USB pen drive 16 gig, showing as 2.25 meg capacity?

  1.    #1

    USB pen drive 16 gig, showing as 2.25 meg capacity?

    An empty 16 gig 2.0 pen drive is showing as only 2.25 meg, and is impossible to format in Windows. I did try out a Linux distro iso (Mint) on it yesterday, but because after burning to the usb stick it had some errors it failed to install correctly in Windows 10, so I deleted it from the usb stick.
    Tried to access the usb stick today, and it is reading as a 2.25 meg stick not 16 gig?
    Any idea why this has happened, and is there a way to fix it please?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,028
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1903 - 18362.53 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing

    Unfortunately your experience is far from unique, there are people out that that make a living by taking a low capacity USB stick and fiddling with the format so that it initially looks like a larger device and may be sold online for a high margin, it works because most people use the stick for a lot less than it's stated capacity when it's new so it's not until the usage gets to the actual size that the actual size shows. You may be a victim of one of these scammers, however ...

    As this issue is normally one that affects large devices 128GB+ it is more likely in your case that the stick has simply failed, sticks are better than they used to be but are still only a temporary storage medium, and will fail after a time, If you have critical data on the stick and no backup there are companies that will recover data, but this is at a high cost.

    If your device is from one of the larger manufacturers eg SanDisk etc, they often supply a free recovery software to owners so you could try the company website
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    It's an "Integral" USB stick, and is definitely 16 gig, as is has in the past had many files and folders containing several gig of data on it.
    This problem occurred only after deleting the bootable Linux distro from the stick?
    If it has failed, it is the first time in many years that I have lost a USB stick!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    Have you looked at the pen drive in "Disk Management" & deleted all the partitions on it - then created one new partition. The bootable Linux distro has probably created partitions that Windows does recognise.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5. Barman58's Avatar
    Posts : 3,028
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1903 - 18362.53 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing

    If you cannot find a specific recovery tool from the manufacturer of the stick you could try Free USB Flash Drive Recovery Software Recover Files from USB - EaseUS which has a couple of free recovery tools
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    I found a u-tube video that referred to my above problem and provided a walk through to fix it. So as I had nothing to loose, I followed if and fixed the problem! So I now have a fully working 16 gig USB drive again.
    Here is the link to the video, it's a bit difficult to follow in one sitting, so be prepared to pause it now and again as you follow the instructions.....I can guarantee that it works!

    How To Fix USB Flash Drive Storage or Format - YouTube

    PS: Didn't see your post rqt until after I had posted! But you are absolutely right! The above video link is very useful because it walks you through the recovery process!

    Thank you both for your help!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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