How To: Make a USB Stick Corrupted/Unusable [Easily Reversible]

Conversion

Either you want to make your USB stick unusable for one of your friends or a sibling as a prank, or because they get all up in your shit (data), or because you want to render your storage device exactly like you—Useless.

Or let me do you one better. Picture this one. Oh boy, you’re going to want to picture this one.

You buy/order a USB stick, and it was a scam. It said USB 3.0 and had all the “ultra-hyper-mega-giga-lightening fast” specifications listed on the pack. Then, of course, you waited a few days for the package to get home. Upon arrival, you instantly regret your selection after you put the shitty little thing through some practical use—It was a slow piece of shit. Like damn slow. And by that, I mean the “ETA: ∞” in your torrent client kind of slow. Now, since the stick is technically functional, the store won’t take it back. It’s kind of your fault you didn’t research online before buying this particular model. So, now what?

Gotchu’, my dude. Why not make the stick as functional as homeopathic medicine and that one unemployed uncle of yours? They don’t work. Get it? That way, you can go to customer service and tell them their product does not work. And don’t worry, even if they try to format the stick, it still won’t work. The entire thing is reversible, so even if you do not get a refund, you can use this beloved typically rectangular piece of shit of yours forever!

Let me show you, my dude.

Making the USB Stick Unusable

Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for any trouble you get into or any data you lose. This guide exists solely for ethical and educational purposes.

Step 1: Plug the USB stick in

Take the USB stick which you want to make unusable, and plug it into your computer.

Step 2: Open a command prompt window

Once the USB stick is connected, open a command prompt window by pressing the Windows + R keys and typing “CMD” in the “Run” box. Hit Enter and you’ll have a command prompt window in front of you.

Step 3: Become Hackerman

NOTE: This will erase all the data that you have on your USB stick. What this procedure does is, it deletes the partition of your USB stick that stores all your data. And once you erase that partition, there is no place to store that data, hence it becomes unusable.

In the command prompt window you just opened up, type diskpart and hit Enter. You’ll then see something like this in your window:

DISKPART
Loading DISKPART can take anywhere from 1 – 50 seconds depending on your drives, please allow it to properly load first. You will know it is fully loaded once the DISKPART > _ cursor is displayed and blinking again.

Now, type list disk and hit Enter. This will list all the disks on your system, including your portable USB drive. It should look something like this:

LIST DISK

Here, look for your USB stick. You can confirm it by the looking at the “Size” column. In my case, it is “Disk 2”:

USB Stick.png

Once you have confirmed your USB stick’s “Disk #”, type select disk #“—where you need to replace the “#” with the disk number your USB stick is at in the list—and hit Enter. In my case, it is “Disk 2”, so I’ll type “select disk 2”. Once the disk is selected, it should show something like this:

Selected.png

You’re almost done here. All you now have to do is type cleanand hit Enter, as shown below:

Clean
Cleaning can take anywhere from 1 – 50 seconds depending on the drive size, please allow it to properly complete the task. You will know it is completed once the DISKPART > _ cursor is displayed and blinking again.

To exit DISKPART, type exitand hit Enter. This will exit DISKPART.

Then simply close the command prompt window.

Step 4: Verify

Go to My Computer or This PC to see the USB stick.

It will now show the drive like this, dead:

Cleaned

This drive will not be usable. It will not even be format-able anymore. Upon trying to format it, the following will be shown:

Unable to Format.png

You have made the USB stick nonfunctional successfully.

Fixing / Reversing the Effects

Step 1: Plug the USB stick in

Take the USB stick which you want to make usable again, and plug it into your computer.

Step 2: Open a command prompt window

Once the USB stick is connected, open a command prompt window by pressing the Windows + R keys and typing “CMD” in the “Run” box. Hit Enter and you’ll have a command prompt window in front of you.

Step 3: Un-become Hackerman

In the command prompt window you just opened up, type diskpart and hit Enter. You’ll then see something like this in your window:

DISKPART
Again, loading DISKPART can take anywhere from 1 – 50 seconds depending on your drives, please allow it to properly load first. You will know it is fully loaded once the DISKPART > _ cursor is displayed and blinking again.

Now, type list disk and hit Enter. This will list all the disks on your system, including your portable USB drive. It should look something like this:

LIST DISK
This time, even loading the disk list can take some time. This is because the system tries to read the data on the empty drive but cannot find anything on it. Please allow it to properly display the disk list. You will know it is fully loaded once the DISKPART > _ cursor is displayed and blinking again.

Here, look for your USB stick. You can confirm it by the looking at the “Size” column. In my case, it is “Disk 2”:

USB Stick.png

Once you have confirmed your USB stick’s “Disk #”, type select disk #“—where you need to replace the “#” with the disk number your USB stick is at in the list—and hit Enter. In my case, it is “Disk 2”, so I’ll type “select disk 2”. Once the disk is selected, it should show something like this:

You’re almost done here. All you now have to do is type create partition primaryand hit Enter, as shown below:

Create
Creating the partition can take anywhere from 1 – 50 seconds depending on the drive size, please allow it to properly complete the task. You will know it is completed once the DISKPART > _ cursor is displayed and blinking again.

To exit DISKPART, type exitand hit Enter. This will exit DISKPART.

Then simply close the command prompt window.

Step 4: Verify & format

Go to My Computer or This PC to see the USB stick.

It will still show the drive like this, still dead:

Cleaned

But, now you can format it to start using it again. And upon trying to format it this time, everything will go just as expected.

Format

Upon completing the format, the drive will now normally show in My Computer or This PC, as shown below:

Formatted.png

There, you’re done. Your USB stick is now functional again.

NOTE: Corrupted data means errors in the computer data that occur during writing, reading, storage, transmission, or processing, which cause unintended changes to the original data. Think of it as having a specific order and number of 1s and 0s and then it is all scrambled all of a sudden. The data then stops making any sense, hence becomes irrelevant and is therefore called “corrupted”. This method is not a way to corrupt data per se, but only erase the virtual partition that stores that data, so it cannot be accessed anymore until a new partition is created. If you truly seek data corruption, either hammer your memory at least 20 times, or break off the data and power pins on your memory, or just call upon the demons of Salazar. They’ll do anything.

4 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.