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.