Windows 10 Tips and How to Guide

Fix Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error

While due to some online virus or malware infection your USB drive get corrupted not detect by windows 10. when you insert the USB disk Drive windows will prompt to Format the drive. and Formatting is the only solution left when you have tried all methods to fix the corrupt virus-infected USB flash drive. Formatting will erase all your data present on the disk, but saves your USB drive and gives it a new life free from viruses, trojans. So Formatting a drive is not new thing for any of us and everyone knows how to format a drive in Windows. But while you format a corrupted, virus infected drive Windows refuses to format with showing error message Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format.

If you also have similar kind of problem with your SD card or external hard drive or USB flash drive Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format. or Showing bellow Error message While formatting the drive

Windows cannot format this drive. Quit any disk utilities or other programs that are using this drive, and make sure that no window is displaying the contents of the drive. Then try formatting again.

If you are also suffering with the same error while format any disk drive keep reading we have some tips to Fix This problem and save your USB drive life. Before moves to Troubleshoot the problem first know and understand the reason behind this problem so that you can easily fix it

Reason Behind Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error

This Error happens mostly when Storage devices have bad sectors, Disk is write-protected, its highly infected with virus malware or maybe the storage device get damaged. if any of this happens with your USB disk drive it will become unusable, prompt to Format the dive before use or windows Refuses the Format with different error messages like windows was unable to complete the format. So now Whatever the Reason solution is the most important. Lets Fallow bellow Tips To Fix This Problem. Before goes for the solutions first install an Antivirus with the latest updates on your system and scan the drive for Virus and malware infection and check its working. If not fallow the next step

Fix Windows was unable to complete the format

Format The Drive Using Disk Management

Windows disk Management Tool Allows managing partitions and disks for computers. with Disk Management Tool you can create new volume, extend or shrink partition, change drive letter, delete or format partition etc. and also Damaged flash drives / USB drives can be formatted within Disk Management. This tool Not Available on My computer or windows explorer. To Access the Disk management Tool Right Click on This PC ( for Windows 10 users ) My computer ( for Windows 8.1, 7, Visit users ) and select manage.

This will open the computer management window. Now here on the left side Click on disk management bellow to storage. This will display all attached Storage Devices ( include USB drive ) to your computer. In the center, section finds your problematic Device (you should be able to recognize it by its size) and the fact Windows is recognizing it as Unallocated space.

Right-click the flash drive and select the “Format” option and select file system format to perform a quick format.

Format USB using Disk management

If Drive Shows Unallocated Space

On Computer Management, If the problematic drive Displays with unallocated space Then simply Right click on It and select New Simple Volume. The New Simple Volume Wizard will start, Here select format this volume with the following settings and set the file system type to NTFS, tick mark on Perform a quick format Click next and finish to complete the process. you will see that your drive has been formatted and is now correctly recognized by Windows.

Make Sure Drive is Not Utilized in Windows Operating System

If Drive Is Utilized In Windows Operating System for paging file, or Ready Boots then also windows Refuses you to format the drive. for that make sure It’s not used by windows. Right-click on This PC select properties. Click on Advanced System Settings. when the system properties popup opens move to advanced Tab here click on settings bellow to performance. Again Move to advanced Tab and Select change bellow to virtual memory.

Here on Virtual memory Window uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives. Then select the drive which you’re were unable to format, it must be having its Paging File Size set to System Managed. Select the No paging file option and hit Set which should change Paging File Size to None from System Managed. Click OK, Apply and close System Properties.

If Windows prompts Restart to take effect whatever you make changes Restart the system.  Retry To Format the Drive It should be work without any error if before it this drive is used by windows.

Format The Drive Using Command Prompt

If Above both of the methods not worked for you then don’t worry. With Windows command prompt utility you can easily format any drive with type flew commands. This is the best and most effective way to format your USB drive without any Error. For this, you need to Open Elevated command prompt.

On Start menu search Type CMD Right click on Command prompt from Search Results and select Run As Administrator.

Now on Command prompt window Type command diskpart and press the Enter key.

Next Type command list volume and press the enter key. Then you can see the partition and disk list of the current computer. All drives are listed with numbers check the USB Drive for me its Disk 4 is the flash drive.

Type Command: select volume 4 ( for your volume number may be different ) press enter key. This will show volume 4 is the selected volume.

Type below commands one by one and hit the enter key.


The drive will be scanned and its damaged file structure will be erased during scanning. Once the process is done, it reports confirmation message telling that it has successfully cleaned the drive, and new partition need to be created.

create partition primary
-select partition 1
next type in Command prompt format /FS=NTFS (you can copy and paste it.) and press Enter. The Disk Drive will Start formatting with NTFS File System. Wait some moment to complete the format 100 % .

When the format completes (100%), close the command prompt window and go to the Computer in order to check the drive. Verify your drive by copying some data in it.
By this method, you can repair your corrupted SD cards, USB flash drives and even your External hard drives.

Again Here The Command List To Format USB drive:

-list disk
-select disk ‘your disk number’
-create partition primary
-select partition 1
-format fs=NTFS

Format The Drive Using Command Prompt

I am sure After Try command prompt utility to format the Drive you will no more face any error to format the Disk Drive. If still getting try Third-party software to format, clean and make usable the Disk Drive.

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is an easy-to-use yet powerful application that can easily deal with any issue that you might experience when trying to format a USB drive. This is very similar in terms of looks with the standard Windows format screen.

Download HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

Simply select the USB drive, choose the desired file system (NTFS for drives that are larger than 4 GB). Click start to format the Drive.


HP USB disk format tool

Note: again, do not use the “Quick Format” option! It might take a while in the full mode, but it’s safer and more effective.

These are Some Best Solutions to Fix Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error. This Tips Will workable for all USB Drives, Memory Cards, External Disk drives. Let Us know which option worked for you. If you have any better solution feel free to share us on the comments.

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