How to Fix Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format?

authorPic William Bollson Updated on 2023-01-06 11:51:07 to Windows Fix

Can't get to a partition on the disk since Windows was unable to complete the format? If you continue to get the warning sign that says "Windows was unable to format removable disk" or the similar. You must look for the solution as soon as possible. Before it is too late, the first thing you need to do is to get the backup of all your data from the inaccessible disks with data recovery tool. Such error messages that say unable to format flash drive are the eventual result of those messages you've got earlier. The system warns you continuously to format the drive. If the windows unable to format SD card and can't format USB too then this guide is for you! This guide will help you better understand the reason behind these errors and the best solutions to overcome them. So keep on reading.

Windows was unable to complete the format

Part 1: Possible Reasons for Windows Was Unable to Format Pen Drive

Before we get to the arrangements, we might want to tell you the potential purposes behind this mistake. In this manner, you might stay away from the chance of getting such a blunder. Regularly, five elements might prompt Windows couldn't finish the arrangement:

1. The Drive Is Write Protected

Since designing is a composing activity, you want to eliminate the compose security before arranging it. How would you realize it is composed and ensured? Indeed, duplicate something to it. If you see the accompanying message: "The plate is composed of ensured. Eliminate the compose security or utilize another plate", then it is compose ensured for sure.

2. The Drive Has Bad Sectors

Records put away on hard drives normally possess numerous sectors. sectors are the littlest units for information stockpiling. If an area is harmed and can't be perused or composed, it is called the bad sectors. These can influence the designing activity just as the information recuperation activity. What caused bad sectors? bad quality, extreme defragmentation, or erroneously turn off the USB drive, and so on

3. The Drive Is Physically Damaged

Actual harm is another significant explanation that prompts stockpiling gadgets distant, so Windows requires designing it. Proficient fix places can fix the bad spots, yet the expense isn't low in any way. So you might consider changing another removable plate.

4. The Drive Suffers from Virus Infection

Since USB drives are regularly conveyed by clients and are associated with different PCs, they are bound to get more infection than other hard drives. The infection regularly fills the USB drives with risky records and makes them unavailable.

5. The Drive is Empty

The last justification for Windows couldn't design a removable plate is that there is no partition on the hard drive. In any case, you will find there is a drive letter for it. Hence you can see the removable plate in Disk Management and afterward get the designing idea. As designing depends on partitions rather than unallocated space, windows was unable to complete the format SD card.

Part 2: Recover Data When Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format

If windows was unable to complete the format micro SD card and you keep on receiving the error messages warning you that windows cannot format this drive, windows was unable to complete the format etc. It means it is the high time to secure your data in the first place and then try to format or repair the drive and card.

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Part 3: How Do I Fix Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format?

Method 1: Scan and Repair Bad Sectors

You can run CHKDSK command to scan and repair the bad sectors of SD cards.

Step 1: Type cmd in the Search box, right-click "Command Prompt," and choose "Run as administrator."

Step 2: Type chkdsk D: /f /r /x and hit Enter. (Write the letter of the drive instead of D).

Windows was unable to complete the format

Step 3: Now you can go to Windows File Explorer, locate and right-click on your hard drive. Select "Format", reset the file system as NTFS, tick "Quick Format" and click "Start".

Method 2: Remove Write Protection

You can turn off the write protection to unlock the USB/SD card.

Step 1: Connect your device to your PC that Windows was unable to complete the format USB.

Step 2: Lift the switch off your USB or SD card to the OFF side.

Method 3: Clear Virus

The best way to get rid of the error in which Windows is unable to format sd card is to run virus cleaner.

Step 1: Connect your SD card to the system first.

Step 2: Run any virus cleaner that you use to clear the virus or malware from the SD card.

Step 3: Reformat the SD card.

Method 4: Using Command Prompt

Windows’ Command Prompt is the most basic way to format the external drives like USB, pen drive, etc.

Step 1: Launch Command Prompt through Windows menu.

Step 2: Type the following command with particular drive letter and file system and hit enter:

  • Eg. 1: format C: /fs:ntfs
  • Eg. 2: format J: /fs:FAT32

Method 5: Using Disk Management

The Windows Disk Management tool is one of the most secure methods to go about this problem.

Step 1: Go to Disk Management.

Step 2: Pick the drive where you received the “Windows was unable to complete the format hard drive.” error message.

Step 3: Right-click on it and select the Format option.

Windows was unable to complete the format-using disk managment

Method 6: Using Third-Party Tools

You can likewise look for the assistance of outsider devices for this. An advantage of going with this methodology is that you will utilize devices explicitly intended for the reason.

If the Windows devices referenced above have neglected to determine this mistake, another viable arrangement is to allow these devices to work for you. Ensure the ones you download and introduce in your framework are 100% safe. The ones beneath have been checked by us and are perfect.

Method 7: Try Formatting on Another OS

Before you abandon the drive, there's another way you can attempt to detach the issue. If you approach a machine running macOS or Linux, have a go at utilizing those working frameworks to compose your outer drive.

While you'll have to reformat the drive again for use with Windows, it assists with sorting out if the issue lies with your equipment or Windows.

Related FAQs

1. How do I fix a USB drive that won't format?

  • Check the USB Drive's Write-Protection.
  • Scan for the virus.
  • Run CHKDSK scan and format USB using Command Prompt.

2. How do you fix SSD cannot format?

  • Remove write protection.
  • Format RAW SSD via Diskpart.
  • Format SSD via a third-party formatting tool.
  • Format SSD with another Operating System.

3. How do I fix Windows was unable to complete the format SD card?

  • Have a go at Formatting Through Disk Management.
  • Eliminate Write Protection on the Drive.
  • Utilize the SD Memory Card Formatter.
  • Sweep the Drive for Errors.
  • Utilize a Third-Party Formatting Tool.
  • Sweep for Malware.
  • Give Formatting a shot Another OS.

4. What do I do if my external hard drive won't format?

Get all the data recovered with the help of Tenorshare 4DDiG first and then try to repair it.

5. How can I use an SD card without formatting?

You can use an SD card without formatting using one of the following steps:

  • Try General Troubleshooting
  • Use CHKDSK to repair an unformatted card
  • Try using a card reader to connect to your PC


The reasons for getting the error message; windows was unable to complete the format are numerous. Solving the issue is not that easy either. But what you can do to make your life easier is fetch the data and make backups so that if you may not be able to get the device eventually, you get your data back. That is what is more important.

To recover data from your SD card unable to format is Tenorshare 4DDiG. Get it today for any mishap that could be on the way. It is the most effortless, cost-effective, and quick way of retrieving the data from an SD card that is not getting formatted. You are continuously experiencing warning messages.

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