Problems Trying to Remove a DOS/MBR Boot Sector From an external drive

Hi. I've got an old Lenovo SATA laptop drive that I'm trying to repurpose as just a regular old external USB drive. It used to run Windows (2000 I think).

I have the drive plugged into the computer via a SATA-USB converter.

I just installed Manjaro on this box last weekend and everything is up to date as of Saturday.

I've tried to get rid of the MBR via

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=1

I've verified that the partitions are indeed all gone with lsblk and fdisk, but after creating one large partition with fdisk, I try to format (ext4) it and get this error message:

mke2fs 1.44.5 (15-Dec-2018) /dev/sdc1 contains `DOS/MBR boot sector, code offset 0x52+2, OEM-ID "NTFS ", sectors/cluster 8, Media descriptor 0xf8, sectors/track 63, heads 255, hidden sectors 2048, dos < 4.0 BootSector (0x80), FAT (1Y bit by descriptor); NTFS, sectors/track 63, sectors 409599, $MFT start cluster 17066, $MFTMirror start cluster 2, bytes/RecordSegment 2^(-1*246), clusters/index block 1, serial number 0a632cb7732cb4b4f; containsMicrosoft Windows XP/VISTA bootloader BOOTMGR' data

So...what am I doing wrong here? Everything I've read says that dd command above should wipe the MBR.

Or does that message not matter and I can just go ahead and format it regardless?


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You should just be able to create a new partition table on the disk.

That should do the job with less input?

I was trying that and kept getting that message.

And this AM I create the partition again, and format it and that error doesn't come up.
Never mind I guess. Thanks.

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If you alter the partition table on a disk sometimes you have to reboot for the changes to show up, especially if you had mounted it at some point beforehand... :man_shrugging:


Hmm. Good point. Don't remember at which point I rebooted...but I may very well have been doing this, installed the updates, rebooted, then didn't get back to it until yesterday.


The easiest way is probably to use gparted and choose "create new partition table".

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