Format Linux USB Drive to recover full disk space in Windows 10

This is quite a common problem when you have a USB Disk that was used to burn a Bootable Linux distro is dd mode. You plug in the USB drive in Windows 10 (or any windows for that fact) and all you see is a Drive with zero MB disk space or in some cases it shows “14.0 KB free of 2.35 MB” message. Formatting a Linux USB Drive to recover full disk space in Windows 10 - blackMORE Ops -7It is annoying as Windows seems to be completely unable to recover disk space. Disk Management shows the full disk size, cannot format it. I could go on with the annoyances but in short all we need is to format Linux USB Drive to recover, re-partition and reformat that disk in Windows 10. In fact it works in Windows 8.1, Windows 7 as well.

The following process can wipe entire disk, so be very careful which disk you select and wipe clean.

Step 1: Run Administrator Command Prompt

On Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 search for command and simply right-click Command Promptshortcut from the search results and select Run as administrator. Don’t use Powershell as sometimes it can get tricky.
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Step 2: Use diskpart to clean disk

Now connect your USB drive that you want to clean, reformat and recover space. SD cards, external hard-disks. etc. would work the same way. Just know that this process will simply get rid of all the data without any warnings.

Type in diskpart in Administrator: Command Prompt and press enter.

Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.15063]
(c) 2017 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\WINDOWS\system32>diskpart

Microsoft DiskPart version 10.0.15063.0

Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: RAZER-LAPTOP

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List all the disk with list disk command.

DISKPART> list disk

  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          476 GB  2048 KB        *
  Disk 1    Online         1997 MB  1996 MB

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This is the crucial part. Examine all the disks, size etc carefully. From my output, it’s pretty clean that I want the second disk (in this case Disk 1) clean, formatted and space recovered. It’s only 2GB in size (it shows 1997 MB though).

One thing for sure, I don’t want anything to happen to Disk 0. So let’s be careful run select Disk 1command. (in your case, you might be selecting other disks numbers.).

DISKPART> select Disk 1

Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

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Almost there. I will take few more moments before I issue clean command. It will clean the partition and make it available for formatting again.

DISKPART> clean

DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

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I get DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk as the response. Once you’ve got it, you can simply close Command Prompt.

Step 3: Re-partition and format

Run Disk Management tool on Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.  Now simply right-click on Disk 1 and select New Simple Volume. Follow the prompts and you’ve just recovered the disk space.

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