How to fix the USB drive to get its original 8GB size back


My USB drive used to be originally 8GB when I bought it.

I'm trying to reformatted in Windows 7 by right clicking on the drive and selecting Format.... But the capacity only shows 250MB.

Is there something I can do to get the original size back? Maybe it got partitioned in a weird way?

The flash drive is a SanDisk Cruzer Micro 8GB. I got it from Wal-Mart but this is the same drive.

Best Answer

You should try BootIce. BootIce is a portable, free utility designed to directly customize and fix drives at a deep level. It is able to edit, restore, install and backup MBR, PBR, partitions and sectors of drives.

CAUTION: Because of its powerful capabilities, using this program can render your drive non-functional. There is no Reverse option to recover from changes made through use of this utility. Always use caution when using BootIce and make sure you know what you're going to do is the way to what you want to accomplish before attempting to make use of its functions.

As I happen to have a flashdrive with this same problem, I'll add a walkthrough below with the precise steps on how to fix it. But first, a bird's eye view of the problem in My Computer:

Bad flashdrive in my Computer

Compare that to the results in DiskPart:

Bad flashdrive in DiskPart

The drive's original size is 32GB, however incorrectly shows as only 242MB. To correct this, proceed as follows:

How to recover a flashdrive's full capacity using BootIce

  1. Download BootIce, bot x64 and x86 versions are available from

  1. Extract the .rar file into a location of your choice. As BootIce is a portable program, you can run it from flashdrive or external HD.

  2. Verify the drive you have is the one with the problem. ATTN: Deleting partitions will erase all data. Make sure you back up any important files or data you do not want to lose before proceeding.

  3. Insert the verified USB with the issue into your computer's USB port.

  4. You will need Administrator access to run BootIce as it requires formatting priviledges. Right click BootIce and select Run as Administrator.

Run BootIce as Administrator

  1. Select the destination drive from the dropdown menu and click the Parts Manage button.

BootIce main screen

  1. A new screen will open, with the drive and any partitions beneath. Here you can modify parameters, such as partition sizes and Windows assigned drive letter. Select the main drive, the first option on the list and click the Re-Partitioning button.

BootIce partition management window

  1. In the popup window, select the single partition or multi-partition option depending on the partition(s) of the drive. In this example, we'll select the Single Partition option to restore the full usable size to the drive. Below, select the type of File System best matching with your drive, either FAT16 or FAT32 for flashdrives. This one is FAT 32. You may assign a name for your flashdrive in the Volume Label box. Leave all other options as default. Click OK.

BootIce formatting popup screen

  1. A confirmation box will appear, to proceed if you are certain click OK. NOTE Pressing OK will reformat the drive and delete all data. If your drive contains data you don't want to lose, select Cancel and do a data backup.

BootIce comfirmation box

  1. The popup window will gray out during processing and progress will be displayed in the titlebar.

BootIce formatting in progress

  1. If all goes successfully, when finished you should see a confirmation pop up appear.

BootIce confirmation of completion.

  1. You should now see the correct drive size appear in My Computer.

Successfully formatted flash drive in My Computer

Congratulations, your drive is now ready for use!

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