Xtra-PC Support Knowledge Base

Appendix D - Frequently Asked Questions



When I plug my Xtra-PC into my Windows computer, I get a message saying, “You need to format the disk in Drive (X) before you can use it.  Do you want to format it now?” What do I do?

Example of popup message you may see:

This happens because Windows does not recognize some of the partitions on the Xtra-PC drive.  DO NOT HIT FORMAT OR YOU WILL DESTROY YOUR XTRA-PC!

Microsoft released an update in the past that causes Windows to now ask to format any partitions it does not recognize on a USB drive.  This is what causes Windows to show the format disk popup message.

Additional Details
Xtra-PC USB drives ship with 4 partitions on them.  Two are FAT32 that Windows can recognize.  The other two partitions are ext4 and swap partitions that Windows does not recognize or can read.

Windows sees the first fat32 partition when the usb stick is plugged in and mounts that partition to a drive letter.  It then tries to mount the 2nd partition which is a ext4 filesystem.  Windows does not understand what an ext4 partition is, so in some cases (depending on the Windows version), instead of just not mounting it, it will ask the user if they want to format it.  It will then do the same thing for the 3rd partition (the swap partition).

Unfortunately, there is no way we can configure the USB stick on our end to prevent Windows from prompting the user to format the usb stick.

Expected view of an Xtra-PC Turbo 16 drive in Windows File Explorer:

Xtra-PC Turbo 16 drive as seen in Disk Management.  The Xtra-PC USB drive is the "Disk 1".  You can see the two FAT32 partitions that Windows recognizes because it assigned them drive letters E: and H:.  The ext4 and swap partitions are shown but no drive letters are assigned because Windows does not understand what a ext4 filesystem or swap partition is.

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My Xtra-PC drive in Windows File Explorer looks very small (~46MB). Why is that?

For the Xtra-PC Turbo 16 and Xtra-PC Turbo 32 drives, the small ~46MB partition is a FAT32 partition on the Xtra-PC USB drive that contains the DoubleClickToUseXtraPC.exe application.   The Xtra-PC Pro product also comes with the DoubleClickToUseXtraPC application, but the FAT32 partition is much larger (~34GB).

The DoubleClickToUseXtraPC application provides information about your computer, such as your computer’s boot menu and bios keys, and provides helpful step-by-step instructions on how to reboot to your Xtra-PC device.   For more information about the DoubleClickToUseXtraPC application, click here.

Example of an Xtra-PC Turbo 16. Note the ~46MB partition that has the DoubleClickToUseXtraPC.exe application:

Example of an Xtra-PC Pro. Note the ~34GB partition that has the DoubleClickToUseXtraPC.exe application:

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