Home > Protecting Your USB > Protecting Your USB – 9 : Drive unusable, unformattable, and reporting 0 bytes

Protecting Your USB – 9 : Drive unusable, unformattable, and reporting 0 bytes


Scenario : You connect your PD to your PC, it is recognized (you get the audio confirmation) but it just does not show up in  Explorer. There is no way for you to access it.

Solution : I am pretty sure that everyone in his lifetime at least once comes across this problem which is called as frying your Pen Drive. You plug in your PD, it is recognized but you are not able to access it. You open the Disk Management component of the Computer Management console (type compmgmt.msc in RUN), it shows that the drive is connected, but there is no unallocated space.

Other things about the disk look normal. It shows up in the Device Manager as working correctly, without any warnings. Googling around also does not help cos although many people have this problem where the drive starts reporting 0 bytes capacity and can not be formatted but nowhere is there a fix for it. The most common solution offered was to return the drive to the manufacturer for replacement(if under warranty) or buy a new one( they are so cheap). Well, I wasn’t going to do so until i am dead sure that the usb is totally fried and its not some crappy windows driver issue. So here’s what you do to make sure that the drive is really fried and you need a new one.

1. Use a USB Format tool

I have a sweet little program called “HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool″  i use to format my drives sometimes but attempting to format the drive with this utility returned the following error message:

There is no media in the specified device.

Note : HP no longer offers this for download. 

2. Use alternative File Explorers

Try using FreeCommander, but that failed to open the drive, too.

3. Use file Recovery Tools

Use a file recovery tool like Recuva or NTFS Undelete and see whether it can detect  the drive.

4. Use a Linux Live CD

Use a linux Live CD and try to see whether it mounts the drive or not.

If all of the above methods fail, you can be sure that the drive is fried else you just might be able to recover it.

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