Neither Gparted nor Gnome Disk Utility let me format a USB Drive. I don't no when this started, because a few weeks ago everything worked just fine. Now Gnome Disk Utility just throws an error Error synchronizing after initial wipe: Timed out waiting for object (udisks-error-quark, 0).

If I use dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb to clear out the drive I can format it, but then I appears to be owned by root and i can't change the permissions either.

Somebody got an idea how this comes or how to fix it?


I still got the same problem and have tried nearly everything I could come up with or find elsewhere. If I plug in any usb drive it automounts, but i can't access it without root privileges. I tried to change the ownership with chown, but it only gives me Operation not permitted as an error.

2 Answers 2


Follow this, might work (Gparted):


Also from Debian's launchpad report (link below)

You can work around this bug in gnome-disk-utility using these steps:

After selecting the SD card, instead of clicking the gear icon to format, click the partition in the "Volumes" section.

Delete the partition ("minus" icon)

Create a new partition

Is a really old bug you have there



There is an app on AppCenter, Formatter, which might become useful. Try this.

  • Already tried that, i seems like it's not an application specific problem, but rather a system wide.
    – anonymoose
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 16:24

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