Linux Mint lets you connect removable media without much muss or fuss. Assuming your computer has the necessary USB ports you can connect any number of USB flash drives or hard drives, or even SD cards if your system has a card reader. However, to prepare removable media for use (or to erase it quickly), you need to format it. “Formatting” a removable drive simply means that the computer writes it with a filesystem in preparation for use. A filesystem is a method of organization information stored on a disk so the computer can find it again – NTFS, FAT, and ext4 are the most commonly used filesystems with removable Linux Mint computers.
To format a removable disk, first connect it to your computer. Once Linux Mint has recognized the device, an icon will appear for it on the Desktop. Click on the icon, and a Nemo window will appear. Your device will appear under the Devices category in the left-hand pane of the Nemo window. Right-click on the device’s link in that pane, and select Format from the menu.
The Format dialog box will then appear. You can select what kind of filesystem to use on the formatted drive. You have three options:
-A FAT32 drive will be readable and writable on almost all Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X systems.
-A NTFS drive will be readable and writable on almost all Windows systems and most Linux systems. Certain kinds of Linux systems may not be able to read from or write to an NTFS drive. Additionally, Mac OS X computers can read an NTFS drive, but they cannot write to it.
-An ext4 drive is compatible with all Linux systems. Note that neither Windows computers nor Macs will be able to read the drive.
In the Volume Label field, you can enter a volume label for the drive. After it is formatted, Linux Mint will use that name to list the device in Nemo.
After you have made your selections, click on the Format button, and Linux Mint will format the drive. Note that this will destroy all data currently on the drive – it is possible to recover data, but the recovery requires special software tools, and once the drive is overwritten the data is lost forever.