This was an interesting one…
An unbranded blackbox DVR with a USB Data export option. Unfortunately, either through error or design, it is only possible to export one camera at a time onto a USB data drive. Luckily it was only four cameras, but to make matters worse, every time an export was completed the drive could not be formatted to conduct the next evidential export.
Although the data could be extracted off the drives for secure storage, there was obviously an issue caused to the drives by the DVR during the export stage.
Disk Management would see the drives but they were not being read correctly in size.
So, how to ‘clean’ these drives and wipe their partitions ready for further use.
Windows has the ability but its hidden away. As a result you need to head into the command prompt. If this is new and you want to give it a go before you need to use it in anger, go grab yourself an old USB drive that you can wipe.
Enter a windows command prompt. If you are unsure of this then go to search, enter CMD, and then click on command prompt.
Type in DISKPART
You may have to grant access but afterwards you will be greeted with something like this…
At the prompt ( > ) type LIST DISK
Here is a list of all my drives and disks….
Lets say that Disk 6, which is an 8Gb USB device, is only reporting 2Gb in Windows (because a DVR has screwed it up).
To clean this and delete all the partitions, you first need to select disk 6, so type:
SELECT DISK 6
You will now see that Disk 6 is selected, as a result, you can now enter CLEAN
You can now close the command prompt and format the drive normally through Windows Disk Manager.
So, if you get a USB that wont format through the normal manner, or is displaying an incorrect size, using DISKPART may help you out.