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Why “USB Drive Not Showing Full Size” and How to Restore It?


This article you can find methods to restore “USB drive not showing full size”, so that you can make use of lost or unallocated disk space of USB drives.

Issue overview

USB storage devices such as external HDD, USB flash drive, pen drive, memory card, etc., play important role in our lives. We can store large amount of data on SD card or flash drive so that we can take them to anywhere without difficulty. However, In case that hard drive shows wrong capacity, especially the total storage of used space and free space becomes less, then the space you can use also becomes smaller. So you need to restore its full capacity.

Why doesn’t USB drive show full capacity in Windows?

Generally speaking, a pen drive showing less space happens in the situations like:
        ●The USB drive is made to bootable disk. Installing bootable OS (operating system) such as Chrome or Linux. It will change the partition system of your pen drive so some free space will appear
        ●The USB drive is divided into two or more partition.
        ●There is unallocated space. We all know that unallocated disk space cannot be used if there is not partition created on it. The result is that you can make use of allocated space only. Therefore, we can fix the problem by adding unallocated space to existing partition.
        ●The disk is physically damaged. If storage device is physically damaged, the capacity might change. The entire disk size in Disk Management shrinks or increases largely, or the USB drive shows 0 bytes if you check its properties.
        ●Removing the pen drive suddenly while it is working
        ●Interruption before formatting completed or using some third-party software inappropriately
        ●Computer virus

How to fix “USB drive not showing full size”?

This part provides 2 solutions to fix “USB drive not showing full size” (restore USB drive backup to original capacity).
Caution: The all solutions will completely wipe the entire USB drive in question, please backup all important files before proceeding. Besides, please be very careful to select correct before formatting or cleaning operations, or you might wipe wrong disk by mistake.

Solution 1: Restore USB flash disk back to full capacity with DiskPart

Step 1: Run Command Prompt as Administrator. You can launch it easily by clicking the Start button and selecting option “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
Step 2: Type the "diskpart" command in the Command Prompt windows and hit Enter key.
usb drive not showing full size
Step 3: Type "list disk" command so that diskpart lists all disks connected to your computer, and the command should be followed by pressing Enter.
Step 4: Execute "select disk #" command to select the USB disk you want to restore capacity.
Caution: Be very careful here! # is the disk number of your USB drive, You should replace # with the correct disk number. Be sure you select the correct drive, as all the rest actions will be performed on the selected disk, such as format the disk. If you select the wrong disk, you’ll lose all data stored on that disk.
Step 5: Type "clean" command and press Enter
Step 6: Type "create partition primary" command to create a new partition on the USB drive after DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.
usb drive not showing full size
Step 7: Type "format fs=fat32 quick" command to formats the newly created partition to FAT32 file system.
Now you can open Windows Explorer to check if the USB drive is restored to full capacity.

Solution 1: Format via Disk Management

Disk Management is provided by Windows and it helps to manage partitions and disks for computer. Disk Management is able to create new volume, extend or shrink partition, change drive letter, delete or format partition, etc. the error flash drives can be repaired with Disk Management tool. Following the steps below, you can make USB formatting procedure performed successfully.
Step 1
Open Disk Management. Right click on My Computer and select item "Manage", and then click Disk Management on the left side. In the center section, you can see local hard drive and partitions and the USB drive which can be recognized by capacity.
usb drive not showing full size
Step 2
Right click the flash drive and select "Format" option and select file system format to perform quick format.
usb drive not showing full size
Step 3
Right click on the USB drive and select "New Simple Volume" item. You'll get the New Simple Volume Wizard which guides you recreate new partition for the flash drive. Operations are following the onscreen instructions, setting options and click "Next" button. When the process is done, you'll find the USB drive has been formatted and is properly recognized by system.
usb drive not showing full size

How to recover lost data from lost or formatted USB drive?

If the backup is not recent or is not available at all, just trust Bitwar Data Recovery software to bring back lost data. Now free download it here.

 Bitwar Data Recovery for Windows download Bitwar Data Recovery for Mac download

Steps to recover lost data

Step 1. Select your USB drive which your important data lost from, then click “Next”.

Step 3. Select the “Formatted Recovery” mode if you formatted the USB drive just a moment ago, if files are not override by new data, files can be fully recovered.
However, if files are not found under quick scan, try “Deep Scan”. The deep scan can find all the files with a detailed scanning algorithm, but will not display the file names and may take longer time.
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Step 4. Choose the exact types of files you want to recover, you can select all types if you have no idea about what type of file you want to recover.
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Step 5. After scan, filter the file you want with file name, file type, path, and time. Then you can preview them one by one. Then after deciding, choose the data you want and click "Recover" button to restore them back. Here, you'd better save all the recovered files on a different drive or hard disk in case of data recovery failure.
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Since hard drive showing wrong capacity has a noticeable impact on data and system storage, try to fix “USB drive not showing full size” issue and restore the missing data as soon as possible.

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