What is the proper way to clean a USB flashdrive/pendrive/thumbdrive after burning an iso to it using rufus?

I got scared by reading this thread.

You can just reformat the flash drive and use it again, no problem. I’ve got flash drives that have been used for years to install various distros, still working perfectly fine.


I’ve got a patriot 32 GB I’ve probably flashed 200+ times distro hopping and other stuff.

It still works great.

Otherwise, I just reformat to fat32, and then to whatever after. But fat32 is “original.”

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If you really get into the very rare situation that for a specific stick normal formatting tools do not work you can always zero the critical initial sectors by

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdY bs=4k count=1 status=progress

(sdY to be replaced with the correct block device name, of course.)