On some flash drives used here I simply boot up from a live GParted cd while the drive is plugged in and go as far as repartitioning the drive totally while booted live. From there even with the drive's volume formatted to NTFS Windows may still want to have the format option used as well as the check now option to scan for errors.
You should be able to do that with Partition Wizard or any other live partitioning program without Windows involvement which will tell if the drive is in good working shape. Once the system is restarted following the removal of the factory partition and the new one on unplug the drive before Windows loads up and wait until the desktop is fully loaded to then replug the drive back in for the fresh detection.
If the autoplay option for all media devices is checked off a flashing icon may appear on the taskbar, your av program's prompt to run a scan on the drive should be seen. and the prompt to format it for use should be seen. The message will also insist on checkong for errors with the second option of automatically fixing any seen before the format can take place.