Windows failed to complete the format error? Fix it with these solutions

When Windows says it failed to complete the formatting process, one of two things happened: a) you did something wrong when trying to format your hard drive or b) there was an error. If this is happening in Safe Mode, we can help fix the issue with these solutions.

“windows was unable to complete the format usb raw” is a common error message that Windows users will see. There are several solutions to fix this error, including using Linux and running chkdsk.

Windows failed to complete the format error? Fix it with these solutions


authored by Matthew Adams

Expert in Windows and Software

Matthew is a freelance writer who has written a number of articles on different technology-related themes. His major interest is the Windows operating system and all that surrounds it. He is enthralled by… Read more

This page was last updated on November 19, 2021.

Publish date: September 2020

  • The error message was reported by users. When attempting to format a USB flash drive or an external hard disk, Windows was unable to finish the format message.
  • In this post, we’ll look into the problem and provide some solutions to assist you resolve it.
  • Remember to save our Troubleshooting Hub as a favorite for additional useful articles and advice.
  • More similar articles may be found in our Windows 10 Hub, so be sure to have a look.



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A large number of people are getting When attempting to format a USB flash drive or an external hard disk, Windows was unable to finish the format message.

Some Windows users modify the file systems on USB flash devices by formatting them. In Windows, selecting Format from the context menu of File Explorer is the most common approach to format external storage devices.

Some users, however, are unable to format disks using Explorer’s Format Removable Disk tool, and get an error message claiming that Windows was unable to finish the format.

Continue reading to learn more about how to correct this problem.

What can I do about the failed format on Windows 10?

  1. Anti-virus software should be used to scan the disk.
  2. Third-party software may be used to format USB flash drives.
  3. Run a disk scan to see if anything is wrong.
  4. Remove the write protection on the USB stick.
  5. Disk management is used to format the USB device.
  6. Diskpart may be used to format the drive.

1. Run an anti-virus scan on the hard disk.

Because flash drives seldom have anti-virus software, they’re more likely to include a virus or malware that keeps the disk from being formatted. As a result, a virus check may be able to cure a USB stick that isn’t formatting.

When you insert a disk, certain third-party anti-virus software will check it automatically. Most anti-virus programs will also provide a USB/DVD Scan option for scanning external devices.

There are a lot of decent antivirus programs that can check flash drives. Professional-level tools are available, as well as budget-friendly and even free options.

2. Use third-party software to format USB flash drives.

You can also format flash disks using a variety of third-party programs. If you can’t format a storage disk using File Explorer, you may use a software to help you out.

Partition format software can assist you manage your partitions and drives, as well as portable media like USB flash drives. They’re less likely to make mistakes than built-in utilities, so they’re worth a shot.

Furthermore, partition format software has data recovery features. This implies that even if you format your USB flash drive, there’s a significant chance you’ll be able to recover vital data.

3. Perform a disk check.

  1. In Windows, go to File Explorer.
  2. To scan, insert the flash drive into a USB port.
  3. To enter the context menu for your flash drive, first click This PC, then right-click it. Windows-failed-to-complete-the-format-error-Fix-it-with
  4. Select Properties after that. 1637336880_630_Windows-failed-to-complete-the-format-error-Fix-it-with
  5. Press the Check button under the Tools menu.
  6. You don’t need to scan this drive, a window may pop up next. You may still do a manual scan by choosing Scan and repair drive from the menu.


4. Disable the write protection on the USB stick.


You won’t be able to format a write-protected flash storage. Some USB sticks include a write-protect switch that may be used to lock or unlock them.

To turn off write protection, make sure the write-protect switch on your USB storage is turned up.

If you can’t locate the write-protect switch on your flash storage device, use third-party software to disable it.

5. Use disk management to format the USB device.

  1. By hitting the Win key + R hotkey, you may access Disk Management.
  2. Then, in the Run text box, type diskmgmt.msc. 1637336885_165_Windows-failed-to-complete-the-format-error-Fix-it-with
  3. Format the USB stick by right-clicking it in the Disk Management window.
  4. Select the Yes option. 1637336888_453_Windows-failed-to-complete-the-format-error-Fix-it-with
  5. Then you may choose a file system for the flash storage to be formatted to.
  6. To format the USB stick, press the OK button.
  7. If the Disk Management window displays the USB stick as empty with allocated file space, choose New Simple Volume from the flash drive’s context menu instead of Format.
  8. After that, use the New Simple Volume Wizard to format the drive.

6. Use Diskpart to format the drive.

  1. To use the hotkey, hold down the Win key and press the X key.
  2. To open the Command Prompt window, choose Command Prompt.
  3. Press the Return key after typing diskpart in the Command Prompt. 1637336890_534_Windows-failed-to-complete-the-format-error-Fix-it-with
  4. To open a list of disks, first write list disk and then hit Return. 1637336892_79_Windows-failed-to-complete-the-format-error-Fix-it-with
  5. In the Diskpart window, type choose disk n and hit Enter. Replace n with the exact disk number of the USB stick you want to choose. 1637336894_491_Windows-failed-to-complete-the-format-error-Fix-it-with
  6. Press the Return key after typing the clean command.
  7. Then, in Diskpart, run the create partition main command.
  8. To format the USB drive with NTFS, type format fs=ntfs fast and hit Enter (New Technology File System).

There you have it: a few techniques for formatting the drivers on your Windows 10 operating system. Please let us know if you have any additional thoughts or tips in the comments area below.

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The “windows unable to format sd card cmd” is a problem that many users face. If you are experiencing this error, try these solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix Windows was unable to complete the format?

A: If your computer has been giving you errors when trying to format the hard drive, this is likely due to a problem with Windows itself. There are two common solutions for these types of issues – try using another installed version of Windows, or manually formatting an external hard drive and then connecting it directly into your PC as its new disk in order to solve any early hangups that may be preventing you from getting things done on time.

How do you fix error you need to format the disk in drive before you can use it?

A: You have a faulty or damaged disk in your drive. You will need to replace it before the computer can be used again.

How do I fix a USB drive that wont format?

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