A Complete Guide to Fix Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error

In the modern digital era, USB flash drives or memory cards have become a source of useful storage devices, which are capable of storing a large amount of data. Another advantage of using these USB flash drives is that they occupy very small physical space and thus, it is easy to carry. The USB flash drives have become an essential component in various digital products like the cell phone, MP3 player and digital camera as you can store as well as transfer data quite easily.

Usually, formatting a USB flash drive or Micro SD card is quite an easy process but sometimes, the users encounter a problem while formatting the drive. They get errors like ” Windows was unable to complete the format” or “The format did not complete successfully.” If you ever come across this error, then follow this article. Here, you will get some quick fixes to resolve this Windows error.
Causes Of “Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format Error”

If you are getting error messages from Windows while formatting the USB flash drive or SD card, then it might be due to the following reasons:

• Due to any physical damage in the storage device, which is making it inaccessible
• If the storage devices have damaged sectors which are disrupting the formatting operation
• If the USB drives are infected with viruses or malware.

Step-by-Step Guidance To Fix The Windows Format Error:

If you are unable to format your USB flash drive or external hard drive, then you can try out any of the following troubleshooting steps. These effective steps will not only fix the error but you will also be able to format the drive further.

Method 1: Complete the Formatting Via Disk Management

Disk Management is an option for Windows users, which helps them to manage disks and partitions for the computer. If you want to delete or format the partition in the drive, extend or shrink the partition or change the drive letter, then Disk Management can do this easily and quickly. Through Disk Management, damaged flash drives can be formatted. Even if the USB drive becomes uninitialized or unallocated and uses unrecognized file system formats. Then it will not be displayed in either Windows Explorer or My Computer.

Perform these steps to complete the formatting procedure via Disk Management:

  • At first, open the Disk Management
  •  Then, right-click on the “My Computer” option and select “Manage”
  • After that, click on the “Disk Management” option, situated on the left side.
  •  You will find the list of local partitions and the USB drive, that can be recognized by capacity.
  • Then, right-click on the flash drive and select the option “Format”
  •  To perform a quick format, select the file system format. [These actions sometimes fail to work. In that case, you have to proceed to the next step].
  • Right-click on the USB drive and choose the option “New Simple Volume.”
  • After performing these steps, you will find the New Simple Volume Wizard.
  • This will guide you to recreate new partition for the flash drive.
  • After that, you just need to follow the on-screen instructions and the Settings option
  • Click on the “Next” button.

After you complete this process, you will find that the USB drive has already formatted and now it is properly recognized by the system.

Method 2: Format Via Command Prompt

In case the Disk Management doesn’t work, you need to switch to the command line based solution. Though common users might find this method complicated, actually it’s not.

To get everything done, you need to follow the given steps:

• At first, click on the Start button, and open the Run dialog box.
• Type cmd in the Run command box and hit Enter.
• From the Start menu, you are required to find the Command Prompt and then run it as administrator
• On the black window, type the command “diskpart”
• Then, click on the Enter key. You will get to see the partition and disk list of your current PC.
• You will find that all the drives are listed with numbers in particular and Disk 4 is the flash drive there.
• Then, you have to continue by typing “Disk 4,” which is the problematic drive.
• After that, select the “Clean” option and press “Enter”

Now, the drive will be scanned and during the scanning process, you will find that the damaged file structure will be erased. After you have completed these steps, you will be getting a confirmation message.

Method 3: Use Third-party Tools to Format

If the above two methods are unable to fix Windows was unable to complete the format error, you can try to resolve the error through any third-party tools. These third-party tools check and repair bad sectors for USB drives, format partition and help in recovering deleted or formatted data. You can do this by following the simple steps described below:

• You have to run the third-party tool and click on the problematic USB drive.
• From the Menu, choose “Disk” and select the option “Verify or Repair Bad sectors.”
• Then, click on the Repair button to repair bad sectors.
• After that, select the USB drive and click on “Format” button to format the flash drive.

The above-mentioned steps work the best when you want to fix Windows was unable to complete the format error. If you are still unable to fix the error or unable to format, then your USB drive might be damaged permanently and therefore, it needs to be replaced.

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