How to fix an unrecognized USB with Diskpart

By | January 28, 2017

Have you already tried repairing and formatting your USB drive on Windows to no avail? I’ve found that using Diskpart, a command line tool native to Windows, solves this problem 95% of the time. All you have to do is follow the simple steps outlined below. First, you must open a terminal. Go to the Windows search bar and type “cmd” and click the command prompt to open it. Type in “diskpart” and hit enter, this will open a new terminal window with the Diskpart utility. Say yes when it asks you if you want to open this. Here is a screenshot of me fixing an 8 GB USB drive with Diskpart

diskpart manager

“sel” is short for “select”; “part” is short for “partition”

  1. list disk (shows all your disk drives)
  2. sel disk x (you can tell which is the correct drive by the size of the drive, my 8 GB is appearing as 7800 MB, or 7.8 GB)
  3. list part (shows all the partitions on the selected drive)
  4. sel part 1
  5. del part
  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for each partition. Alternatively, you can enter “clean” after selecting a disk
  7. create part pri
  8. list part
  9. select part 1
  10. format fs=ntfs quick
  11. active
  12. exit

Your drive should now appear under your devices and drives menu. You can now move files onto the USB or create a bootable USB. Two of the most popular USB imaging tools are win32 disk imager and pendrivelinux. If you still can’t fix it, it might be best to just buy another since they’re so cheap. Just make sure you don’t buy a 32 GB USB drive off Ebay for $4.39 because it’s probably a scam (people really do alter USBs to make them report that they have more storage). Remember to always eject your USB before unplugging it! Forgetting to do this can damage your USB drive.

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