Advertisements

Windows was Unable to Complete the Format [Fixed]

-

|

Introduction

When you try to format a USB stick or SD memory card you may receive the message “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format”. This guide will show you how to resolve this error. First, let’s explore the causes of this error.

What Could Cause “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format”?

The following could cause “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” error:

  • USB Stick or Memory card may be write-protected
  • USB Stick or Memory Card may have bad sectors
  • Memory card or USB Drive may be damaged
  • Memory card or USB Drive may be infected by a virus

Advertisements



How to Fix “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” Error.

If the drive is write-protected, has bad sectors or is infected by a virus, the problem may be fixed. But if the drive is damaged, recovery may be difficult or impossible.

Below are ways you can resolve “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” Error:

Method 1: To Fix Error “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format”, Make Drive Writable

If you are not able to format your USB flash drive, it may be write-protected. To check whether your drive is Read-only and make it writable, follow the steps below:

  • Right-click the Windows logo on your task bar. Then select Run.
Windows was Unable to Complete the Format - Make Drive Writable
  • When Run opens, type diskpart. Then click Ok. On the User Account Control, click Yes.
Windows was Unable to Complete the Format - Make Drive Writable
Windows was Unable to Complete the Format - Make Drive Writable
  • Diskpart prompt opens as shown below.
  • On the DISKPART> prompt, type list disk. Then press the Enter key. This will list all disks in your computer.

My USB flash drive is Disk 1. Use the size of your USB stick to determine the Disk #. Once you identify your USB stick Disk #, proceed to the next step.

  • Next, select your USB drive with the select disk command. Since my drive is Disk 1, my command is select disk 1.
  • The next step is to check whether your disk is Read-Only. To do this use the attributes disk command.

From the information displayed, my USB disk is Read-only. It means it is NOT writable. As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, this may result in “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” error. Clearing the Read-only attribute could fix this error.

  • Next step, is to clear the Read-only attribute using the command attributes disk clear readonly. Now, if you run the attributes disk command, the disk is no longer write-protected. See the image below for confirmation.
Windows was Unable to Complete the Format  - format with diskpart

If you format your drive now, “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” error should not show up. Also, you should be able to format your USB stick successfully.

Method 2: To Fix Error “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format”, Format With Diskpart.

The next option that should fix the Error “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format”, is to format your drive with Diskpart.

  • Open Diskpart using the steps described earlier. Then type list volume command to list all available volumes (partitions) on your computer.
Windows was Unable to Complete the Format  - format with diskpart

From the image above, my USB flash drive is Volume 3. Also important to note this: if your USB drive has issues, the Status will NOT be Healthy.

  • Next, you need to select the volume. Type Select Volume # (replace # with your volume #) then press Enter. My command is Select Volume 3. Next, type format fs=fat32 and press Enter. Wait for the format to reach 100%. Depending on the size of your disk and problems with it, format may take some time to complete.
Important Tip
fs=fat32 tells Diskpart to format the disk with Fat32. You could use fs=ntfs to format with NTFS.
Warning
Make sure you selected the right volume before you run the format command. If you run Format in the wrong partition, this may be destructive to your computer.

Method 3: To Fix Error “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format”, Format With Disk Management.

Another way you could fix “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” error is to format the disk with Windows Disk Management tool.

Follow the steps below to open Disk Management and format your USB drive with it:

  • Right-click the Windows logo left of your task bar. Then click Disk Management.
  • From Disk Management, right-click the partition beside the memory card or USB stick you wish to format then select Format.

Advertisements



Method 4: To Fix Error “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format”, Format With a 3rd Party Disk Tool.

The last option to fix “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” error is to use a 3rd party disk/partition tool to format the disk.

There are a number of disk partitioning tools but I use the one called AOMEI Partition Assistant. Download and install this tool using this link.

To format your SD card or USB drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant, follow the steps below:

  • Open AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition. You can open from the desktop shortcut or by searching for the program on your computer.
  • If you receive a User Account Control prompt, click Yes. The tool will open.

If your disk has bad sectors, you may be able to fix it with the partition assistant.

  • To see options available for managing disk with the partition assistant, right-click the disk.

When you right-click the disk, you have the following options that could fix problems with your drive:

Surface test: This will check your SD card or USB stick for bad sectors. It also checks the overall health of your disk.

Rebuild MBR: If surface test reports that you have bad sectors, or other problems, using Rebuild MBR could fix the problem. This tool could also resolve the “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” Error.

  • When you finish disk recovery tests, right-click the partition. Then select Format Partition.

Conclusion

There you have 4 ways you can fix “Windows was Unable to Complete the Format” error. Hopefully, one of these will resolve the problem with your USB stick or SD card.

If you have any question or comment, use the “Leave a Reply” form at the end of this guide. You could also share your experience so other readers can benefit from it.

