Decreased memory capacity on USB storage device following format

By andrew24 ยท 6 replies
Oct 5, 2005
  1. I recently bought a 512MB MP4 player and all was going well until I used the format function in Win XP to erase all data on the disk. Ever since XP reports the capacity as only 115MB. I have tried to use disk management but it will only allow me to format or partition within the 115MB. None of the software that came with the player helps - the format facility provided will not increase back to 512MB.

    I have read a couple of descriptions of using FDISK and Win98 - after several hours I still haven't managed to get my old laptop running Win98 to recognise the mp4 player despite having the drivers on the install disc. Have also downloaded a couple of programs to allow recognition of USB device through DOS but comes up with error that USB device not found.

    Hoping someone can shed some light on this - is there any way to convince XP of the true capacity of the drive? Is my only option to find another Win98 computer that will recognise my player?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,166   +986

    yes, Win/XP partitioning is {broke,malconfigured,does it poorly, et al} for at least USB HDs
    and you need a 3rd party HD tool to perform the partitioning and low level formatting.
    The Win/98 system will work, Partiton Magic is great,
    and almost any other systems formatter (Mac, Linux) will format as FAT32,
    also see
  3. andrew24

    andrew24 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the advice but I am still having trouble;
    -can't get Win 98 to recognise USB device so can't use FDISK
    -downloaded Super FDISK from but can't be used with XP
    -downloaded Partition Magic 8.0 but it only recognises my two hard drives - how do I get it to access the removable USB drive?
  4. Jurgenz

    Jurgenz TS Rookie

    Same problem

    Hi, i have 100% exactly the same problem... it looks like a dead thread so please reply if you could figure out how to solve the problem...
  5. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 293

    XP requires drivers for P&P USB devices seeing as though it is older technololgy. Should be able to find the drivers through Microsoft website or install the drivers from your cd onto the 98 pc.
    Try it on a 2000 machine if you can, or even try formatting it through MS-DOS if WIN wont recognise it entirely.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    XP & 2000 already have the drivers necessary to see any amount of GB available for any USB drive on the market. Since this isn't just a USB storage device, other things can be possible (perhaps even by design).

    If you were talking about any ol' plug n' pray USB storage device, I would say it sounds like you might have a damaged partition or a defective device. To check the partition theory, insert the device. Click start and run. Type in diskmgmt.msc and press enter.

    You'll be presented with a graphical display of all of the drives in your computer. From here, you can (should be able) delete all the partitions on your USB device and create 1 big partition. Format it in FAT32 afterwards. Follow the link for more information on using diskmgmt.
  7. andrew24

    andrew24 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply but I have already tried disk management as per my original post and it will only allow me to repartition/format within the decreased capacity of 115MB.

    Other things I have tried without avail;

    -using FDISK on a Win Me computer
    -partition magic 8.0 and PTDD Super Fdisk
    -HP USB disk storage format tool
    -looked at many web sites, considered trying to update firmware but this seemed plagued with more potential problems
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