I downloaded ubuntu-13.04-desktop-amd64.

On Ubuntu's web page, I saw a link for making a bootable USB drive option, then I downloaded Universal-USB-Installer- and I made my USB bootable.

When installing the OS an error was found and installing not completed. After that I formated my USB but my USB's storage capacity reduced to 2 MB from 16 GB. How can I recover my USB size and install ubuntu.

  • Sorry, but your USB stick is possibly broken. I had the same issue with 2GB USB stick and nothing helped me to restore the original size.
    – Danatela
    Mar 19, 2014 at 6:40
  • If you're already on Ubuntu or have access to any Ubuntu system, hook your pen drive and open Disk Utility and see if your pen drive has any partitions set.
    – Kushal
    Apr 23, 2014 at 9:20
  • First use the commands in cmd, look in the comments and then i used HPUSBDISK to format the usb.
    – user394328
    Apr 2, 2015 at 18:05

5 Answers 5


Since there is no working answer yet, I post this:

The problem is that the remaining space of your USB flash disk has become unallocated. To repair it, use diskpart (in windows):

  • Open command line (cmd) and type diskpart. Allow the windows to run it.

  • type list disk, and find the number of your USB flash disk.

  • type select disk X, and type the number of the USB disk instead of X.It should say that disk X is now selected.

  • type clean.

  • type create partition primary.

Now you should be able to use the flash disk as before. (You have to format it first)

  • 8
    This is a genuine working method :)
    – Manoj
    Jul 16, 2014 at 7:40
  • Kinda strange that you can't do this from the Disk Management console (diskmgmt.msc)
    – Nick T
    Aug 10, 2014 at 21:08
  • It worked for me.
    – skd
    Jun 22, 2015 at 10:41
  • 1
    Your are just a genius.
    Apr 6, 2017 at 19:47
  • 1
    Why are people upvoting a Windows solution on Ask Ubuntu?
    – Eric
    Feb 7, 2020 at 2:08

first of all open disk management. click on removable disk or pen drive you choose. right click on it and see the total space (sum of allocated and unallocated space) if the size is less than total space then follow these step. open cmd (in administrator mode) type "diskpart" press enter type "list volume" press enter type "select volume 6"
{select the removable disk option such as 1,2,3} press enter
type "clean" press enter then exit cmd go to disk management. right click on removable disk(your pendrive volume) open new voulume then new partition wizard will start . then click next until it is finished. now see your pen drive capacity it is changed!!!!!!!

thank you for reading this !!!!!!!! please comment if it is helpful.


Use the Disk Utility that comes with Ubuntu and check that the Flash Drive's partition is actually using the whole 16gb, it may be that during the USB Installer's usage it screwed up the partition tables... To fix this you can remove any partitions inside the Disk Utility for that particular device and re-add them again ready for formatting properly...


if you are on windows 7 and dont have any linux, right click the my computer, then click Manage. ther you can format the usb and your other disk drives.


This is an old question, but here is a solution for Ubuntu since the only complete answer here is for Windows (on AskUbuntu...).

This CLI solution uses fdisk on Ubuntu 18.04. In this example, I am using a drive that has 64 GB total space, but displays only 512MB as available.

  1. Open up a terminal using Ctrl + Alt + t. Identify the USB drive using the command sudo fdisk -l. This will output all of your mounted disks and devices, with an individual entry looking something like:
Disk /dev/sda: 57.8 GiB, 62058921984 bytes, 121208832 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xbbd6109c

Device     Boot Start     End Sectors  Size Id Type
/dev/sda1  *     2048 1050623 1048576  512M  c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
  1. Find your USB drive from the list based on the expected size in bytes. You will likely see two entries for your one USB drive like above: one for Disk (a portion of the drive which is accessible to you) and one for Device (the total space on the drive). In the original question, the Disk entry would show 2 MB of space, and Device would show 16 GB.

We can now reclaim this space so that all of it is accessible to you (instead of just the 2 MB in Disk).

  1. Make a note of the Disk's name; in this example, this would be /dev/sda. NOTE: it is very important the identify the name for your drive correctly since we will be erasing the data on it -- you don't want to accidentally choose your hard drive and erase personal data!

  2. Load the drive into fdisk with the command sudo fdisk /drive/name, replacing /drive/name with the name you from Step 3 (like /dev/sda). This will start up the fdisk CLI interface (not your normal terminal); you can show available commands by entering m.

    • Enter p to confirm that this is the drive you found in Step 3. Enter d to delete the existing Device partition.
    • Enter n to create a new partition. Press enter for each option to get the defaults (one partition that is the max size of your USB drive). You can enter in other values, e.g. if you want more than one partition. Enter p again to check the new partition, which should be different than in Step 5.
    • Enter w to save these changes and return to the normal terminal.
  3. Add a file system -- if you don't know about file systems but want to use this drive with both Ubuntu and Windows, a good choice is NTFS. Enter mkfs.ntfs -f /drive/name to format the drive. See below* for more info.

  4. Mount the drive. A good walkthrough is here, but one quick way to do this is:

sudo mkdir /media/your_drive
sudo mount /drive/name /media/your_drive

The full space of your drive should now be accessible!

*About file systems: NTFS is compatible with both Ubuntu and Windows, but there are better options such as ext4 (Linux), exFAT (Win), FAT32 (both), etc. that you can/should use if you don't need the drive for both Linux and Windows -- I defer discussion of file systems to other questions.

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