Monday, July 16, 2012

Restore Lost Capacity of Your USB Flash Drive

Some malware can hide full capacity of your USB flash drive. For example, a 4GB pen drive sometimes shows only 500kb or less. An interesting part of this situation is that, even after removing the malware or formatting the USB flash drive, you will not get back its original capacity. Therefore, the question here is how to restore a USB flash drive to its full capacity. To help you, there is a tiny tool called BootIce. It is a standalone application for Windows and does not require installation. Here is how to use it to restore lost space of your USB disk.

1. Download the Bootice RAR file and unzip it. Insert the affected USB drive in your PC and then run the BootIce (as BootIce needs formatting permissions, you may require administrative privilege to run it).

2. Select the destination disk (affected USB disk) and click on the Parts Manage button. A new window will open up; there you can see different portions and parameters.

3. Click on the Reformat USB Disk option and select USB-HDD Mode (Single Partition) option (see screenshot below) from the list. Keep the ‘Align to cylinder’ option checked and then click the Next button.

4. Now a small window wills pop-up. Choose the formatting option (FAT32 or FAT16) and click Ok to proceed. Note: Most of the USB disks usually come with FAT16, so you may choose FAT16.

If everything goes fine, you will get a congratulations message. Now check the USB disk capacity in the Windows Explorer. It should be restored back to the original full capacity.