Windows was unable to complete the format: external hard drive & memory card / SD card

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Windows was unable to complete the format

If you are trying to format your windows/ computer hard drive or any other removable disk storage device and you are having some error messages that your “Windows was unable to complete the format” here is a quick fix for you.

It is common that you experience this error message when you try formatting your computer hard drive or any other removable storage device, not just your hard drive.

So in this article, I will share with you the possible cause or this problem that your windows is not unable to complete the format.

The good thing about this tutorial is that it works for all windows.

Irrespective of the windows that you are running on your computer, this tip will be useful for you and help you fix the problem.

After following this post, your Windows should be able to successfully complete the format now.

I have seen this questions severally on online forums and community by users asking for a fellow use to profess a solution to this problem.

Since I saw how traumatizing this problem could be to computer users, I had to write about it here so that not only the user of the online forum will get the solution but other computer users searching for the solution on how to fix “windows was unable to complete the format”

Here is an experience of a friend who had this issue.

One of my friends connected a 64GB USB flash drive to his computer to transfer his important photos from drive to computer, but his computer has asked him to format his USB drive. And when he started the process to format the USB drive, he received a “Windows could not complete the format” error message .

He tried to reformat the USB drive, but again he got the same error message. Now, what to do to fix the error ‘Windows could not complete the format’? Any help would be appreciated”

As I said earlier, this is one of the most popular topics that can be found in various computer forums, community sites, and questions & answer site.

People use a USB drive, memory cards, external hard drive to store data such as movies, songs, photos, etc.

But problems such as the one mentioned above can become a headache for an amateur computer user as the data becomes inaccessible in this case.

Therefore, it becomes important how to resolve the error ‘Windows could not complete the format’. But before that let us know what are the reasons why Windows can not format USB drive, memory cards, hard drive and other removable data storage devices?

Windows could not complete the format causes

There are several causes that your windows could not complete the format and here, I will list the possible causes and profess a solution after.

  • Defective sector available in storage devices: Storage devices have small sectors that are the smallest unit for storing data. Defective sectors mean that the sector is damaged and a reading and writing process can be done. Therefore, the availability of a bad sector may be one of the reasons why it does not allow windows to format the drive.
  • Virus attacks: This is one of the main reasons that can easily corrupt any data storage device. If your data storage devices are damaged or infected with viruses, then it will corrupt the data stored in it and you may not be able to perform any tasks, such as accessing the data, as well as formatting the storage device.
  • Damage to the data storage device:  another reason is the physical damage that makes the data stored on the storage device inaccessible. It is possible that the computer can not format the storage device if it can not use the device because it is physically damaged, such as the circuit board or the chip does not work, etc.
  • Storage devices are write-protected:  if your storage device is write-protected, you may receive the error message “The disk is write-protected. Remove the write protection or use another disk.”, While trying to transfer files from it. You should know that the format is a type of write operation and, therefore, you should remove the write protection before formatting the storage device.

These are some of the common reasons that do not allow Windows to format the storage device.

But not to worry, there are some solutions that will help you solve the problem.

How to fix the problem Windows could not complete the format – Possible solution

When you are not able to format your storage devices such as memory card, USB drive, pen drive, hard drive, external hard drive or SD card following the normal process of formatting a storage device, try the following solution to solve the problem.

Please Note:  This process may not work in all cases if the storage devices suffer serious physical damage.

Also, keep in mind that you should back up important data from the storage device to another storage device.

If you do not have a backup and format the storage device, then you have to take the help of the data recovery software to restore your important files.

I will share the complete guide to recovering files from a formatted storage device.

Solution 1 how to fix windows could not complete the format

The first solution you can try, when you get ‘Windows could not complete the format’ error is to fix the problem by using the disk management tool to format the device, instead of following the normal formatting procedure.

Follow the steps below and you will get it done in no time.

  1. Connect your storage device to your PC using a USB cable. Now on your PC, click “Star”t and then right-click on “My Computer” click on “Manage” optionhow to fix windows could not complete the format
  2. You will see that new windows will open. Click “Disk Management” to open Windows Disk ManagementWindows was unable to complete the format
  3. Now select the storage devices you want to format, such as USB drive, memory card, hard drive, external hard drive you want to format. Right-click and select “Format” option. However, if there is any partition in the unit, then you have to delete the partition before following this processWindows was unable to complete the format

That is the first solution, should in case that did not work for you, try the second solution below:

Solution 2 how to fix windows could not complete the format

If the disk management tool fails, you can follow the command line format solutions.

It seems to be a very complicated process for an amateur computer user, but it is not.

Were you able to format your storage device after following this tutorial? Please share your questions and contributions in the comment section.

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