Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format Error - Solution

Virus attack and physical damage are most common in portable devices like micro SD cards and pen drives, which corrupts the data on the device and make it hardly impossible to retrieve the original data back, nevertheless we lost the data's but not the device, once we perform a format option on the damaged device since then it will let us at least to use the device.

         But the next problem arises here is that, when you try to format the damaged device it's quite shocking to see an error message popping out of the screen "Windows was unable to complete the format". So what is the next thing that you could do, you lost the data, but had a hope to recover the USB flash drives at least, but the error message makes it even worse. Hence i came here with a solution to format the USB flash drive completely, follow the simple steps.

Read Also: How to remove shortcut virus from USB flash drives/Pen drives

How to Format USB Flash Drive, When Windows Unable to Complete the Format
         You can format your defected USB flash drives either manually or with USB tools, here in this post i will let you to know to do both manually and with USB tool as well.
How to Format Flash Drives In Windows 

Way 1 : Manually Format USB flash drive
  1. Insert the defected USB flash drive into the computer
  2. Goto Windows Explorer and check for USB flash drive.
    Please insert a disk into removable disk - Error Message
  3. Now right click on the Mycomputer icon and select manage then scroll and select disk management. (Note: The disk management will list all storage media's such as removable media, hard disk drives and CD/DVD etc)
    Device Manager 
  4.  Right click on the USB flash that need to be formatted and select "change drive letter and path".
  5. Remove the existing drive letter  for the drive and then assign a new letter from the list which is not assigned for any other disk drives and flash drives.
    Remove existing drive letter and add new letter which is not previously assigned
  6. Again right click on the USB flash drive and select "New Simple Volume" a window prompts click next and assign label name for the device and set file system.[Note: If you don't find "New Simple Volume" option on right click over flash drive then your card might be damaged severely and cannot be recovered]  
      • Select FAT32 as file system, if your flash drive is 4GB or below in size.
      • Select NTFS as file system, if your flash drive is above 4GB.
    then un check the quick format option below and click ok to begin format the flash drive.
  7. And your'e done. the` defected USB flash drive will be formatted and ready to use.

Note :  Always check for file system of your USB flash drive, if it returns RAW file system than USB flash drive damaged severely and doesn't work permanently, other way is to check for colors of drives, if the USB flash drive prompts black color (i.e Unallocated space) then it can be recovered else if results dark blue it is impossible. 

Way 2 : Format Drives By Using Command Prompt
            It is very simple to implement than the above method to format the disk, but this method cannot be used for severe damage in flash drives.
  1. Open Run and type cmd then press enter to open command prompt window
  2. And type "Format" space followed by the device drive name and : (colon symbol) 
    • For example: C:\user\crazy>Format J:
      Command to format flash drives
  3. And then press enter.
  4. Once the format is complete you will be asked to enter the label name for the flash drive.
  5. Enter the label and press enter, then your'e done.
If one method doesn't works the best for you, than try the other one precisely following the steps listed. And do comment below if you face any difficulties in formatting your flash drives of any type.

See Also : How to Use Pendrive/flash drives as RAM to increase computer speed and performance 

Mobile tips: If your mobile phone switch off automatically, Freeze, sometimes never charge and drains battery faster than it would normally do, and never recovers even after several restart attempts, better check your SD card for damage either physically or internally(i.e. corrupted system files), better try formatting with the above steps.


  1. Hello sir, i am using strotinum 16gb pendrive some of the files that have named as #* (symbols) files are created and showing error as windows was unable to complete format, i have tried disk management, command prompt and check disk method when i press format i will automatically ejected from computer and within a second it will automatically it will re connects, i have also installed hp disk format tool and sd card formatter it will shows error the files are write protected, please help me to overcome from this problem sir thankyou.

    1. It looks like your pendrive is write protection switch enabled, remove the write protection from the pendrive and unplug it, then re-connect the pendrive once again and try formatting the pendrive...And now this should let you format the pendrive without any error message pestering in between.

  2. Yes sir, Thanks for your attention on my problem, i have tried hkey method to remove write protection by changing the value to 0, It was also not worked, is their any other methods sir?

  3. Thanks for paying attention sir, i have removed write protection in hkey method by changing the value to 0 it doesn't work, any other method is their sir?



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