Introduction: How To: Format Your SD Card Back to the Original Size (WINDOWS)

Picture of How To: Format Your SD Card Back to the Original Size (WINDOWS)

After writing any image with an OS for your raspberry pi, you may have notice that no matter the size of your SD card, windows can only recognize one partition with about 60 mb. If you try to format it in the Computer menu (righ-click on it and press format), it will only free the space in that partition, to have access to the full space you have two options (only one is needed):
- SIMPLE PROCESS: step 1 - SD Formatter
- ADVANCED PROCESS: step 2 - DiskPart

Step 1: SIMPLE PROCESS: SD Formatter

Picture of SIMPLE PROCESS: SD Formatter

1 - Download and install this software (from the SD card Organization) :

2 - Open the program, and select the right drive (in my case is G:), after that just click "FORMAT"

3 - You have just formatted your SD card! CONGRATULATIONS


Picture of ADVANCED PROCESS: DiskPart

1 - Go to the windows start button, write diskpart and press "enter"

2 - Wait a few seconds and write on this order:
- "list disk" - shows you the disks that are currently connected to the computer;
- "select disk X" - substitute x with the number of the disk
- "clean" - deletes all the data in the SD (you may have to remove and reinsert the card after this step)
- "create partition primary" - creates a partition in the sd
- "format quick" - makes a quick format

3 - You have just formatted your SD card! CONGRATULATIONS


MarcoK1 (author)2015-02-24

Thanks. I saved may 64 GB SD Card.

steven.gagne.37051 (author)2014-12-02

Thanks a bunch to the person who made this! just saved an 8gb card from the trash :D

Glad I could help (:

SoniaWhoTinkers (author)2014-06-08

thanks for creating this! i have a stack of cheap sd cards that we're going to try to breathe a bit more life into them by trying this. otherwise, we might go toward making some cool accents for crafting projects.

XroK (author)2018-01-05

Thank you so much! You saved my 15 GB MicroSD Card!

GeorgO1 (author)2017-12-11

Salamat po!!!

MohammedTahirP (author)2017-10-30

Thanks A Lot magamig you saved my 64gigs and Solved my error on win7

safwatammar (author)2017-09-03

wonderful, did it successfully, thanks a lot

john.chow.773776 (author)2017-08-25

followed the instructions everything went along well

but my 64 gig sd card still says 27 gig

ideas thank you

VincentS103 (author)2017-07-25

Godsend!! Saved my 64GB SD card. More strength to you mate!! Took just a few minutes to get out of misery!!! Thank you!!!

MubarakH made it! (author)2017-05-30

I'm trying to setup Raspberry Pi 3 support package. But when I click on write SD card, it shows the following error in the Picture. Please could anyone help me?When I click on write SD card, it shows the following error, it shows that ***Application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142). Click OK to close the application

ToniRose (author)2017-05-17

Why don't I remember to come to instructables whenever I need to do something? Always the best information with the simplest instructions. I could have saved two hours. Thanks!

GurinderS6 (author)2017-04-23

It'd not working

JuG2 (author)2017-04-22

Dang! I threw away a few micro SD cards thinking they were damaged. Thank you for posting this.

M0J01 (author)2017-04-13

thank you!

AakashB19 (author)2017-04-13

pls help getting this as answer

DISKPART> create partition primary

No usable free extent could be found. It may be that there is insufficient

free space to create a partition at the specified size and offset. Specify

different size and offset values or don't specify either to create the

maximum sized partition. It may be that the disk is partitioned using the MBR disk

partitioning format and the disk contains either 4 primary partitions, (no

more partitions may be created), or 3 primary partitions and one extended

partition, (only logical drives may be created).

Galbraith (author)2016-12-27

Mine is 128gb but is showing 119 gb is that normal? Thanks.

IrtazaA1 (author)Galbraith2017-04-06

Yes, that space is system reserved for the features and running of the card

IrtazaA1 (author)2017-04-06


Adarsh UmangR (author)2017-03-22

Thank you so much, I saved my San Disk Class10 16GB sd card and everything works just fine now.

sais129 (author)2017-02-02


I tried this one but while formatting its showing that please release the write protection to SD Card and i have checked the sd is not protected in any manner and i have tried with the cmd , diskpart, and regular format, and with format tools also no use please can u help me on this .

DanP198 (author)sais1292017-03-17

Sometimes on micro sd card adapters there's a physical locking switch on the outside edge of them, make sure the switch isnt set to "lock".

