How To Fix Any Pendrive Showing Reduced Size

This problem might have occurred to you, that you started making your usb drive bootable and due to some unavoidable circumstances you end up screwing your usb drive either making it un usable or decreasing its size. Similar situation happened with me, I started making my SanDisk pendrive bootable using ISO to make it bootable linux stick. Unfortunately I ended up with disastrous outcomes.
Rather my pendrive became un-bootable, size reduced to 2GB from 32GB and I was unable to do any recovery of the pendrive using any tools available in windows. Moreover, the solutions described in different blogs, sites, forums game me more hard times. So, I thought why not use linux to solve this problem. It is obvious linux is build to read almost all filesystem’s which windows by default cannot.

Here are the steps how to fix any pendrive showing reduced size

Note: I will be using Ubuntu to describe my steps. You can always use parted or fdisk like command line tools if you are pretty experienced with them. Else go with the steps below, these are for any newbies. I’ll also be showing some alternative ways at the end.

Step 1 – Get GPARTED package

Click on the ubuntu software center and search for “gparted” and install it.

Open up the gparted program and select your pendrive.

Delete all partitions such that you get a totaled single unallocated space. Now format the space as NTFS.

Step 2 – Log into Windows and Format the drive

In windows open up disk management tool and format your pendrive as NTFS. And it’s done. You’ve got your pendrive back to life once again.

Now How to fix any pendrive showing reduced size with fdisk or parted

These steps are for command line experienced users, so stay away if you are still un-experienced with command line tools.

Step 1 – Launch parted or fdisk

#parted /dev/sdc

or

#fdisk /dev/sdc

Here, you have to figure out whether your pendrive will be /dev/sdb or any other. Since I’ve a HDD and one SSD so i have /dev/sda & /dev/sdb used up therefore my pendrive is /dev/sdc. In similar fashion what is the /dev/sd* for your pendrive. Use this to know the number of drives presently attached with your system:

#ls -l /dev/sd*

Hope the above command helps to figure out the right device.

Step 2 – Delete any partitions on the device

Proceed with caution, make sure you have selected right /dev/sd* else you will end up screwing up your hard disk.

First print the partition table to make sure whether you have selected the right disk or not.

(parted) print free

or

(fdisk) p

Continue deleting the partitions:

(parted) rm 1

or

(fdisk) d

Use rm in parted or in fdisk to delete a partition. Similarly, delete all the partions.

Step 3 – Create NTFS partition

(parted) mkfs 

or 

(fdisk) n
(fdisk) t

Type mkfs command to know the format to write the mkfs command to format your drive to NTFS. For fdisk user’s first use n to create a partition and then use t to change the id to NTFS id. Use help to get the id table.

Step 4 – Log into Windows and Format the drive

In windows open up disk management tool and format your pendrive as NTFS. And it’s done. You’ve got your pendrive back to life once again.

Alternative : There is a live gparted edition available which you can use to make your bootable usb and use the gparted tool without any linux.

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