5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2011 2:09 AM by noondaywitch
cricketernot Level 1 Level 1

I have this 4GB Flash Voyager on which I was trying to put the Lion Installer. The flash drive had been working OK, now I don't know what I've done, can't get it to work at all. Am unable to format and/or erase it. There's nothing on it that I need to save. I just want to kill it and restart it clean and get it working. Unlike many people! I have plenty of backups of various kinds. Here are some of the error messages I get:


Posix Reports: Disk erase failed - Cannot allocate memory.


Partition failed: File system formatter failed.


The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer.


In Windows 7 on Bootcamp: Formatting - The disk is write protected.


When it was working before I think it was formatted FAT32

Partition table supposed to be GUID?


Surely there must be some way of getting it working, using Windows if necessary, although I'm pretty lost in Windows.


Thanks for any ideas.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Windows 7 on BootCamp
  • sig Level 8 Level 8
  • cricketernot Level 1 Level 1

    Perhaps it is too small a drive, maybe that has caused the trouble. The point is I cannot use the drive at all, for anything. I cannot format it, erase it, partition it. Most of the time I cannot see it in Finder Sidebar, but can in Disk Utilities. Booting into Windows I can see it as Not Formatted and Write Protected. Windows says it can't do anything until it's formatted but it will not format. Reckon the Lion Installer messed it up. It was OK before. I don't care about Lion right now. Just want to have this thumb drive usable. Searching the web looks like this is 'difficult'.

  • sig Level 8 Level 8

    If you have access to a PC format on that machine. It should then be readerable on the Mac.

  • cricketernot Level 1 Level 1

    It's all very tricky. Went on Flash drive maker's website (Corsair), instructions are for Windows, fortunately I have Windows on Bootcamp, instructions were to uninstall driver, disconnect and reconnect flash drive and a good driver would be installed automatically. It WORKED, sort of, lost it again, had to redo it. After Windows in Mac OS it seemed to need partitioning. It's now MS-DOS (it was originally) and it does NOT LIKE anything else. It also does not like Zeroing Out. I think it's working now. Wonder if there are any instructions anywhere how to handle Flash drives?

  • noondaywitch Level 6 Level 6

    Pretty curious.


    All my thumb drives are formatted GUID and Mac OS extended (journalled). As supplied, they were MBR and FAT32, (which is normal as that allows them to be used for data on both systems). Reformatting in Disc Utility has never been a problem.


    That said, a quick check shows my current drives are all Lexar, so may not be comparable with another manufacturer's products.


    You can't however, put a bootable system on a FAT32 drive; for a Mac system it has to be GUID and Mac OS ext'd.


    Zeroing out is a problem with flash drives as all you're doing is changing the state of lots of little switches, rather than writing to a disc. It's almost impossible to get a reliable secure erasure on a flash drive.