Why did the capacity of my pen drive shrink from 16 GB to 64 MB after trying to format it?

Aayam Dahal June 23, 2012
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I have a SanDisk Cruzer pen drive of 16 GB. One day when I inserted it to my computer, it said to format and I did and it said format unable. When I then looked at its properties, it was just 64.1 MB. How can I fix it?

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  1. Tony Batty
    August 28, 2012 at 2:04 am

    OK, here is one solution that I have found be careful in reading the instructions, hope that it can help you.


  2. Logan Cunningham
    June 29, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Can only guess that it did not format correctly and there is unallocated storage space.

    June 25, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Hello, I would try reformatting the flashdrive again. This works most of the time. If that does not work, try the hp tool mentioned by one of the commmenters

  4. trinaeaaross
    June 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    I have had this happen on a number of occasions (usually after creating a Linux live USB) and I found the following helpfu:

    1. Right-click on computer and select "Manage"
    2. Select "Disk Management"
    3. Right-click on your USB drive and select "Delete Volume"
    4. Wait for volume to delete, then right-click on USB and select "New Simple Volume"
    5. Follow the prompts and it will reformat the USB to your 16GB default.

  5. Yogesh Verma
    June 24, 2012 at 2:16 am

    pirated or local pendrive
    if it is under warrenty period get it exchanged
    probably i dont think it is real
    original 16GB pendrives are not avilable yet
    those avilable are without warrenty, cheaper and big chance of something like this

    • Ravi Meena
      June 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      16GB pendrives as well as 32GB and 64GB are available.

  6. Mihovil Pletikos
    June 24, 2012 at 1:26 am

    you can check what disk management has to say about a drive.... most probably you have a lot of unallocated space on drive

  7. Ryan Dube
    June 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Aayam, this is often caused by a corrupt flash chip, but before we get to that, can you explain whether this pop-up that said to format it was unusual? I take it when you insert your USB into the computer before it never did that, correct?

    A virus is another thing that will cause this issue - so before anything else you may want to scan your pen drive with high-quality antivirus/anti-malware software.

    • Ravi Meena
      June 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      sometimes when we accidently remove the pendrive and the reinsert it again, the computer generally asks you to format if before you can use it. I say no to it all the time. he just told the PC to go on with the formatting with the arbitrary formatting setting, so it might just be a wrong formatting issue.

      • chetan parmar
        November 17, 2012 at 4:06 am

        i also having the same problem,when i try to open my pain drive ,a message will come do you want to format it and two box are come of yes or no.o friend give me answer that what i have t do.

  8. ha14
    June 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

    perhaps there are some bad sectors
    Open Command Prompt and type:-
    chkdsk X: [where X=your external USB Drive letter] and press the Enter Key.

  9. Ravi Meena
    June 23, 2012 at 10:40 am

    right click on the pen drive icon and click on format, now in the format menu first click on "Restore Device Defaults", now on the top you will see capacity, now use this drop down menu and select 16GB and then click on format.

    try this and then reply if it does not work.

  10. Susendeep Dutta
    June 23, 2012 at 10:38 am
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