Reclaiming Space on a USB Stick

Messing around with bootable USB sticks can sometimes leave the drive with partitions that Windows cannot seem to work with. Like this example, where we have a 43 MB flash drive:

Disk Management shows that we definitively have more space, however the option to grow the partition is grayed out, and we cannot delete the 43 MB partition.

So what do we do? We could install a third party disk management tool, or we could use DiskPart. Start by launching cmd.exe and type “diskpart“:

This will launch the tool and put us at the command prompt. To find our drive type “list disk“:

Pretty easy in this case since we only have two drives to choose from. We will select Disk 1 to work on. Be careful when selecting disks, as selecting the wrong disk could wipe your drive.

To clear all disk configuration data off the drive simply use “clean“:

This will leave us with a blank drive. At this point we can create a partition on the drive through the Disk Management GUI. However, for the sake of completeness we will finish in DiskPart. The command we want is “create partition primary“:

This will leave us with a raw partition. To be able to use the drive we need to format it. The command is “format quick”:

Once the format is completed we should end up with a fully functional USB stick that now has all storage available.