and click "OK" to continue.

5. Click on "My Computer". Now choose the format you wish to use on your flash drive.

6. You can choose a format from the drop-down list. Some of the formats that you can choose for your flash drive are NTFS and FAT32.

7. Finally, click on "OK" to finish with the formatting procedure.

Steps to format a flash drive on the Mac OS X:

1. Arrange your flash drive on the desktop

2. You now need to start the "Disk Utility". Select "Macally" flash drive option and then proceed with the "Erase" button.

3. Select the "MS-DOS file system", under the "Volume Format".

4. Input a new name for you flash drive and click the "Erase" button.

5. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen and then, you are done with the formatting procedure.

Besides the procedures outlined above, here are some useful tips and warnings to keep in mind while proceeding with the format of a flash drive:

1. There is a technique that allows you to use a flash drive on Windows as well as Mac OS X. For this to work, you should use FAT16 format for flash drives of upto 256 MB of storage. For drives with storage capacity of above 256 MB, use FAT32 file system.

2. Always make sure to check that your flash drive is installed on your computer and is detected by the system.

3. Keep in mind that formatting erases all the data on your drive. If it contains files and documents that are important to you, and may be needed in future, you should make sure that you backup all that data before proceeding with the format.

4. If the USB port on your computer is hard to access, use a USB port extension cable. It comes in handy to attach flash drives and any other USB device in general to your system.

5. Before unplugging a flash drive, ensure that the light is off. A flash drive usually shows a red or blue light when an operation is being performed on it, or by it.

Formatting a flash drive is a smooth task, if you stick to the basic tips such as the ones mentioned above.

About the author: Margaret is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on environment and autos. Beside this she is fond of books. She recently bought a sports car. These days she is busy in writing an article on johnny walker blue.

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