Flashing images to USB gives odd errors, renders drives unusable


every time i have used Etcher to make a bootable USB drive, i get errors with it being unrecognized. after plugging it back in to the original desktop, i get 2 different error messages, 3 times.

i will first get a prompt to format the drive, this will pop up 3 times for each drive. if i try and format, the size will either be around 300 KB or 600 MB (size of image). it will say the drive is write protected, and close.

if i try and get etcher to re-image the drive, it will pop up an error message that i screencapped below.

this has now happened to my 3rd and last available USB drive. i can’t use any of my USB drives for anything, you can see in the last image that drives J, K and L are all a single USB drive. the G drive always appears alongside the USB drive, it’s unrelated to this issue and hasn’t caused any problems otherwise.


Make sure you are running elevated (as Administrator). These warnings after writing an image to a device are NORMAL because typically you are writing a Linux filesystem to the device, and Windows does NOT understand these at all, so it offers to destroy your hard work for you by re-initializing the disk.

Unplug the USB/SD and put it into the device that you wrote the image for and it should be recognized and boot from it.


If you need to recover the drives for regular use you can use the HP USB Format utility (google it) or sometimes Rufus or other USB writing utilities will have an option to reset a USB drive to default (FAT/NTFS).