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How To Use KDE Partition Manager to Format USB Drive


As opposed to GNOME family system, Kubuntu has KDE Partition Manager as replacement for GParted. We can do many partitioning stuffs like GParted with it. Here, we will give an example about how to format a USB flash drive with KDE Partition manager. We use Kubuntu 15.10 to explain these.


Warning: partitioning or formatting is a dangerous activity. It should not be done every time. You must know exactly what to do, carefully read partition or volume location, carefully read every message showing, before doing any single thing. Don’t do this when you are sleepy. Once again, be careful. False partitioning may delete whole your hard disk drive(s) data. We have no responsibility for any damage you may get by following these instructions.

Open KDE Partition Manager

Open Kubuntu menu > search for kde partition > click KDE Partition manager. Or by the command: partitionmanager. A dialog will ask you for administrative password. Enter your root password then the KDE Partition Manager should appear.

First User Interface

KDE Partition Manager has similar interface with GParted or any other partition manager or even with a file manager. Left panel shows disk drive(s) available, right panel shows contents of disk drive selected. We will work with right panel. What you will see is an interface like picture below.

This picture shows on right panel, some partitions of my second hard disk drive (located at /dev/sdb). List of hard disk drives available shown on left panel.  Warning: don’t touch any other drive entry if you don’t want to format it.

Plug The USB Drive

Now plug your USB drive in. Then open menu View > Refresh Devices (F5). This will refresh KDE Partition Manager interface so you can see your USB flash drive entry on the left panel.

Select to Format The USB Drive

Carefully, select USB drive entry on the left panel to see your drive volume entry on the right panel. We assume that the USB drive already formatted as ext4 filesystem. We want to format it to fat32 filesystem. Follow these instructions.

  1. See your USB drive address. In my system, the USB drive is in /dev/sdc and the partition is in /dev/sdc1. It is simply because /dev/sda is already my first hard drive, and /dev/sdb is already my second hard drive. So the third drive inserted would be /dev/sdc. Warning: please be careful with this device naming system, many people accidentally destroyed their own hard drive data because they confuse the device names.
  2. Now see right panel. Right-click on your USB drive partition entry (/dev/sdc1 in my system) > select Properties.
  3. In the properties window, in the field File system:, select fat32.
  4. Optionally, you may write USB drive name in Label: field.
  5. Press OK button.
  6. A warning window will appear. Read it carefully.

See the Summary

After giving instructions, KDE Partition Manager doesn’t perform the instructions directly but it will sum them first. What you will do will be shown on the bottom panel. Carefully, read the summary. Make sure there is no mistake (e.g. wrong selection of device name) in it. Here, you still can press Undo button if you find a mistake in your instructions.

Perform the Formatting

After giving the instructions, we should instruct once again KDE Partition Manager to do format the drive. Press Apply button, then a same warning will appear again, then press OK, then the real formatting will be performed. Here you can not Undo anything anymore.

The Result

As the result, you may check the USB drive in the file manager.

  • Andreale Dicam

    Pasaba por acá para agradecer la intención de hacer énfasis en alarmar sobre el uso desinformado de esta aplicación tan poderosa que puede dejarnos desmayados si no se hacen con cuidado las cosas. Es una verdadera lástima que se tenga que recurrir al Partition Manager de KDE para simplemente formatear una USB, otras distribuciones como Linux Mint tienen aplicaciones sencillas como Mintdisk para realizar estas tareas sin poner en riesgo nada (excepto la USB a formatear desde luego). Otras aplicaciones simplemente no funcionan. Mal por el team de KDE.