Merge Partitions On USB Pen Drive To Use The Unallocated Space

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on February 16, 2010



Few days back, I made my 4 GB USB pen drive bootable with a developer version of Chrome OS. To make my USB pen drive bootable, I used a tool which creates Linux based EXT partitions on the USB drive. All worked well and the bootable pen drive worked well.


After few days when I wanted to transfer some data I formatted the 4GB pen drive in Windows and I was surprised to see that Its showing only 941 MB of drive space. I formatted it again and it was still only 941 MB drive.


I opened Disk Management in windows to analyze the disk and came to know that the tool which i used to make my USB pen drive bootable, had partitioned my Pen drive into two parts. One of them was 941 MB of FAT partition which was usable and the remaining 2.7GB was showing as unallocated space.


In this article I will tell you how I recovered that space by using another tool.


The unallocated space shown in the disk management console of windows was actually Linux EXT partition which is not readable by Windows. As I no longer needed that USB drive as bootable, and wanted to recover the 2.7 GB space allocated to Linux partition, I tried to do a low level formatting of the USB pen drive using some freeware tools. It did not help to recover that Linux partition.

Also the problem with Windows is that It won’t let you create or Merge partitions on a USB pen drive using the Disk Management tool.


I came across this tool called BootIt by Lexar. What is does is that it allows you to set the removable Bit of the drive which will trick Windows into believing that the drive is not a removable drive.



IMPORTANT NOTE: Before following the below method Make sure to backup all your data on pen drive. This process will result in erasing all the data on pen drive.

If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, just run the tool with right click and choosing Run As Administrator option.


Now simply select the drive on the tool below and click the Flip Removable Bit button. After you press it, the tool will ask you to remove and re-insert the drive. After you re-insert the drive into the USB port, it will be non-formatted all RAW space.

Windows will prompt you to format the drive, just go ahead and format the USB drive and it will reclaim the unallocated space just like i got mine back :)


Hope you find the tutorial easy to follow.

Download BootIt Tool By Lexar

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{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

Mithun John Jacob February 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Good article !

But why can’t we use any partition tool that can also read a linux partition ?

Eric Githinji February 19, 2010 at 8:35 am

I Have the exact same problem with your,the chrome OS and stuff,though when i tried to write the image to my disk,it got corrupted.Everything else afterwards is the same as yours but when I tried the corrective procedure it does not work.Thing is it windows doesn’t ask for formatting after flipping in BootIt.Thanks and please help.

Rohit February 19, 2010 at 10:10 am

You have to remove the drive and insert it again after the flipping. I hope you have done that. And to be sure that the drive is not damaged, right click on my computer icon, click manage, then open disk management. Observe the status of the disk there when its connected.
hope it helps. Please comment back after trying this.

Jim February 22, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Excellent, I’ve been searching the web for an hour now after installing the new chromium flow os on my usb stick. This is the only post I could find that actually fixed the issue.

Thumbs up!

HanYen March 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Thank you! This tutorial had just solved my problem. Installed Linux on my 8GB pendrive and decided not to use it anymore, and found that my pendrive became only 1GB useable space with the rest of 6.87GB un-useable (unallocated)

kiran April 20, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Thank You.
I got my USB back

Anish May 10, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thanxxxx…bro….you give me my Pen drive back…..
Really helpfull…..Thanxxxxxx

Unlooper May 14, 2010 at 2:34 am

Thank you so much. I have been searching for hours and finally found your article. Very usefull. Thanks again!. My pendrive is back to full life!

Kunal Gautam June 4, 2010 at 10:39 am

Thanks , It worked and I recovered my 2gb pendrive :)

Vignesh Nadar June 12, 2010 at 12:04 am

Great Help dude! No need to use Bootit too.

Run -> dickmgmt.msc -> Delete Unallocated
reinsert the pendrive -> diskmgmt.msc -> Create New Partition -> Voila! Gigs Recovered!

Vignesh Nadar June 12, 2010 at 12:05 am

Great Help dude! No need to use Bootit too.

