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Summary :

restore USB drive to original state

This article will provide various methods to restore USB drive to original state. If your USB flash drive becomes abnormal after making it as a bootable disk or has less capacity for unknown reasons, you can try these methods to solve your problems.

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When Do You Need to Restore USB Drive to Original State

USB drives are data storage devices that use flash memory to store data and connect to computer through USB interface. Generally, a USB device has various usages. You can check Comprehensive Usage Tutorial of USB Flash Drive to know more details.

However, the various usages will simultaneously lead to multiple problems. For example, the USB flash pen drive may contain less capacity than its original state for unknown reason; the flash device might have less capacity after it was made as a USB bootable drive. In another word, the USB device can't work as usual.

If the above problems happen, you may wish to restore USB drive to original state to find back the lost capacity and make it back to normal. Some people may suggest that you could use a USB disk mass production tool to restore USB to factory default settings through low-level formatting.

However, this method will shorten service life of USB drives to some extent. You can check What Is Disk Formatting to know their differences. If you want to restore USB drive back to full capacity, you just need to delete files in the USB flash device. Similarly, if you want to restore bootable USB to normal, you can just format USB drives.

There may be other reasons that urge you to restore USB drive to the original state. However, some of you may encounter difficulties when restoring USB to default capacity.

We recommend three tools for restoring USB to original state. The specific steps will also be described as well.

How to Restore USB Drive to Original State

There are various methods to restore USB flash drive to original state; but please note that these methods may cause data loss, so you should back up important files in advance.

Method 1: Restore USB Drive to Original State with MiniTool Partition Wizard

MiniTool Partition Wizard is the first tool we recommend because it is extremely great in managing partitions. If the above problems happen to your USB devices, MiniTool Partition can help you solve them.

You can use it to delete files including the hidden files. Click here to see the tutorial. If your USB device has less capacity for unknown reason and you just want to restore USB drive back to full capacity, you can use the Space Analyzer feature.

If you want to restore USB to a normal device, you can delete the partition, format the partition, or even wipe the partition to complete this job.

Free Download

Here is a tutorial on deleting USB flash drive with MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 1: Download MiniTool Partition Wizard and launch it to get its main interface. Right-click the USB pen drive and choose Delete All Partitions from the context menu. Of course, if there is only one partition on USB device, you can also right-click the single partition and choose Delete.

delete all partitions

Step 2: Click Yes on the pop-up warning window. Then click Apply button to carry out the pending operations. In this way, you can clean USB device easily.

click Apply button

Then, you need to create a new partition for future use.

Here is the tutorial on creating partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 1: Right-click on the unallocated space of the thumb drive and choose Create from the context menu.

create a partition

Step 2: Set key parameters and click OK.

Kind Reminder:

Please set the partition file system as FAT32 or exFAT and create it as the primary partition because USB storage devices are usually preformatted with FAT32 file system or exFAT file system before it is shipped to you.

What's more, sometimes improper file system may cause some problems when you use it and FAT file system is more compatible than other file systems. As for other parameters like USB drive letter and cluster size (also called allocation unit size), please keep their defaults.

set file system, partition size, etc.

Step 3: Click Apply button on the toolbar to execute the pending operations.

If the thumb drive can't be restored to normal after the deleting and creating process. You can try the format feature.

Here is a tutorial on formatting USB flash drive with MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 1: Open the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard. Then right-click the partition on USB and choose Format from the context menu.

Tip: If the flash pen drive is divided into several partitions, please format them one by one.

activate Format feature

Step 2: Choose file system and cluster size on the pop-up window and then click OK.

Tip: Just like before, please choose FAT32 or exFAT file system. As for the cluster size, just keep its default.

choose file system and cluster size

Step 3: Click Apply button on the toolbar to execute the pending operation commands.

However, if the disk formatting also can't restore USB drive to original state, you can try the wiping method. The wiping method will overwrite all information on the USB flash drive.

Here is a tutorial on wiping USB device with MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to get its main interface. Then right-click on the USB device and choose Wipe Disk from the context menu.

activate Wipe Disk feature

Step 2: Choose a wiping method and click OK.

Attention:

The wiping method is related to data sanitization. You can adopt the default option when restoring USB devices to original state. However, the Wipe Disk feature will not only destroy all information in the USB device, but also clean the partition table. So, you can use it to restore bootable USB to normal.

choose a wiping method

Step 3: Click Apply button on the toolbar to execute the pending changes.

Step 4: After disk wiping, you also need to create a new partition on the USB device for future use.

