You have found partitions on a USB hard drive or USB stick that you cannot delete using Disk Management. With these tips, it usually works anyway. The data is then gone, of course.
I just had a case like this again. There was a USB stick that I had used for Linux experiments. It was bootable and had an EFI partition. But now the stick should only be used as a storage medium, which is why the extra partitions bothered me.
Of course I have to go first Disk Management grabbed. But in this not all of the unwanted partitions could be deleted. So what next?
Important: The Windows tool Diskpart is a real killer when it comes to removing partitions. If the wrong disk is selected when executing the erase command, this can have undesirable consequences. When using the tool, focus on what you’re doing, rather than double and triple verifying that you intend to do the right thing.
That’s how it’s done
Plug in the USB stick. To be on the safe side, remove other storage devices (SD cards, other sticks, connected smartphones, external hard drives).
Take a look inside Disk Management, which you z. B. with Windowstaste+R and typing from Diskmgmt.msc can start. The physical data carriers are listed in the lower part. Also pay attention to the drive size. In our example (an old Surface Pro 4) we have a “Disk 0” with 238.35 GB. This is the SSD on which the system is installed. This is easy to recognize because, among other things, the Windows drive C: is on it.
Below is Disk 1 listed as 57.84 GB. Because no other drives are connected, because the size is correct and because “removable disk” is written, this obviously has to be the USB stick. When this screenshot was taken, the unwanted partitions were already gone.
We don’t want to delete anything on data carrier 0, just data carrier 1, recognizable by its size: at almost 58 GB, it must be the USB stick
The diskpart part
Now click Starttap cmd and dial at the command prompt the point Execute as administrator.
tap diskpart in and press Enter. This will start Diskpart. You can tell that you are in Diskpart mode by the fact that the prompt changes from C:> to DISKPART> changes.
Provide overview: tap list disk in and press Enter. This will list the disks. This is the same information as in Disk Management, see screenshot (A). In our example, data medium 1 is the approx. 57 GB small USB stick.
With list disk you list the physical drives, with select disk (and the number) you select the one to be treated, list partition lists the partitions there and with clean they are all removed immediately
Choose the right drive: If the drive to be emptied is here as Disk 1 appears, tap select disk 1 in and press Enter, see (B). This ensures that the erase command really applies to this physical drive.
List partitions: This isn’t necessary, because you’re going to clear them all together, but it doesn’t hurt to list again what should be deleted. You do this with list partition (Enter to press).
The mini-partitions that we want to eliminate appear here – in the screenshot at (C)
Clear all: tap clean in and press Enter, the message «The disk has been cleaned» appears, see (D). Now if you again list partition Diskpart will tell you that there are no partitions on this disk (E).
You are done. To exit Diskpart, tap exit in and press Enter. To close the command prompt, you can also use the exit-Use command. Now you can create a partition on the USB stick again according to your wishes in the disk management.