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Thread: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

  1. #1
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    64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    I have a Sandisk 64Gb MicroSDHC card. I've been using it for sometime on Android and. I've used Android to format it but never to partition it. I've also used Android to wipe data on the card. I've formatted it varous times again on Ubuntu.


    The card was working fine but today, I decided to format and clear all the data on it. Much to my dismay, after when plugging in the card and formatting it, Windows read it to have only 27.8 GB space even though it was empty. Ubuntu also showed 27.48 GB only.

    I've not much problems with the card on Android and Ubuntu but today, this serious problem occured. Just how does a 64GB card reduce to 27.48GB? I've formatted the card to FAT32 and EXT4 multiple times to no avail with GParted.

    Previously, some time ago, I've formatted the card to FAT32 and because the computer, I forgot if it was Windows or Ubuntu and because the computer read it as having 30GB space, named the card 32GB Volume or something like that (The name has long since changed to one of my choosing). However, Ubuntu still read the card as having 64GB of space and filling it up with more than 30GB worked just fine.

    What happened? How do I resolve this? I need the card to work on both Ubuntu and Android.

    Note: You may wonder why this is on a Ubuntu Forum. I asked here because I am looking for a Ubuntu based solution and much of my interactions with the card has been through Ubuntu or Android.

    This is my card. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005V7WIA2 Based on reviews alone, it seems to be very good quality. I've used the card on Ubuntu, and Motorola Defy (Android), and the Motorola Xoom (Also Android). Both Android and Ubuntu have worked with the card just fine except for one thing Occasionally, when copying files to or from the card, I get an error message. Sorry but I don't recall what the message said.

    Also, sorry for this mess of a post. I'll try to reword it once I have the time or overcome my exaggerated grief for this unexpected tragedy.
    Last edited by j814wong; June 2nd, 2013 at 01:36 AM.

  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail

    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    Open up the Disk Utility tool and take a look at the card. Is it just showing as a single partition? Is there free space shown? Using this tool you should be able to either expand an existing partition, delete any extraneous ones, etc. You'll need to unmount the card before making any changes.

  3. #3
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    I see a single partition with only approximately 30GB of space.


  4. #4
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    May be write a fresh partition table using gparted? This will delete the current partition as well as MBR and will write a fresh MBR (DOS compatible by default).

    And what does 'sudo fdisk -l' show? I'm interested in the CHS value, although have no idea if it can even be related. The only other really wild guess I can make is that probably one of two internal flash memory chips got corrupted somehow, leaving the card with only half the capacity 'physically'.
    Varun
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  5. #5
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    Quote Originally Posted by varunendra View Post
    May be write a fresh partition table using gparted? This will delete the current partition as well as MBR and will write a fresh MBR (DOS compatible by default).

    And what does 'sudo fdisk -l' show? I'm interested in the CHS value, although have no idea if it can even be related. The only other really wild guess I can make is that probably one of two internal flash memory chips got corrupted somehow, leaving the card with only half the capacity 'physically'.
    Thanks for helping out.
    Code:
    Disk /dev/sdd: 29.5 GB, 29504831488 bytes
    
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3587 cylinders, total 57626624 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
    Disk identifier: 0x000ec74a
    
    
       Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
    /dev/sdd1            2048    57626623    28812288   83  Linux
    GParted shows the SDCard as if it were a 29.5 GB card: A single partition with 29.5 GB available.

  6. #6
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    Perhaps I found "why", but not "how" to get the lost capacity back yet. Although you said -
    Quote Originally Posted by j814wong View Post
    I have a Sandisk 64Gb MicroSDHC card.
    But the link you provided is for an SDXC card :
    Quote Originally Posted by j814wong View Post
    From http://panasonic.net/avc/sdcard/info...c_english.html :-
    SDXC memory cards should not be used in non-compatible host products.
    further down on the page (in red letters !) -
    * When formatted, the card capacity will be reduced to half or less, or the SD host product will not be able to recognize the card, making it no longer SDXC compatible.
    In compatible OS list, it mentions the big brothers only (MS and Mac), not Linux, but says this :
    When you use your SDXC memory card with your PC, please confirm if your PC supports exFAT
    Linux does support exFAT, so I think it was some non supporting device or OS where you formatted the card, causing the trouble.

    So far, I could find only this much. Will post back if I found some fix to recover its capacity. I suggest you do the same (search), and post back here if you found a fix. I'm sure many users would be affected by this issue and a fix would really help a lot of people.
    Varun
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  7. #7
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    Couldn't find a fix in quick search, but noticed something more from the same site : https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_3/
    The SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards have a "Protected Area" on the card for the SD standard's security function. The SD Formatter does not format the "Protected Area".
    ....implying that generic formatting utilities *may* format this "protected area", which I assume can be the reason for the capacity loss (just like the modern HDDs have part of their firmware on the platter itself, containing info about their geometry).

    Based on above info, I *assume* that if you have another identical card, then maybe -
    Code:
    sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc
    (where sdb is healthy card and sdc is the problematic one) may help, since dd copies every bit from the source device to the destination device, not caring whether the block is empty or occupied. But since the drive would appear to be half the size of the healthy one, I suspect it may return errors and not start copying at all.

    Also, be advised that dd is a very slow process and a risky one too if you confused the drive names. Besides, it is just a wild guess, with very little hope of success.
    Varun
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  8. #8
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    MY MISTAKE! My card is MicroSDXC not SDHC. Sorry.

    I have never had any problems with teh card when formatting to FAT32 on Ubuntu. But recently, I was uysing the card on Android, where it has been working just fine. However, I then used Android to wipe the card. That could be the cause of the problem.
    Last edited by j814wong; June 6th, 2013 at 06:30 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    Quote Originally Posted by j814wong View Post
    ..However, I then used Android to wipe the card. That could be the cause of the problem.
    Most probably. Please let us know if you find a solution, or the result of the dd command thing if you try that. Thanks.
    Varun
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  10. #10
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    Re: 64 GB MicroSD card reduced to 32 GB Space available?

    Quote Originally Posted by varunendra View Post
    Most probably. Please let us know if you find a solution, or the result of the dd command thing if you try that. Thanks.
    Unfortunately, I don't have a identical card to the formerly 64GB one.

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