Weird Windows 8 Flash Drive Glitch
By Dave Taylor
The Question: This is bizarre. I needed to reformat my USB Flash Drive so that it was in NTFS format so I could grab an ISO image of the new Microsoft Windows 8.1 and while I figured out how to get to the format program, when I reformatted my 16GB flash drive to the needed format, it ended up only showing that it had 200MB of capacity. 200MB? Really, Microsoft? How the heck do I get this to work?
We’re on the same path, my friend, because I too hit this problem for exactly the same reason: I’ve been using a Kingston 32GB USB Flash Drive without incident for a long time, even using it with Windows 8 as a simple “old school” file transfer tool. Apparently, however, I wasn’t hitting any of the file size limitations on the FAT32 format so it worked just fine. Until the 3.6GB ISO disk image that’s part of the Windows 8.1 preview release. A file that size is just too darn big and the NT File System (NTFS) becomes a requirement.
For all of Windows 8’s refinements and Metro UI changes, however, working with this sort of thing is still crude and visibly unchanged since, what, Windows 2000? You’ll see what I mean.
Worst is that when I hit that weird 200MB flash drive glitch the easiest solution I found was to download and use a third-party flash drive formatting program from my old corporate alma mater, Hewlett-Packard. I’ll explain as I go, but let’s start with the official Microsoft way of reformatting a USB flash drive in Win8 since hopefully that’ll work fine for most everyone.
This post is excerpted with permission from Dave Taylor.
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