Run -> diskmgmt.msc -> Delete Unallocated
reinsert the pendrive -> diskmgmt.msc -> Create New Partition -> Voila! Gigs Recovered!

RIZEN June 14, 2010 at 9:29 am


sachin June 21, 2010 at 3:28 pm

my I have windows 7 explorer.exe is not working

ahmed June 27, 2010 at 8:36 pm

thnks buddy ………………its jst solved my prob
really the best solution
prob i got since 4Months, now i got my GBs back from 2.5 to full
[Windows 7 + San Disk 8GB]

thanks Again

Cougar Abogado June 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm

I had to use “format” instead of “flip removable bit” (Win 7 + DaneElec 2GB), but it ended up working just fine.



RUKHSAD ALI July 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

moserbear pen drive readybroost tem
problem how can solve it sir

tahrox July 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

DUDE, THANKS, u saved me 15 bucks on a new one. I owe u a beer.

emre July 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm


I see all the unallocated parts in disk management but no right click availabe on allocated parts. Tried to use bootit! but my flash disk is not in the drive list… Please help how to solve it…

Toni July 21, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Thank you,thank you, I used format instead flip, but it worked fine
Thank you you are lifesaver

Siva July 27, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Yes. above solution is working and I got succeeded.

dave July 29, 2010 at 5:28 am

Thanks so much for this information…

I have been hunting all over the web to regain the full drive space of my thumbdrive to no avail and then I stumble onto this website.

I was surprised how easy it was and how well it worked…

Thank you so much for posting this information

harmaninder August 4, 2010 at 6:29 pm

i have tried flipping & reinserting the pen drive but still the problem is same. onyl thing i have done is “i have formated the pen drive before using this tool”

anyy sugestions

Mari August 10, 2010 at 8:02 am

your great man…..thanks for your article,i got my 4GB pen drive back from 250mb.

Peter Yang August 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Thanks. I got my full flash capacity back…:)

LSP August 28, 2010 at 11:16 am

It was so simple and it worked. Thanks a bunch for your post.

mallesh September 5, 2010 at 5:02 pm


Hardik September 28, 2010 at 10:57 am

Its really awesome. Trick mentioned here really worked for me. I had a pen drive which had CDFS partition. which was blocking my 300 MB of space and i just wanted to use. You trick really worked. thanks a lot.

rajesh xman October 10, 2010 at 10:28 pm

u r great man .i love u .god bless u .its done. I recover my 963mp space.

troniX October 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Excellent. thanks for the tuturial.

It worked on recovering the entire space of my flash drive

packetcreeper November 13, 2010 at 11:43 pm

your quick tutorial saved me from a major headache – thanks!

Brian November 30, 2010 at 2:55 pm

My pendrive is display raw data and when i am trying to format it using windows its not allowing the same.i am trying to use Bootit.exe but its not detecting the drive.What should i do?
Kindly mail me the solution.Thanks

Balzac December 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Awesome Stuff!

It works like Knife through a Butter.

Mubarak January 2, 2011 at 2:52 am

Thanks man it worked for me, ty so much.

Amit January 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm

i have the same problem and am trying to repartition the USB drive (after being disappointed with the speed of Chromium OS). I have the following issues:-
1. the partitioned portion which has the OS install on my USB drive does not have a volume name. So while the disk has the partition, it does not appear in the drives mentioned in BootIt
2. BootIt crashes when i try to format the drive. any reason?
any help would be appreciated!

