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USB Drive DISKPART “CLEAN” getting “Access is denied.” error

by on Dec.30, 2023, under Techie, Windows

If a USB Drive is not able to be formatted or partitioned through the normal methods within Windows, then you may need to use DISKPART to CLEAN the drive. Recently I came across two (2) USB Drives given an “Access is denied.” error when trying to run CLEAN on them.
Below is the solution (ref: Microsoft Tech Community – USB drive cannot be cleaned or partitioned):

  • Right-click the Start menu and launch “Command Prompt (Admin)
  • At the command prompt type in “diskpart
  • Type in “list disk
  • Type in “select disk #” (ie “select disk 3” if Disk 3 was the USB drive you are working with)
  • If typing in “clean” returns an “Access is denied.” error message then first type in “covert gpt
  • Type in “clean” (this time it should work as expected)
  • You can now close the Command Prompt and partition/format the USB Drive like normal.

NOTE: This was all done on a Windows 10 (latest build as of Dec 2023) machine.

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