Even with our best efforts to keep our storage drives in tip-top shape, encountering error messages is almost inevitable. When these issues arise, it's natural to seek help, especially if you're not a tech wizard. However, tackling these problems without a clear understanding of their nature can sometimes make matters worse. So, let's start by identifying the problem.
Common Issues When Your Storage Device Stops Working
Picture this: You're running late for a crucial presentation, and suddenly, your computer freezes. To your dismay, it's not a PC issue; instead, it declares that your "drive is not accessible." This frustrating scenario can be caused by various factors, including data corruption, incorrect drive capacity display, or a drive that refuses to be formatted. These problems often arise when your storage device is filled with data and lacks proper formatting.
When you encounter such a predicament, the first step is to perform some basic troubleshooting:
- Restart Your System: Sometimes, Windows fails to detect a drive due to minor glitches. A simple restart might resolve the issue.
- Change USB Ports: If Windows doesn't recognize your drive, try plugging it into a different USB port. If it's recognized in one port and not in another, you may have a faulty USB port.
- Clean or Format Your Drive: If neither of the above steps works, you can resort to cleaning or formatting your storage drive. While there are several methods to achieve this, one of the simplest is using Diskpart on Windows 10.
Before proceeding with drive cleaning, it's essential to emphasize the importance of caution. Cleaning a storage drive using Diskpart erases everything on the selected drive. Therefore, before proceeding, ensure you have a complete backup of your system.
Using Diskpart to Clean the Storage Drive
Follow these steps to clean your storage drive:
- Right-click the Start button or press Windows Key+X, then select Command Prompt (Admin).
- Type 'diskpart' into the command prompt window and press Enter.
- Type 'list disk' to view all available drives and press Enter.
- Identify the drive you want to clean and type 'select disk xxx' (replace 'xxx' with the correct disk number). Be extremely cautious in selecting the correct drive to avoid data loss.
- Once you've verified the correct drive selection, type 'clean' and press Enter.
You have successfully used diskpart to clean the drive. In case you have erased the wrong drive or accidentally typed in the wrong disk number, then you can always go to DIY guide on recovering partitions after using DiskPart
Initializing Partition of the Disk
To initialize the partition and format the disk:
- Type 'create partition primary' and press Enter.
- Type 'select partition 1' (assuming this is the partition you just created) and press Enter.
- Set the partition as active by typing 'active' and pressing Enter.
Formatting the Disk
Now, format the partition:
- Type 'format FS=NTFS label=WC-Drive quick' (replace 'WC-Drive' with your desired drive name) and press Enter.
- Assign a drive letter by typing 'assign letter=W' (change 'W' to your preferred letter) and press Enter.
- Finally, type 'exit' to complete the process.
Formatting the USB flash drive and cleaning the drive using Diskpart can fix the storage capacity issues on the USB flash drive. We suggest you read this article if you are curious to know other ways to fix USB drive only showing half capacity.
While there are various tools available for drive formatting, Diskpart remains a reliable choice. Its straightforward approach ensures a quick and thorough process, sparing you the hassle of data recovery after a quick format.