SOLUTION January 10, 2011 at 10:20 am

I got Solution !!!!!!! it is very easy.
HI friends i made the same mistake. and my 4GB pen drive and 500GB external hard disk stopped working.
First i got my usb drive back to4gb
here is the method. i typed in run command box diskmgmt.msc then it shows pen drive below with capacity of 3.73GB and shows removable drive it also shows that my pendrive is unallocted space. so i clicked on format. and then select all the default setting which is window is offering(this time i have no choice i want to recover my space. nd beggers are not choosers hehehehe)
and Wow my drive was recovered. with fat 32system.
i only changed option fat 32 instead of FAT.
Thats it i hope it will help you all
Best of luck!!!!

afrad January 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm

thank u

Naveen G February 9, 2011 at 3:18 am

Chanceless Friends………..
You all are really Great…… Nowadays if some one knows something They are hesitating to tell. But you Peoples are really Great Sharing everything and recovering others problems. Including my pendrive….

asishgaur February 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

thank u very much after searching for an hour…… last i got my usb back…..thanks alot

Shruthi February 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Hi, I had tried this once and it worked like a beauty..but it doesn’t seem to be working now. I had formatted my my pendrive first before flipping the removable bit. Now no matter what i try, am unable to see the unallocated space from disk manager. Please help..

Nepzarin April 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm

i didnt work…..any more ideas how can i get back my lost free space..
can it b done with linux?????

Ahmed Ghobashi April 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm

it is working.
thank u very much

steamboat April 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

BootIT didn’t do the trick for me ( Windows Vista running as Administrator ), but I found a fantastic solution that cleaned my usb drive and left it as a raw partition I could then manage quite easily, see the steps below . . .

run command promt
type diskpart
hit enter
type list disk
hit enter
find out number for your fdrive
type select disk X
hit enter
(X being the number for your fdrive)
type clean
hit enter
type create partition primary
hit enter

that’s it

Denzil April 29, 2011 at 8:51 am

Thanks it works on my kingston usb. unallocated partition problem…

Dharma May 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Hey Abhishek,

Thanks so much for this post.. It really helped to recover my USB Pen Drive…

Keep posting !!

Best Rgds,

Prasad May 6, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Thanx. Linux stole my 4 gb and with Lexar, I retrieved the stolen raw space. Vowed not to use Linux again.

nithin m May 18, 2011 at 10:29 am


mus26c May 21, 2011 at 5:08 am

Everyone follow steamboat instructions it worked for me. thanks a lot steamboat you saved my pen drive :)

mrinal kanti mandal June 3, 2011 at 1:39 am

thanks a lot….. i m mrinal … its very helpful in critical prblm… actly durng the tym of pc formting my pendriv was attchd with the maching…. and later it was nt workng… even it was showng ) space…. nw its ok…. thanks….

bhavin July 1, 2011 at 12:31 pm

whener i insert a pendrive the msg shows as “you need to format the disk in H drive before u can use it ”
and then there a option for “format disk ” and ” cancel” if i click on format the messege comes as “check the disk and drive conected properly ake sure the disk is nor read only and then try again ”

please please please help uregent , am note able to connect any usb not even my usb cable which i connect to my phone for transferr, … please revert as soonas posible

bryan July 17, 2011 at 6:19 am

STEAMBOAT THANK YOUUU!!! I tried everthing and your solution is the only one that worked. Tried for hours and hours with this BootIt and disk management!1 thank you sooo much

Jigsaw July 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Thanx Abhishek i had the same problem solved it using Boot tIt.

sarath September 14, 2011 at 6:01 pm

excellent,it worked

42degrees September 28, 2011 at 4:25 am

Thanks, steamboat !!! diskpart woks on my kingston 8 gb.

Jose Paul September 28, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Thank youuu !!!! STEAMBOAT …..your solution was the perfect with my drive…
You are a genius…….want to keep in touch buddyyy !!!!
Appreciating your helping mind and a big big thanks for your support dear….

Stephen Innes October 1, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Hurrah! thanks Steamboat (this page) your disk management solution was simple and effective. I ha ve now recovered my 8gb usb drive to it’s full capacity.

Narendra Kumar October 1, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Thaks a Lot

This tutorials helpe me to get unallocated space from my

ashish October 3, 2011 at 11:46 am

It is helpful for me for get unallocated space. it is good

patwari October 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm

veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy thanks my jnooooooooooo

Aniket October 25, 2011 at 12:11 am

thanks buddy!!!!!!!!!
it recovered my lost pendrive capacity.
u really rockssssssssss…………….
keep helping….

well October 26, 2011 at 10:59 am

thanks really helps alot..

arjunappu November 3, 2011 at 1:12 am

my problem is whenever i plugged my mp3 player to the usb port its
showing that formatting now??
i choose format it now bt then the system says

“Windows cant format I
check to see that the disk and drives are connected properly,
make sure that the disk is not read-only,and then try again.
For more information,search Help for read-only files and how
to change them”

i dont know whats the real prolem? i was copyng the songs to the
mp3 player then suddenly this message appears.
please help me to fix this problem.