GregoryB80 (author)2017-03-05


ujjwlpkhandwal510 (author)2017-01-24

thank u for this software

suboxygen (author)2017-01-14

oh my god.. this tool just saved me so much grief haha. I thoguht my SD card was just broken.. thank you very much!!!!

veggiebenz (author)2017-01-13

This was very helpful - thanks!

dcmorley (author)2016-12-19

Bloody well works, I got a 256 GB card back from 32 MB.

NagN (author)2016-12-16

Thank you friend.....super

ChrisB694 (author)2016-12-13

Wow..this is ridiculous how easy this is. Thought my SD card was it's not! Thank you!

rahul shokeen (author)2016-12-05

my 32gb card got converted in 16 gb memory card. Advance procees diskpart saved my 32 gb memory works!!

GrantB17 (author)2016-12-04

Thanks man! you saved me from a freak-out..

run4yrlife (author)2016-12-01


I 'd like to tell a story about my 16B micro sd card :)

After installing W10 IoT and it is broken to 64MB. I tried SD Card format but not success. I then did "diskpart" commands and nothing was changed.

I gave a last one with micro SD to USB device - not micro SD to SD device and it worked!!!



IsaR6 (author)2016-11-30

My 16gb class 10 sd card is giving errors on my Kodi on Raspberry
Pi. The OS suggests I reinstall. It seems it cannot save anything on the
disk. If I apply a new skin it goes back to the way it was. Hence
playback stops after some time as it cannot cache the sd card. I tried
to sdformat and reinstall the kodi image as I've done sincethe days of
xbmc but I get windows cannot format error. I used every available
method, some gave some cannot format error, some showed success but
ultimately when I checked the disk, all files are right there. Nothing
changes. It seems the 248mb partition created by the image is fat and
the rest is linux which kodi created. On a surface analysis it shows an
error on the MBR. I am not sure whether its physically damaged though. I
even tried converting the linux partition ot fat32 on diskpart. But on
reboot everything is back the way it was and all files intact. I've
noticed a few commentors have mentioned a similar problem. I tried Testdisk-7.0, which so far has given me the clearest picture and some control over the process. But its all temporary. Rescan and you find the fat32 and the linux partitions as they were. Can anybody
suggest a solution or maybe suggest a utility to directly write to the
mbr like we had in the dos days?

Thank you.

MarkoM57 (author)2016-11-19

Thanks i restored my Raspberry Pi SD Card it worked for me it was 63 MB and now its 7GB

DamianA14 (author)2016-09-25

My SD 32GB card is still working, THANKS!!

aarnell (author)2016-09-10

I used the diskpart method! Worked like a charm! You are a god among men!

VictorLazlo (author)2016-08-23

Thank You! SDFormatter was not compatible with my drive and/or disk, but the diskpart utility did the trick!

Certifiable1 (author)2016-08-19


yash10p (author)2016-07-26

Thanks man. Saved my 16gb card.

MarcelP11 (author)2016-07-26

Worked Once and never again. The best thing is to place the SD card in a smart phone android, and format it from there. Works always.

ChibuzoA (author)2016-07-23

Even the command prompt didnt work either

ChibuzoA (author)2016-07-23

it didn't work for my SanDisk 32GB micro SD now showing as 30MB because it says that it is write protected; but it is not! Kindly profer a solution

Welpe9 (author)2016-07-15

Thanks. I just saved my 128GB SD card (it was formatted to 500MB)

lpanagis. (author)2016-07-06

This does not work for re-formatting SD cards for the raspberry pi, don't waste your time, fire up your Linux and use gparted. Problem solved...

AlexG12 (author)lpanagis.2016-07-14

It does work for formatting cards for the Pi, I have done so many times with this tutorial

lpanagis. (author)AlexG122016-07-14

Never worked for me... On the other hand, Gparted always did... For all sorts of drives and any format. I guess this is solution is at the very least dependent on the system/user/drive/format since it does not ALWAYS work while Gparted ALWAYS work...

Johnl447 (author)2016-07-12

You just saved my 8GB high speed card! Thank you!

gourishankarp1 (author)2016-07-05

it works guys

fiarlandi (author)2016-06-23

Thank you so much! It fixed my new 32 gb SD card :)

ShaunakB (author)2016-06-15

Thanks a bilion!

Saved my 64 GB Card :)

About This Instructable



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