USB HDD says it has only 32 GB but I know it had 2TB yesterday


  1. Posts : 340
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit (with Creators OS)
       #1

    USB HDD says it has only 32 GB but I know it had 2TB yesterday


    A bit if a story here. I went to make a Windows installer on a Western Digital Elements 32 GB USB stick using Media Creation Tool. Fossiking around I then found that the USB stick is empty and the ext. USB HDD (2 TB) contains a bootable version of Windows. Also, in File Explorer the drive is listed as having a total capacity of 32 GB. It is easy to see the stupid the mistake I made - I chose the wrong drive for the Windows Installer!. How is it possible to be so careless?

    I deleted the bootable files on the (now 32 GB) HDD and the disk in File Explorer confirmed that it was empty but still showed its capacity as 32 GB. Restore Previous Versions found nothing. There is no drive in File Explorer that looks like a 1TB-32GB partition.

    I formatted the USB HDD. No change. It works (I can save files to it) but it thinks it has only 32 GB capacity. Fortunately the loss of files is not a big disaster.

    How can I get this HDD back to recognising itself as having 2 TB capacity so I can use it again?

    EDIT: Attached is a clip that might help. If the answer is to make the drive have a single partition of 2 TB (my guess) how to do that please?

    Thanks.
    USB  HDD says it has only 32 GB but I know it had 2TB yesterday-disc-layout.png
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  2. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #2

    The external drive was formatted as FAT32, as required to permit a Windows installation on a UEFI PC. That's what caused the 32GB partition, which is the largest partition permitted under FAT32. (That's not absolutely true, but it's close enough.)

    I don't usually delete partitions using Disk Management, but you ought to be able to do it from there. The alternative would be to use the command line Diskpart utility.

    However you do it, make sure to format the new partition as NTFS.
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  3. Posts : 13,680
    Windows10
       #3

    Did you not, read the warnings on the website that the MCT wipes the drive?


    Simply delete that partition and create a new one from disk management in ntfs format.
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  4. Posts : 340
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit (with Creators OS)
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thanks folks. That was quick. I now got a single partition disk formatted in NTFS. Progress. I have managed to shrink the single partition to half size and miracle: See the first attached pic.

    But, finally, I need to name each partition as A-1 and A-2, keeping the drive letter of the whole HDD as H. So I want the H drive to appear in File Explorer as in the second pic. which I had recently before this problem. (This second pic shows as an example my other ext. USB HDD (Volume name B)). But H appears as in the third pic. and shows only one of its partitions.

    How can I do that please?

    Thanks. (I'm off to bed.)

    Ignore the fourth pic at the bottom. I don't know how that appeared

    USB  HDD says it has only 32 GB but I know it had 2TB yesterday-disc-bnnthhg.png

    USB  HDD says it has only 32 GB but I know it had 2TB yesterday-zxcvbn.png

    USB  HDD says it has only 32 GB but I know it had 2TB yesterday-new-vvvvb.png
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails USB  HDD says it has only 32 GB but I know it had 2TB yesterday-dick-again-ghgh.png  
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 17,349
    Windows 11 Pro
       #5

    Stevekir said:
    But, finally, I need to name each partition as A-1 and A-2, keeping the drive letter of the whole HDD as H. So I want the H drive to appear in File Explorer as in the second pic. which I had recently before this problem. (This second pic shows as an example my other ext. USB HDD (Volume name B)). But H appears as in the third pic. and shows only one of its partitions.

    How can I do that please?

    Thanks. (I'm off to bed.)

    Ignore the fourth pic at the bottom. I don't know how that appeared
    You can't do that. Each partition must have it's own drive letter or mount point. A mount point is an empty folder on an NTFS filesystem that actually points to a partition on a drive rather than just a folder. The closest thing you could come to doing that would be to put 1 partition on the drive, give it drive letter H:, and then put A-1 and A-2 folders on H: drive.
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  6. TV2
    Posts : 2,015
    W10 Pro 20H2
       #6

    You can give the Partition it's drive letter (H), then go into it's Properties from File Explorer and on the General Tab give it the label A-1. It will then show in File Explorer as A-1 ( H: ).
    But it you want a drive that shows as A-2 then, as NavyLCDR said, you must create the second partition with another drive letter, so it would show as A-2 ( J: ).

    This is what you show in the second picture in post #4: There are 2 partitions, K & L, that are labeled B-1 and B-2 respectively.
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 340
    Windows 10 Home 64 bit (with Creators OS)
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Thanks.
      My Computer


 

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