Brent Tauro November 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Dude! Thank you so soo much bro…I found exactly what I was looking for! God Bless ya 😀

Jack November 12, 2011 at 4:03 am

Thanks Dude..i got my pendrive back..i have Sandisk 16Gb and could bale to see only 31 MB after trying to make it as a windows i got all my 16Gb back.. Thanks so much my dear frnd.

Amol Gupta November 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Awesome Stuff!
Its a Swiss Knife Bravo Dude

Vamsi Krishna November 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

Thanx a lot buddy!
You saved the day for me! :)

Hemal November 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Thanks a lot my BRO…..

Now It’s works perfect . . . :)

Gino November 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Wonderful! Thanks for this tip!

charan December 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm

thank you it’s working perfectly with out any problems
thanks a lot…………

rrohit December 14, 2011 at 3:33 am

thank u very much for ur great help dude…….

Ben T December 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

Thanks! This did the trick. I was searching all over with no luck resolving this issue. Great article.

metalux January 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm

it works thank you guys

Mayank January 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

dint work 4 me… i tried flip and format but as soon as i re-insert my usb it shows as if nothin has happened to it…;'( plsplspls HELP!!!!!!!

Kiran Kumar January 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Thanks buddy,
It worked fine for me. recovered 2gb from my 4gb pendrive

AL January 25, 2012 at 11:41 am

I used ‘format’ instead of flip.
I got my 4gb drive back which was running one 1gb


musah February 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm

i have the same problem,i have 4 gig and it has reduce amusing window 7 i tried all the tricks but di dont work for me any help

Dhina February 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Thanks buddy……, It worked as fine, Great stuff.

shakhawan February 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Thanks dude.I got my usb back;really a great stuff….

Jheeioh February 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Thanks!!! It worked like new. Thnks agian!

Jheeioh February 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Nice tip! Thanks! I recovered my 7.4 GB USB Flash Drive because of you!

vijay March 11, 2012 at 10:54 pm

Thanks buddy……, I got my usb back; great. Thnks agian!

Gabriel March 15, 2012 at 7:37 am

Thanks a lot. I’ve just saved a 8 GB pendrive which was being recognized as a 200 MB one (since it was the only partition read, without it being able to be reformatted or repartitioned using any conventional method). Thanks, thanks and more thanks.

Richard March 21, 2012 at 1:29 am

Thanx for this – worked perfectly :-)

Ayush Garg March 28, 2012 at 1:48 am

Thnx a ton man !!!
I was searching continuously for 3 hours for how to get my SanDisk Cruzer 16GB back after an unsuccessful trial of Google Chromium but only your way has worked !!!!
Better than using any other utility like Testdisk !!!
Thnx again !! 😀

Nahu9keys April 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Thank for this tutorial dude!!!! Worked fine with my 16Gb Kinsgston!!!!!!!!!!!! ;(

mlanda April 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Thanks men!!! I have my USB key back!!!

ravi May 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

thanks. you saved my day!
my 8 GB USB drive was showing only 94 MB!
huh windows!!!!

Kris H May 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Thanx alot.. Worked like a charm.. :-)

Ben May 16, 2012 at 12:51 am

This worked… cheers for making this tutorial and providing a valid download link to the file needed!

Daniel May 20, 2012 at 6:20 am

Thanks everyone who contributed their bits…Steamboat’s solution worked best for me too :)

Devesh Kataria June 2, 2012 at 12:25 am

Great! This solved the problem thanks………

Gravybiscuit October 10, 2012 at 3:20 am

Thank you so much!!!

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