After the partition creation, you can use the USB device as usual. However, if the above methods still can't restore USB drive back to full capacity, you should run Surface Test to see whether there are bad sectors.

Just right-click on the USB device and click Surface Test from the context menu. Then, click Start Now on the pop-up window. Wait until the result comes out. The green block stands for good sector and the red on represent bad sector. If there are bad sectors, you can either fix them or switch to a new USB device.

Method 2: Restore USB Drive to Original State with Disk Management

Another method is to use Disk Management, a Windows built-in tool, to restore USB flash drive to original state.

Here is the tutorial on formatting the USB disk with Disk Management.

Step 1: Press "Windows + R" keys simultaneously.

Step 2: Enter "diskmgmt.msc" in the Run box. And then click OK to open Disk Management.

Step 3: Right-click on the USB partition and click the Format option from the context menu.

format USB flash drive partition in Disk Management

Step 4: Set formatting parameters and click OK in the pop-up window.

Tip: Please choose FAT 32 or exFAT file system first. Then, please uncheck Perform a quick format to complete a full format. This will scan for bad sectors automatically during drive formatting.

choose file system and uncheck Perform a quick format

Step 5: Click OK on the pop-up format warning window.

Step 6: Wait until the formatting process reaches 100%.

wait until the formatting process reaches 100%

Many of you may find that you can format USB drives in File Manager. You may just right-click the USB device in This PC and then choose Format... to restore USB flash drive to original state. And this method is simpler than what we recommend.

But some of you may find this method not working for unknown reason and that’s why we suggest other alternative methods to you.

Method 3: Restore USB Drive to Original State with Command

Surely, you can also use command to restore USB flash drive to original state.

Here is the tutorial.

Step 1: Press "Windows + R" keys simultaneously.

Step 2: Type "cmd" in the Run box and then click OK to open Command Prompt window.

Step 3: Type command "diskpart" and press Enter key to open diskpart.exe input window.

Step 4: Type commands in the new input window one by one as follows.

  • List disk
  • Select disk 3
  • Clean
Note: In my computer, I know the USB device is disk 3 according to its capacity. You should replace the number according to your actual condition. At the same time, these commands will delete all partitions and partition table at the same time.

clean USB flash drive with diskpart

Step 5: Type the following commands one by one to create a new partition.

  • Create partition primary
  • Format fs=fat32 quick
Tip: These commands will create a FAT32 partition. If you want to create a partition with exFAT file system, you can replace "fat32" with "exfat". Then, please wait until the completion percentage reaches 100%.

create a new partition with diskpart

Step 6: Enter command "assign letter = f" and then type "exit" to close the input window.

Some people may ignore the last step. But if you don't assign a drive letter to the USB partition, this partition may not be shown on your computer.

Suggestions

Scan for Bad Sectors

If you have tried all the above methods and you still can't solve your problem, you should check whether the device is corrupted. If the device is a corrupted USB drive and has bad sectors, you can try the following method to fix the logical bad sectors.

Here is the tutorial.

Step 1: Right-click the USB device under This PC and choose Properties.

Step 2: Skip to Tools tab and click Check.

make an error checking for USB flash drive

Step 3: Click Scan and repair drive.

Step 4: Wait until the scanning and repairing process completes.

However, if there are physical bad sectors, you could buy new USB storage devices.

Scan for Virus

If your problem does not solve through the above methods and causes to this problem cannot be detected, then you can try running an anti-virus scan. USB storage devices are susceptible to viruses. Please make sure it's not a infected device. You can use built-in Windows Defender Antivirus or another reliable third-party antivirus software to do this.

Here are various ways to restore USB drive to original state, which can restore bootable USB to normal and restore USB drive back to full capacity.Click to tweet

Bottom Line

We need your feedback on whether this article can help you restore USB drive to original state. If you have problems in getting back correct drive size, you can leave a comment below or email to [email protected] for help. We will try our best to help you.

Restore USB Dive to Original State FAQ

How do I restore a flash drive to its original state?

You can use 3 methods to complete that:

  • Use Disk Management.
  • Use DiskPart commands.
  • Use third-party software.
How can I recover my USB?
If you mean you want to recover lost files from USB, you can refer to this post: How to Recover Data from Formatted USB Drive (Step-by-step Guide).
How do I restore space on my flash drive?

To restore the correct capacity on the flash drive, you can:

  • Delete partition and create a new one.
  • Format or wipe the partition.
  • Scan for bad blocks.
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