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My 16 GB USB flash drive (SanDisk Cruzer SDCZ36-016G BL1008OFZB) got corrupted and I was going to format it, when I saw the setting for size only had one element in its dropdown menu: 1.00 GB. Thinking this would not change the real capacity, I proceeded to format it to the NTFS file system. Turns out, it was serious of only having 1 GB of space.

Is there anything I can now do to recover the ~15 GB of space this piece of junk cannot hold anymore?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 24 '11 at 21:33

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Does this have it's own software on it? I know some do. –  Rob Sep 29 '11 at 16:55

5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Run Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management and find the drive in the list. Delete the existing partition and then create a new primary partition formatted as FAT32.

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Yup! Worked :) Thanks! –  itdoesntwork Nov 30 '11 at 1:39

Does this have it's own software on it? I know some do. If not, or if you don't care, use a linux liveCD to use gparted or cfdisk to format the partition table and everything. If that doesn't work, then do dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb to overwrite it bit for bit with zeros. Then use gparted or cfdisk to add a partition table to it.

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This response assumes that this drive has the U3 Launchpad Secure software installed on it. Normal formatting methods will not erase the partition that contains the software. To remove this software and access the entire capacity of your 16 gigabyte flash drive you will need to download and run the U3 removal software.

Link to Sandisk U3 removal software here: U3 Removal Software

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This will result in any data secured with the U3 software becoming permanently unavailable so be sure that there is nothing that you need on this drive prior to this processes. If you do have information on this drive that you require, you will want to transfer it off the drive to different media or an alternate location. Once the U3 software is removed you should be able to format the drive as normal via conventional methods (i.e. disk management).

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Additionally there is a windows command line option for recovering 'lost' (unallocated) space.

  1. Run diskpart.exe (requires admin)
  2. List mounted drives with the command list disk
  3. Identify your jump drive in the list and its associated number
  4. Select the disk with select disk X (Where x is the number from the previous step)
  5. Clean the disk with clean
  6. Create a primary partition spanning the whole drive with create partition primary
  7. Exit the tool with exit

Enjoy your full disk!

Reference: Instructions are from this blog post

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Quick formats work just as well for flash drives.. you could try doing a quick format first ( I'm not sure if that will give the space back, but it's worth a try ) and then do an NTFS format..

I don't have a San Disk, but from what I've read some flash drives will have a format option in their menus somewhere.

Also, if you just wanted to use the San Disk as a normal flash drive you could remove its software and then format it.

This was kind of vague, but I hope it can help in some way.

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