Other Helpful Guides

Additional Resources and References

Advertisements


  • Was this post Helpful?
  • YesNo

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

FEATURED POSTS

How to Print Facebook Messages

How to Print Facebook Messages (Directly or from Microsoft Word)

This Itechguide teaches you how to print Facebook messages. You can print Facebook messages directly from Facebook. Or...
How to Embed YouTube Video on Facebook

How to Embed YouTube Video on Facebook

This Itechguide teaches you how to embed YouTube video on Facebook. There are 2 high-level steps discussed in this guide:
How to Cancel Amazon Music Unlimited

How to Cancel Amazon Music Unlimited (PC or Amazon Apps)

This Itechguide teaches you how to cancel Amazon music unlimited. It offers steps to cancel Amazon music unlimited from a PC, Amazon...
How to Change Default Font in Google Docs

How to Change Default Font in Google Docs

This Itechguide teaches you how to change default font in Google Docs. Here are the high-level steps to change default font in...
How to Print Google Slides with Notes

How to Print Google Slides with Notes

This Itechguide teaches you how to print Google Slides with notes.

ADVERTISEMENTS

TRENDING POSTS

Remote Desktop Connection

Remote Desktop Connection an Internal Error Has Occurred [Fixed]

Introduction I recently received the error message "Remote Desktop Connection an Internal Error Has Occurred". It was strange because...

Find My Samsung: Register and Use Samsung Find my Mobile

Introduction Ever wondered how you could find your Samsung phone if you lost it? Find my Samsung or Samsung...
What is the Difference Between PowerShell and CMD?

Windows Powershell vs CMD: Differences and Similarities

Introduction This short guide compares Windows PowerShell vs CMD (Windows command prompt). I will cover the history and nature...
Spotify No Longer Supports this Version of Microsoft Edge

Spotify No Longer Supports this Version of Microsoft Edge [Fixed]

Introduction When you open Spotify web player on Microsoft Edge, you may receive the error message "Spotify No Longer...
Windows 10 Won't Boot

Windows 10 Won’t Boot With Black Screen? 3 Ways to Fix It

Why Won't Windows 10 Boot Up? If your Windows 10 stops with a black screen, the first question in...

BEST OF ITECHGUIDES

How to Setup Google Voice in G Suite

How to Setup Google Voice in G Suite

Introduction This guide offers a steps by steps for Google Voice setup in G Suite.
powershell.exe -command

Powershell.exe Command: Syntax, Parameters and Examples

Introduction You may be wondering why write on Powershell.exe Command. Are there special commands for Powershell.exe? Yes! When you...
How to Download Windows 10 ISO with Media Creation Tool

How to Download Windows 10 ISO with Media Creation Tool

Introduction This guide demos the steps to download Windows 10 ISO. You can download Windows 10 ISO with Media...
How to Change Outlook Password in 3 Different Ways

How to Change Outlook Password in 2 Easy Steps

Introduction Before you change your Outlook Password you have to first change it with your email provider. The reason...

How to Fix DISM Error 87 in Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10

Introduction DISM Error 87 in Windows Server 2016 can be cause by any of the following:

ADVERTISEMENTS

RECENT POSTS

Best Spanish Movies on Netflix

Top 10 Best Spanish Movies on Netflix

Firstly, our review is to give you top-notch Spanish movies on Netflix that will captivate you. As a result...

Our 10 Best French Movies on Netflix

Craving to know the best French movies available on Netflix? You are in the right place. We have a...
Best Kids Movies on Netflix

The 10 Best Kids Movies Now on Netflix

Do you want know the best kids movies on Netflix? We have put together a top collection of amazing movies on Netflix.
How to Add Thumbnail to YouTube Video

How to Add Thumbnail to YouTube Video (New or Existing Video)

This Itechguide teaches you how to add thumbnail to YouTube video. The guide offers steps to add thumbnail to YouTube video for...
Best Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix

The 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies to Watch on Netflix

Want the very best of Sci-Fi movies on Netflix? We have a list that will thrill you. The films...

MUST READ

How to Calculate Variance in Excel

How to Calculate Variance in Excel

Introduction Variance measures the spread between numbers in a data set. You can calculate variance in Excel using the...
How to Auto Forward Outlook Emails to Gmail

How to Auto Forward Outlook Emails to Gmail

Introduction This guide demos how to forward Outlook to Gmail. Outlook is great but Gmail is becoming very popular....
How to Cancel Amazon Music Unlimited

How to Cancel Amazon Music Unlimited (PC or Amazon Apps)

This Itechguide teaches you how to cancel Amazon music unlimited. It offers steps to cancel Amazon music unlimited from a PC, Amazon...
network discovery keeps turning off server 2016

How to Fix Network Discovery If it Keeps Turning Off in Server 2016

Does network discovery keep turning off in your Windows server 2016? It is likely that one of its dependent services is not...

How to Fix “Your PC Ran into a Problem and Needs to Restart” in...

Introduction "Your PC Ran into a Problem and Needs to Restart" in Windows Server 2016 error may be caused...

LATEST DEALS

Exclusive Student Offer_Save 10% on selected Surface devices

By using this website you agree to accept our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions