Sometimes Flash drives, storage sticks and cards become useless even if they are not physically damaged. Such drive is recognized by operating system, but the size is wrong (less than should be) and very often the user cannot even format the disk.
Yesterday I've got 2 such devices at once! I was trying to install Chrome OS on my netbook, so wrote the image of Chromium bootable drive to 4GB flash stick and 16GB SD card…
As I understand Google developers think (can they?) that having many partitions on disk is a cool true hackers way! They use 10 (Ten!) partitions on a small 4GB drive!!!
The biggest problem is that you cannot delete all these strange partitions and unallocated spaces using standard programs. Even Disk manager administrative tool will not help :( So here is a step by step instruction on how to clear unnecessary partitions on the disk and get flash drive or memory card back to normal life.
- Press Win+R.
- Type DiskPart and press OK or Enter.
- Push Yes button in UAC warning window.
DiskPart.exe console should appear, next steps could damage your computer data, so be very careful!
- list disk - shows the list of all disks in the system.
- select disk X - where X is a number of disk you want to fix.
- list disk - call this command again, to make sure you've selected the right disk! You'll see * mark near the selected disk.
Next steps will destroy all data on the disk! Do you want to continue?
- clean - cleans the disk in 90% of cases.
If clean command fails, you have to delete each partition on the disk manually, by repeating the following 2-3 commands until all partitions are gone.
- list partition - shows the list of all partitions on the disk.
- select partition 1 - selects the currently first partition.
- delete partition override - override parameter allows deleting a locked partition.
When the disk is cleaned, you should create a primary active partition, then format the drive and assign some letter to it. Follow these commands:
- create partition primary - creates a partition for the whole disk.
- select partition 1 - choose current partition to perform other operation.
- active - makes partition active, so it could be a bootable one.
- format quick fs=fat32 - formats the disk, FAT32 is a standard file system for Flash Drives and SD cards.
- assign - sets some letter name for the logical drive.
That's all. Now you can close DiskPart.exe console, in a hacker style, by typing exit command or by clicking common x button on the right top corner of the Window :)
Hope this tutorial will help people to get disappeared megabytes back from memory cards and even fix some of "dead" flash drives.