Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format

Formatting a USB Flash drive or a Micro SD card on your Windows PC is a fairly easy process, and most of the times it is done without any hitches. But sometime, you may encounter an error where Windows displays the message “Windows was unable to complete the format.” If you come across this message it implies that there is something wrong with the drive you are trying to format. It may be a virus infection, the storage device may be damaged or may have bad sectors. This error is quite common, and while it is frustrating to encounter this error, it is not that hard to fix.

Fix Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format

If you are unable to format your USB drive or Micro SD card, then you need to perform the formatting process using the Disk Mangement, or the Command prompt. The detailed processes are described below.

Using Disk Management

Disk Mangement is a utility on Windows that can help to manage partitions and disks on your computer. It can also format a specific drive. The process consists of the following steps:

  1. Right-click on My Computer, select Manage and then click on Disk Management.
  2. Right-click the problem drive and select Format. If you see any partitions you need to delete them first.
  3. If this quick format does not work, right-click on the drive you are trying to format and select “New Simple Volume.” Now, a wizard will open and you need to follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. On completion of the process, your USB drive should be formatted and it should be recognized by the system once more.

Using Command Prompt

If using Disk Management doesn’t solve your problem, then you can use the Command prompt to perform the format.

  1. Type cmd in the search box, right-click on Command prompt and select Run as administrator.  
  2. In the Command prompt window, type diskpart and press Enter. This command will display the available disk partitions on your computer including the one you are trying to format.
  3. Locate the problem drive in that list, and in the next line of command, type that drive number and hit Enter. On completion of the process, a message shows telling you that drive cleaning was successful and you need to create a new partition.
  4. Type the following commands on the Command prompt and hit Enter after each line:
    • create primary partition
    • format /FS:FAT32J

Here “J” is an example. Please change it with the drive name that you are trying to format. This process will format the disk to FAT file system.

These are the processes you can try if you come across “Windows was unable to complete the format” error. Hope, after following these methods you are able to successfully format your drive.


Post Author: admin