Flash drive not showing correct capacity. What are possible efforts to save it

fat32usb-flash-drive

I have a USB flash drive that I know has ~32 GB capacity:

Kingston Digital 32GB USB 3.0 DataTraveler (DTR30G2/32GB). I purchased it 2 years ago and have been using it in the FAT32 file system. For 2 years it has had 32 GB capacity.

Today, however, Windows 7 says the flash drive is empty and that its capacity is only ~200 MB. Since I only ever use the flash drive to transfer data between computers, and not to archive data, losing the data is no problem. But I do want its full capacity!

So, I reformatted it using Windows 7. But even after reformatting, Windows still shows its capacity as 200 MB. I reformatted both with and without the Quick Format option, but the outcome is the same — its capacity is only 200 MB.

USB overview

As a test, I tried to copy ~400 MB of files to the flash drive (in case Windows was only displaying the incorrect capacity), but Windows will not let me:

USB copy files

Finally, I connected the flash drive to a different laptop — a MacBook Pro (since FAT32 is compatible with Windows and Mac) — but OS X too says it is 200 MB, even after I reformat it on that machine.

Does all of this indicate that the flash drive is "dead"? Is there anything else I can try in order to save it?

Best Answer

As you have stated that losing the data is not an issue:

Plug the flash drive into your computer with Windows and enter

diskpart

Once you're in diskpart, enter

list disk

When you have the number of the flash drive, enter

select disk #

Afterwards, enter

clean

After this is done, you can go into diskmgmt.msc and you should see the full capacity. Go ahead and create a new simple volume, choose the file system, and format it.