View Full Version : Weird USB Memory Problem

18-03-2008, 10:43 PM
I've been given a 128Mb no-brand-name USB mem stick by a friend to have a look at -- he says he doesn't know what he did, but he can now only see like 1Mb.

Threw it into my machine, and when the stick mounts, it's actually two drives, one of 1Mb and another with the rest. So, says I, it's just a partitioning issue -- let's recreate the partitions.

Trouble is, as far as anything I've used is concerned, they are two totally separate drives -- and as such I can't combine the partitions! I have a feeling that a "low level format" may fix the memory stick, but I have no idea as to which program to use <sigh>

Any help or pointers in the right direction would be much appreciated ... (and yes, I know it's only a 128Mb stick that can be replaced for under $10 ... but I hate to let something like this beat me!)

Speedy Gonzales
18-03-2008, 11:03 PM
Sounds similar to a U3 USB flash drive.

After you install the software to format it, it partitions it in 2.

One for the software it installs, and one, so you can boot into DOS.

Since its bootable, like a floppy.

18-03-2008, 11:10 PM
I think you will be able to format it back to a single drive with windows disc management tool in Control Panel

Start > Control Panel > Performance and Maintenance > Administrative Tools. Double click Computer Management and then click Disk Management in the left hand column

MUCH easier way :)

Start > Run and type (or better - copy paste) diskmgmt.msc

Click OK and there it is

Have the flash drive plugged in and you will be able to right click and format from there.

Hope that helps :thumbs:


BTW - XP only sees one partition in a flash drive apparently

18-03-2008, 11:34 PM
Yeah -- the problem is that in the Windows Disk Management Tool, it appears as two totally separate drives:

FlashDriveTwoPart.jpg (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/FlashDriveTwoPart.jpg)

I'm fairly happy with (re)partitioning, having done it for some time now, but having the two partitions show up as separate devices has me flummoxed.

Speedy -- do you anywhere to point me to as to UN-formatting it in two? :)

Speedy Gonzales
18-03-2008, 11:41 PM
Right mouse on F and select delete partition, but whatever is on it will go byebyes

18-03-2008, 11:41 PM
you could delete them and then re format as one


LOL snap Speedy!

18-03-2008, 11:51 PM
Nope -- when I try to delete a partition, it's greyed out:


Like I say, it's treating the single USB stick as two totally separate drives. Weird.

Speedy Gonzales
18-03-2008, 11:56 PM
Delete G's partition then. If it isnt greyed out

18-03-2008, 11:58 PM
Sorry, should have said that it's greyed out for both F and G drives.

Speedy Gonzales
19-03-2008, 12:15 AM
Open a command prompt and format F, or G. See what happens

19-03-2008, 12:23 AM
As expected, drive F: and drive G: were formatted :)

Is there any way of re-writing the flash equivalent of the MBR? I'd pick it's that that's causing the drive to look this way?

19-03-2008, 12:36 AM
You dont have to that from a command prompt - you have the format function available in Disk Management (it's not greyed out in your pic)


oh ok - you've done tried it allready

19-03-2008, 12:47 AM
What about this (http://hddguru.com/content/en/software/2006.04.12-HDD-Low-Level-Format-Tool/) ?

19-03-2008, 09:23 AM
Yup, tried that too -- as they appear to WinXP as separate devices, I get a list of devices to choose from, and no way of "combining" the two separate partitions ...