USB Memory only 1GB from 16GB, 8GB, 4GB, 2GB

So … yesterday I just installed Ubuntu (linux) alongside Windows and I used my 16GB usb memory through the process. I simply performed a format to the USB memory and transform it into an bootable device with Ubuntu. All things went perfect until I returned to Windows and wanted to use my memory for something else.

The surprise was when I just saw that my Memory has only 1GB (0.98 MB to be more accurate) instead of my usually 16GB (14.67 GB actually). I tried to format the device couple of time and no success in bringing back the entire capacity. After a couple more minutes I went to Disk Management (Right click on Computer and select Manage to go to Computer Management) and found this:

1gb after formatSo, my Disk 2 (USB memory) has an Unallocated space and is using only those 1006 MB. So, what can you do about this? How can I restore my USB device to its original settings?

The solution is quite simple and requires a Windows tools called DISKPART while the formal right click and shrink or extend options are not available for Removable devices like an USB Memory. So, let’s start:

1. Open the Command Prompt window (go to run and type cmd)

2. Type DISKPART in Command Prompt and run it as Administrator (you will be asked about this if your cmd processes is opened with normal user)

3. Type list disk in diskpart. You should see something similar to this window:

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4. Locate your USB memory number (in my case is disk 2) and type select disk 2 (change 2 with your disk number).

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5. After you get the messege: “Disk 2 is now selected disk.” just type clean

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6. After you get “DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.” message type create partition primary

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7. Now type select partition 1

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8. Type Active

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9. And that’s all. Type exit to close the DISKPART tool.

Go back to Disk Management and you will see that the Memory capacity is back to normal: one big piece of 14.67 GB :)

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The only thing left is to format again your drive (you will be asked about this when you try to access it). Just make a quick format and enjoy!

33 comments

  1. Sometimes, with this kind of problem, you can simply open the USB folder on windows, click on “show hidden folders”, then explore a bit and delete the big (or biggest) folders. It did that with my wife’s camera’s SD card.

  2. I figured some people (like me) don’t really look at the pictures as long as the text instructions are working, took me a minute to realize they didn’t match what the picture was showing.

    Thanks for the great information though, worked like a charm!

  3. a more simple way is to download wintoflash install it and then go in advanced mode and select erase disk and it will return to its original size after the work is done

    1. you can do that only if the space is not visible/accessible. This tutorials shows how to recover your entire drive capability if it was blocked (partitioned) during Linux installation. If your device is 16GB … that’s all you can expect from it.

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