I wish to reformat my SD card to use normally again (it currently has one 78MB FAT32 partition and one 3.9GB Linux partition). How do I do this (on Windows/Mac/*nix)?
You can use
On your camera
Most cameras have a built in Format function, which will use a single FAT partition. My camera even puts it on an erase block boundary.
For example, on my Pansonic Lumix, having inserted the card and from any mode, the menu as a Format entry. Selecting it brings up a menu asking me to confirm I wish to delete all the data on the card. Selecting Yes formats the card.
You can use the official SDCard.org application (Windows / Mac).
It's fairly simple and reformats the SDCard in FAT32. There are options for LBA-adjustment and wiping / erasing as well.
There are some specific tools for SD cards only but I like to use EaseUS Partition Tool which is free for Windows users. It will not work on Server Editions. * Please be aware that apparently they are bundling some software. Click on advanced options to prevent this
You should take care to select your SD card from the list of devices as this tool will list all your drives. This shows how to resize a parition.
If, however in the list you see your card listed as 55mb in total size and have no option to remove or expand it more that means the SD card is broken. There is no way to fix it and happens sometimes. Something fried the controller so you will need a new one or send that one off on warranty.
This is my 4GB Rasbpian SD card. I used Windows management tools. Yes it shows it but it wont let you do anything to the partitions just in case ... you delete it or Windows corrupts something (Because it does not support that file system)
EaseUS partition master shows a much better list and understands that file systems used. Right click and delete the partitions. You can create new partitions too and apply everything and you will have the whole SD card back to use in Windows or if you want to burn another image to the card.
Here I have deleted the partitions. Right clicked ans said create new partition. There is a whole list of file system types. I did not click apply so no operation has been done yet.
Currently, one of the best disk management utils seems to not have been mentioned - GParted:
This is included in many Linux distros, and can be installed easily otherwise. For other systems, it is possible to run it off of a DVD or USB stick, so it can be used there as well. The Linux part also means it supports the SD card format if it is
Here a screenshot of GParted showing the contents of an SD card with Raspbian on:
To carry out operations on a partition of an, right click on it, and select 'Unmount'. If a partition is mounted (shown by a set of keys next to the partition name), no operations can be done on it. Once it is unmounted, you can check it for errors, reformat it, rename it, delete and create a new one, etc.
Documentation on using GParted can be found here
I had a very similar issue. My set up: Computer running on Windows 7 and Sandisk ultra card 16GB.
I wanted to format my card for installing Open Elec. So I downloaded SD formatter and tried formatting it. It became a 64 MB card! Tried multiple settings, tried diskpart on CMD and clean format using computer management/disk management console - no luck. Always winimg writer claimed there was no sufficient space in the card. Earlier (that is before using SD formatter) it will expand the space and will install and I subsequently used expand command on Rpi terminal. So here is what I did:
Downloaded berryboot (note it is 28 mb!) wrote the image on SD card and booted the Rpi. Berry Boot reformatted the same using its own in built prgm. Now I took the card out and formatted it using the format tool on windows with FAT. Took the card out and re inserted. Now it reads 14.4 GB! Any one stuck like this can try this out.
protected by Community♦ Sep 11 '13 at 12:29
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