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Some questions about fdisk.


I am a bit confused about some aspects of fdisk.

Say i had a windows formatted FAT32 USB drive with 3 partitions on it and I went into fdisk and changed the label to GPT, would the drive still function? Can you give me a little more explanation about labels and what they do and when I would need to use them.

Also, say I have a USB drive with one single FAT32 partition and I wanted to wipe the drive and leave it empty with unpartitioned space, how would I do this from the CLI? Is it a case of using fdisk to delete the partition and then writing it?


  • Another question.

    Do the partition labels make a difference to how a drive functions? If I had a GPT partition drive with three ext4 partitions and I used fdisk to change the labels of these partitions to say for example '11 Microsoft Basic Data', would the drive still function?

  • Hi @WarrenUK ,

    I think you can find many answers by trying the operations by yourself. Just be sure to exercise with an USB device that doesn't have any relevant data -because it's gonna be lost during the tests. The same for any partition on your local disk.

    To read some basic stuff about labels, please refer to fdisk(8) man page. You also can play with parted to create/delete partitions and create labels (and do your own tests, so you can get the answers you look for).

    If any test fails we are here to help :)


  • Your right practice is best. I was just worried that it may break my usb pen drive. It's only a cheap one if it does.

    I will check out the man page.

  • Hi WarrenUK,

    I was just worried that it may break my usb pen drive. It's only a cheap one if it does.

    If somehow you don't know how to fix the USB drive, you always can use gparted to get it back again (the data will be lost anyway). So, don't worry.



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