[SOLVED] How do I truly delete everything on a USB drive to get the full space back?

Dec 2, 2021
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OK, so this is a 64gb Kingston HyperX USB stick, and it even says 64gb on it. I installed TailsOS on it last week with Rufus, and then suddenly when I went to format it because I thought that was a more secure Linux distro, I decided I didn't need it. I went into disk management and only 58gb is available and Tails doesn't even show anymore when it did before.

Furthermore, I've formatted it, I've uninstalled it, I've run CMD commands I found online, and as you can see in the image below, it still only lets me have 58gb. That TailsOS is like a ghost somewhere, and I want my full storage back.

Appreciate any help

 
Dec 2, 2021
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I wouldn't expect to have 64 gb usable on a 64 gb stick. I can't recall ever seeing anything like that.
What would possibly take up 6gb on a brand-new/empty stick? Also, when I could see TailsOS in Disk Management it still said I had 58.63gb, TailsOS was only like 2gb so that's still missing.
 
Dec 2, 2021
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Also, I know something's wrong because when I install DBAN via Rufus and make the USB bootable, when I go into my boot menu it doesn't come up, but on any other USB stick I have it does.
 
Dec 2, 2021
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When manufacturers specify drive capacity, 64GB means 64'000'000'000 bytes.

But it is not the same thing. You calculate GB this way:
64'000'000'000 bytes = 64'000'000'000/1024/1024/1024 = 59.6 GB
Why I know Tails is still there somewhere, not showing. TailsOS is only slighty under 2gb. Plus read my comment above about it not showing as a bootable device when it's made one. Something is up with this stick and I know for a fact there is, because before I installed Tails I had DBAN on it and booted into it many times to wipe old HDDs and SSDs.
 
Dec 2, 2021
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For a 64GB device, "~59GB" is exactly what windows will report.

Gigabytes vs gibibytes.
Base 10 vs Base 2.
Human vs computer.

You are losing NO space. It is not a matter of "formatting", or anything else.
Just different units being reported.
https://www.gbmb.org/gib-to-gb
Why I know Tails is still there somewhere, not showing. TailsOS is only slighty under 2gb. Plus read my comment above about it not showing as a bootable device when it's made one. Something is up with this stick and I know for a fact there is, because before I installed Tails I had DBAN on it and booted into it many times to wipe old HDDs and SSDs.
 

USAFRet

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"The salesman said this car will do 200! I can only get it up to 125. How do I fix this???!!!"

You don't. Nothing is broken.
The salesman was talking kph, you are talking mph.
Same car, same speed.
 

USAFRet

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Why I know Tails is still there somewhere, not showing. TailsOS is only slighty under 2gb. Plus read my comment above about it not showing as a bootable device when it's made one. Something is up with this stick and I know for a fact there is, because before I installed Tails I had DBAN on it and booted into it many times to wipe old HDDs and SSDs.
In Windows, command prompt.

diskpart, and the /clean all command.
That WILL wipe out everything on it.

Initialize, reformat....
Then see that Disk Management still shows you 59GB...:unsure:
 
Dec 2, 2021
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"The salesman said this car will do 200! I can only get it up to 125. How do I fix this???!!!"

You don't. Nothing is broken.
The salesman was talking kph, you are talking mph.
Same car, same speed.
Why I know Tails is still there somewhere, not showing. TailsOS is only slighty under 2gb. Plus read my comment above about it not showing as a bootable device when it's made one. Something is up with this stick and I know for a fact there is, because before I installed Tails I had DBAN on it and booted into it many times to wipe old HDDs and SSDs. How literally the next day after installing Tails then formatting it, then making it a bootable USB stick it no longer shows in the boot menu is no coincidence.
 

USAFRet

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Why I know Tails is still there somewhere, not showing. TailsOS is only slighty under 2gb. Plus read my comment above about it not showing as a bootable device when it's made one. Something is up with this stick and I know for a fact there is, because before I installed Tails I had DBAN on it and booted into it many times to wipe old HDDs and SSDs.
It is exactly the same with an HDD or SSD.

Take a brand new HDD or SSD that says "1TB" on the box.
Open Disk Management, and you'll see "931GB".
"OMG!!! what is taking up that 69GB?!?"

Exactly the same issue.
 
Dec 2, 2021
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It is exactly the same with an HDD or SSD.

Take a brand new HDD or SSD that says "1TB" on the box.
Open Disk Management, and you'll see "931GB".
"OMG!!! what is taking up that 69GB?!?"

Exactly the same issue.
You keep ignoring the part where when I made this bootable BEFORE installing Tails, it would show in the boot menu when I had an .iso on it. Now, after formatting and cleaning it up, it doesn't. Literally the next day. That is not a coincidence, something is up. But if you're going to keep giving me weird analogies and not address the issue, you can lock or delete this thread please.
 

USAFRet

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You continue to think there is some vestige of Tails on there, still consuming space.
The commandline function diskpart and /clean all WILL wipe out anything on it.

Run that, and tell us what it shows after.
 

Lafong

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Dec 2, 2021
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You could try "clean all" in diskpart from a prompt and see if that has any effect on capacity. I've seen cases where Linux can leave stuff behind on a drive even if it has been reformatted.

I've never tried "clean all" on a USB stick, but I'd guess it would work.
 
Dec 2, 2021
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You continue to think there is some vestige of Tails on there, still consuming space.
The commandline function diskpart and /clean all WILL wipe out anything on it.

Run that, and tell us what it shows after.
I did that and now Windows and Disk Management doesn't even recognize the USB stick and it won't show up at all...
 
Dec 2, 2021
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Now it's recognized in Windows, but says unknown capacity and I can't format it. This is after I did the /clean in CMD...



Here is Disk Management, it is not listed there at all. Wtf is happening.

 

Lafong

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Dec 2, 2021
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Try a 3rd party app to format.

Windows is flaky about formatting sticks.

Google for any of these:

FAT32 format tool from Ridgecrop

HPUSBdisk.exe

GUIformat

H2 Format (a german tool, but works good if you need allocation units smaller than the 32768 default)
 

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