REstore USB Memory stick

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I used an 8GB memory stick for a Dell Diagnostic tool, which wiped out
everything on it.

Now it only has 1.96GB, not 8GB.

Can anyone let me know how to restore this to its original size.


Re: REstore USB Memory stick

t8769 wrote:
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In terms of flash sticks, there are several options for
formatting the stick. NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, FAT12 and so on.
Some of the older formats, have limits as to how large
a disk can be supported. It could be that your limit is
caused by the file system used (FAT16).

To be honest with you, I don't know all the tricks
to force Windows to do stuff. I've had my best luck,
with using a Linux LiveCD (Knoppix), for preparing USB flash
drives. In Linux, I can force FAT32 formatting on
it, or NTFS if I want. If I try in Windows, to
format or partition, I'm met with resistance
(not all options may be shown as available, in
WinXP). When I've done experiments with flash sticks,
it usually involves at least one trip to Linux,
to get the tools I need to fix my mistakes.

One trick I tried, for example, was to use
Linux "dd" (disk dump) command, to copy a floppy
to my flash stick. The /dev/sda part here, is
what the flash stick looks like as a raw device
when recognized by the Linux I use. It could be
sdb, sdc and so on, on your system. You have
to be careful with disks, to figure out which is
which. If I said "/dev/sda1" that would refer to
the first partition, while "/dev/sda" refers to
the whole, raw disk. In this case, I want to copy
over top of the raw flash stick.

    dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/dev/sda

That copies the entire floppy. One side effect, is
it makes the flash stick look to certain Windows
tools, like it is only 1.44MB in size. Because
in some ways, now it looks like a floppy. I was
real surprised, when MSDOS stored on the stick,
actually booted that way, without any special
formatter utilities from HP needed to make it work.

So there is plenty of messing around you can do,
and so far, I haven't run into a situation where
my two flash sticks have had a permanent capacity
reduction. As long as you can zero out a stick,
you can fix it. For example, to remove that floppy
image, I might do this. Now the device would be
empty, and ready to have some other file system
put on it (in Windows or via Linux). And you don't
even need to zero the whole stick - specifying a
small block count for zeroing, requires some more
command line options.

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

I don't really know what I'd choose to zero a
stick in Windows. There is a port of dd for
Windows, but the syntax for specifying the disk
is clumsy (blame that on Windows naming

If I use "dd --list" in a DOS window, my flash
is listed as...


and I think that is the raw device, and would be
the equivalent of /dev/sda.


could be the equivalent of the first and only
partition on the stick, /dev/sda1. So
in Windows in an MSDOS window, wiping the disk
with dd.exe would look something like

    dd.exe if=/dev/zero of=\?\Device\Harddisk2\Partition0

You can see how dangerous this can be, if you slip up
and accidentally specify your C: drive for zeroing.
Because of that, I cannot recommend dd as an "all
purpose hammer", because of the damage it can do
if you make a mistake.

Yet, on the other hand, if your only tool is
Windows "Disk Management" window, that may rob
you of all the wonderful options/tricks you can
do with flash sticks. I've run into the odd
situation, where I couldn't get it to reformat
the stick the way I wanted. For example, right now
my flash stick is NTFS, and I don't think Windows
would have let me do that. If I go to Disk Management
and select "format", it only allows me the option
of FAT32, even though right now, NTFS is actually
on the stick. This particular flash stick is 8GB,
and if I want to put something DVD sized on there,
I need a file system that can handle a file bigger
than 4GB. NTFS does that for me, and is why it is NTFS
right now.


Re: REstore USB Memory stick

On Thu, 9 Apr 2009 10:23:27 -0700 (PDT), t8769

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I suspect it has created a FAT(16) partition, sized as 2GB
because that's the largest FAT(16) will support.

If that is what happened, go into Disk Management, delete
the partition, and create a new one using the entire
capacity, then format it to your choice of filesystem that
supports over 2GB like NTFS or FAT32.

Re: REstore USB Memory stick

Thanks for the excellent advice.

I realised that the Memory stick was split into two before installing
the software.

Now only one part can be accessed, (Healthy PRimary Active Partition)
while the other part (Unallocated) cannot.
In UNALOCATED it simply says This device is working properly.

I am unable to do anything with this unaolcated sectin using Windows
Vista Disk Management - have tried everything. When I click on this
section, all the options go away, I'm only able to do things witht the
active section.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?



Re: REstore USB Memory stick


The Primary partition is active

Re: REstore USB Memory stick

t8769 wrote:
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Have you tried some version of the HPUSBFormatter ?

This one is SP27608. I just found this but didn't
test it or anything.

The one I've got, which installs files in C:\DriveKey,
is SP33221. The download is larger, but most of the
stuff in the download can be ignored. Using the program
in USB_BOOT folder (HPUSBFormatter.exe), will set up
the C:\DriveKey folder. In there is the program
HPUSBFW.EXE, which offers to format my USB flash
in three different formats. Perhaps
something like this will work.

To prep your flash, copy all the data off it first.
The HP Formatter offers to create a DOS startup disk,
but you don't need that. If you select a File System
value of NTFS, it will grey out the options that
are no longer appropriate. (DOS cannot handle NTFS,
so using NTFS would remove the DOS startup disk

(picture of the HP formatter tool HPUSBFW.exe)

Good luck,

Re: REstore USB Memory stick

Thanks for that..

Kingston emailed back and said to use KillDisk, but that meant
restarting from that software.. a bit scary.. as one wrong move and
you delete your had disk.

I tried to download the software you mentioned... but couldn't work it

I've downloaded it, but can't find it on my pc.

Any help?


Re: REstore USB Memory stick

t8769 wrote:
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I don't know which one you downloaded. The HP SP33221.exe should be
self extracting. You run it, then go to your Windows search, and look
for HPUSBFormatter.exe . When you execute HPUSBFormatter.exe,
it prepares the C:\DriveKey directory. And then you can run the
HPUSBFW.EXE from there. The HP method doesn't involve Add/Remove,
so this isn't like an ordinary install in this case.

The reason I didn't go into all the details, is because I use 7zip
for checking out what I've downloaded. That means I can "bore into"
SP33221.exe without executing it, and get at HPUSBFormatter.exe that way.
It saves me the step, of trying to figure out where the HP software
is going to be self-extracted. It allows me to extract ZIP files
in my "download" directory. I keep all my downloads in one place,
both the downloaded files, and the extracted contents. It prevents
tools like the HP downloads, from littering my C: drive when they
extract themselves. All my junk is in one place - if I want to
backup my downloads, they're all together.


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