Why did the storage capacity of my Kingston pen drive drop from 4 GB to 2 GB?

Stivinn Aura October 11, 2010
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DEVICE: Kingston DataTraveler 101 4 GB pen drive
(TECHNICAL NAME: DT101N/4GBIN)

PROBLEM: Pen drive memory reduced from 4 GB to 2 GB.

DETAILS: Okay, so here it goes…

I purchased a Kingston DT-101 4GB USB2.0 pen drive in Oct. 2008. It worked flawlessly for over 20 months, until recently, when I plugged it in, the usual Removable Disk J: did appear in My Computer, but only after 30-full-seconds without 0KB memory!!

I pulled out the device and reinserted it many times, hoping my pen drive would function normally, but it showed zero memory every time. Double-clicking on the J: would prompt the error: “PLEASE INSERT DISK INTO REMOVABLE DISK J:”

I could not scan/format/run the Kingston SecureTraveler (it came with the pen drive itself) to format the device/do anything with the pen drive. Also, the Disk Management (in the Computer Management) could do nothing with the device – not even change the drive letter, and it showed the device name as “USB DISK 30X” instead of the original “DT-101”. I concluded that the pen drive was fried internally.

I searched Google for the problem yesterday and suggestions like changing the disk letter from Disk Management and using HP Disk Utility flooded the internet. On one particular site, I read about “usb drive ulocker Repair_v2.9.1.1” and used it. After a few months of no usage, I finally used the pen drive yesterday – and it was still dead.

Voila! The pen drive LED started blinking as soon as I started the utility. But the application stopped responding midway in operation. Soon after, I found out that the pen drive was working, albeit with only 1.86 GB of memory! Sadly, the Device Properties still shows the pen drive named as “USB DISK 30X” and the SecureTraveler software fails to recognize the device as a Kingston DataTraveler DT-101 pen drive.

I tried another procedure that seemed to work for everyone who had the same problem as I did – it involved invoking DISKPART utility in Command Prompt (refer to the link above). It went off without a hitch, but failed to increase the drive’s capacity by even 1byte.

I’m still stuck with just 1.86GB of memory – as opposed to the full 3.7GB it’s got. Anybody who knows how to go about regaining the lost disk space may PLEASE help.

P.S. – An email sent to the Kingston support team has solicited no replies; and I doubt that going over to the small shop (from where I bought this device almost two years ago) would be of any help. The device is still in warranty, though.

System Specifications:
OS – Windows 7
CPU – Intel Dual-Core 2.0 GHz
RAM – 1 GB DDR2
MAINBOARD – nVidia 7050/nForce 610i

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  1. Viro37
    March 16, 2012 at 12:00 am

    having the same issue...

  2. Sudhairsangma
    February 24, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Thanks a lot Vishal.Your tip worked perfectly.....tell you what guys,don't waste your time trying other ways,just go to the link given by Vishal n u will be guided step by step and it really works (at least in my case where my Kingstone 32 gig was showing only 1 gig).....now it's perfectly restored to 31.9 gig.Thanks to Vishal once again....

  3. Ssm
    January 25, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    way to go vishal.. ur link provided good way.. hassle free..1 minute solution.. :)

  4. Jesse
    November 23, 2011 at 8:19 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH. I love you.

  5. Brian Person
    September 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    I fixed this, I had a similar problem. Like previous post have mentioned, it's a partition issue. I'm not really responding to the post as this is coming up on top on Google and I want to help anyone who is having this problem. For whatever reason the USB keeps getting partitioned down to 0. You don't have to download anything. If you have a windows XP disc you can just run it while the USB is in. Then delete the partitions and create a new one in the partitioned space. (Make sure it's the USB stick and not your computer hard drive!) Then when in windows *right click the drive and format! done!

    • Tina
      September 14, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks for sharing your solution, Brian!

    • Aibek
      September 15, 2011 at 11:15 am

      thanks for the input.

  6. Stivinn Aura
    August 27, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    A little too late, buddy. :(
    But i'll remember to try this if anything of the sort ever happens in the future.

    • Ruhappy2005
      January 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm

      hi thanks
      it worked for me 
      really simple fixed and got back my 3.7g drive

  7. Stivinn Aura
    August 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    The pen-drive exists no more. I broke it, threw in the trash and bought a new one, an 8 GB. But this time, it's Transcend. :)

    Thanks for the feedback guys, appreciate it. The 2 gigs died out to 0 bytes after a month or so!! To sum it up, this pen-drive kept halving its capacity until it became practically useless! I'll tell this one to my grandchildren.. ;)

  8. Katz
    October 16, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Is half of your drive being used by Ready Boost?

