June 28, 2015

Unable to format USB Flash Drive to full capacity

Today I decided to make a backup of some of my precious old stuff so I grabbed a 32GB flash drive that was laying around and plugged it in.

 I got the "format" message and then I remembered that a while back I installed a Live USB Linux distro. I went to Disk Management to format the flash drive and I noticed that there are 3 partitions on that drive. I formatted each partition hoping that this will remove the Linux distro and get my 32 GB back but now the flash drive shows as a 2 GB drive. In Disk Management it shows 2 partitions, both 2 GB and 25+ GB of unallocated space. I was hoping that I could delete these 2 partitions and but I couldn't do it using Disk Management. The solution (if you' re running Windows): If you run a Linux distro such as Ubuntu you can try formatting your flash drive using Disks (which is installed by default).

  1. Run Command Prompt (CMD)
  2. Type DISKPART
  3. Type LIST DISK This will list all available drives. Both internal and external.
  4. Type SELECT DISK # (# Replace with your disk number) Make sure you select the correct drive.
  5. Type LIST PARTITION This will return the available partitions in your drive.
  8. Type CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY to create a new full-sized partition.
  9. Type LIST PARTITION to confirm if the new partition is successfully created.
  10. Type EXIT
There are also a plethora of tools in the internet that can help but I don't usually trust them. If you used another method or tool to fix your USB flash drive comment about it below.

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