Resolving USB Flash Drive Unallocated Space Issue (Low Capacity USB Drive)

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So just yesterday, I came across a weird problem with my USB or Pen Drive if you’d call it. I had a 8GB USB that was showing me just 49mb in capacity. I tried formatting it in different formats, but it didn’t worked out. For a second I was like “Seriously? I just got it and it’s bricked?” as I’m famous among my friend for doing that then on second thought I had a vague guess of what would’ve caused it. I recently made the same USB a bootable pen drive for Memtest used for testing memory sticks or RAMs and since then I haven’t used the USB.

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Without much brainstorming on the cause of problem, I opened up the Disk Management to see the stats of the USB, and there it was 7+GB of space unallocated. Since I couldn’t select the delete volume option on the allocated area as it was grayed out, and the unallocated area didn’t had an option like “Allocate Area” or something similar, I had to find another way of troubleshooting.

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It didn’t took much time to figure out the solution for this and also I found out that this problem doesn’t only occurs with USBs, but SD and MicroSD cards as well. So this troubleshooting guide should be helpful for those with similar problem with their SD cards as well. Here it goes.

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Step 1:
So first of all, press your Windows button on keyboard, and type in Diskpart, open up the application that shows up (in Win 8/8.1). In Windows 7/Vista/XP you might have to open Run and then type in Diskpart.exe to execute the program.

Something like this should pop up once you open the application.


Step 2:
Now type List Disk and press enter. A list of disks should appear on the screen, in my case there were only two. Disk 0 being the primary hard disk, and disk 1 being the USB, you can notice this by looking at the size of each disk. Other people may have more disks so don’t get confused with it.



Step 3:
Now since we need to fix the USB, type in “Select Disk 1” and the USB drive would be selected and all the next commands would only affect the USB drive. Make sure the disk you are selecting is the USB, not the other hard drives or you would be risking your DATA. Once you press enter, you’ll see the confirmation that the disk has been selected.



Step 4:
Once the Disk 1 (USB) has been selected, type “Clean“. This would remove any and all data in the selected disk, so be sure to select the correct one in step 3. Once the Disk 1 has been cleaned you’d see the confirmation underneath your command line.



Step 5:
Once the data has been cleaned, you’ll need to create partition for the USB. I’m not really sure about this command but it’s a must do in order to fix your USB. Type in “Create Partition Primary” and press enter. Once again, you’ll see the confirmation once the partition is created. I think it does the same job as the allocate/create partition would do in the Disk Management.



Step 6:
Well that’s pretty much it, you can close the Diskpart application either by typing in “Exit” or by clicking on the red cross. Now all you need to do is format the USB by the usual method, and once you open the Format tool, you’ll see the USB’s Capacity is back to its original capacity.

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I hope this article would be helpful for anyone with the same issue, but if you’ve got questions, feel free to ask. Don’t forget to share, since someone might be having the same issue.

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