  9. Erick_ss
    October 15, 2010 at 6:18 am

    One of my flash drives presented the same probleme, showing just half of its capacity. Then I downloaded a program from their site wich restored my flash drive to its full capacity.

  10. Stivinn Aura
    October 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for all your comments guys. I'll go back to the shop from where i purchased it and ask for a replacement.

  11. Ryan
    October 13, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I got a 16GB Corsair flash drive from newegg.com about a week ago for $24.... Spend the cash... I have a 10 year warranty. I'll probably lose my flash drive, or just end up having a 1TB flash drive before the warranty is up! :-P

  12. Apsteny
    October 13, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Ryan is right, inside your flash drive 2 memory chips and one of them fried or unsoldered. To return the volume of 4G, will open the enclosure to replace or just resolder.
    Software can only return the name instead of "USB DISK 30X" - Kingston DT 101 (or any desired). This can be done using a service utility for the USB-controller Phison (precisely this in your flash drive), for example - Phison MPALL http://www.flashboot.ru/Files-file-527.html

  13. Sarveshwar
    October 12, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Get a replacement! I got my 4 GB Corsair Pen Drive (has a 10 year warranty!!) replaced within the same week of purchase.

  14. Usama A
    October 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    I see that ur pen drive is two years old....in my opinion u should give up and get a new one.....in my country, Kingston flash disks doesn't live more than 1.5:2 years.
    and get a DIFFERENT name like (Transcend, SanDisk, OCZ, Lexar, HP, etc..)

  15. Joseph
    October 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Could be as Ryan says. Flash Memory and Solid State Drives have a read/write limit, although it is in the hundreds of millions of times. Also, something that I found out with my camera SD card, there is the hidden trash folder with in linux or the hidden recycled folder with in windows, located on the drive itself. Try emptying those folders and see what the space has.

  16. DeadlyDad
    October 12, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Actually, you can get them for ~$10. Heck, you can even get 16GB drives for less than $40!
    http://www.dealextreme.com/products.dx/category.308~r.44625746~search.4gb%208gb%2016gb
    (I've gotten stuff from there all the time. Just check the reviews and the forum threads at the bottom of each items page to know more about it.)

  17. Mikemadarasz
    October 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Looks like you either lost a chip, or an address line. Could be either

  18. Trashinator0
    October 12, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I don't know if this would work with a flash drive, but I've had this same capacity problem with a SATA hard drive. I used a utility called SeaTools (from Seagate) which had the ability to restore a hard drive to its "native capacity." It looks like they have a windows version which says on the support page it supports usb. Might be worth a shot:

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools

  19. DazzlerBox
    October 12, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    I have had removable drives reporting 0KBs but it soon settles and all is fine. I always thought it was a bad idea to remove them without "unmounting" it first. I agree with jhpot- try reformatting the drive.

  20. Ryan
    October 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    I wonder if there are 2 memory chips within the flash drive that are 2GB each to make the total 4GB total. It sounds like for a while the flash drive was all but dead anyways. I wonder if 1 chip is fried and the other works? I would quit wasting time with software and just replace the hardware if its covered by warranty. Sounds like faulty hardware to me...

    • jhpot
      October 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      I agree. It's not like a 4 gig drive costs more than $20 these days anyway...

  21. jhpot
    October 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    The warrenty might be your best bet, but I wonder if this might be a malware-related issue. Why don't you try downloading the GParted CD and reformat the disk? If Linux sees the full four gigs then you have your answer: it was a virus.

    Check out http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/gparted-ultimate-partitioning-software/ if you don't know what I'm talking about.

    • Stivinn Aura
      October 12, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      Running GParted in Puppy Linux 4.3.1 showed the (only) partition of the pen drive as 1.9 gigs (same as in Windows).

      This thing beats me.. Everthing that works for others, simply does not fire in my case!

      • jhpot
        October 12, 2010 at 2:36 pm

        So the only partition is 1.9 gigs, and there's no free space shown?
        That's really odd. Does Puppy Linux have an easy way to view SMART
        data? I'd check that next.

    • Hoova
      May 28, 2011 at 4:27 am

      OK there is a solution its called Active@KillDisk run Active@KillDisk pick out your flashdrive tick the appropriate boxes in the tree and then run Kill,its a slow process but its never failed me yet,i actually used it a couple of hours ago on a 16Gig FlashDrive that was down to 1Gig, KillDisk took an hour to do the job but once done all you have to do is reformat the FlashDrive and off you go your FlashDrive is as good as new with full capacity

      • Tina
        May 28, 2011 at 5:22 pm

        Thanks for sharing, Hoova!

        If anyone else tries this method and finds that it works, please do report back!

      • sunil khatarkar
        June 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

        please tell me the complete procedure to perform this action

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