Some times when you insert A usb Drive To your system you may see that the drive is not being recognized,  in the explorer window ,the drive is shown but without showing total memory and free memory and if you try to format it ,it shows error. “Windows was unable to complete the format” error.  or Error messages saying Windows couldn’t format the drive.If you also have similar kind of problem with your SD card or External hard drive or USB flash drive, then keep reading. I am going to demonstrate a method to fix corrupted storage devices. The windows was unable to format the disk because it has no specific file system (e.g. NTFS, FAT) associated with it. This drive is called RAW drive and it can be repaired by formatting the disk.

This error may happen as a result of following reasons:

  • 1. Storage devices have bad sectors
  • 2. Storage device damage
  • 3. Disk is write-protected
  • 4. Virus infection

Tips To Fix Windows Was Unable to format

Please note that this will remove all data from your SD card/ flash USB drive permanently. If you have some important data, you can try someavailable for free which can recover data from USB drives and external hard disks.

Recommended : Download Disk Doctorsf NTFS Data Recovery Software

 Format The Drive Using Disk Management

Disk Management is provided by Windows and it helps to manage partitions and disks for computer. Disk Management is able to create new volume, extend or shrink partition, change drive letter, delete or format partition, etc. Damaged flash drives can be formatted within Disk Management. If USB drive uses unrecognized file system format or becomes unallocated or uninitialized, it will not show in My Computer or Windows Explorer. Thus it’s not available to format the drive through right-click menu “Format” option.

To Open Disk Management right-click This PC in Windows 8.x or 10, or the Computer icon in Windows 7 and select Manage.

That opens up the built-in Computer Management utility. From the right pane go to Storage > Disk Management and in the center section find your flash drive (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 “Format” option and select file system format to perform quick format. However, this action is not workable in some cases, and you need to Select “New Simple Volume” item.

You’ll get the New Simple Volume Wizard which guides you recreate new partition for the flash drive. Operations are following the onscreen instructions, setting options and click “Next” button. When the process is done, you’ll find the USB drive has been formatted and is properly recognized by system.

Format The Drive with Command Prompt

Disk Management is not almighty and it is not helpful in many cases. Thus we need to switch to command line based formatting solution. It looks like this method is complicated to common users, but it is not. Follow steps below and see whether it can get everything done.

Open Command Pprompt

First you need to find Command Prompt from start menu and run it as administrator.

For windows 10 or 8.1 users Right click on start menu and select command prompt ( Admin )
For Windows 7 users click Start button and type cmd in the search both and press Enter. UAC Open click yes. When the command prompt opens Type Bellow commands one By one.

Here The command list to perform one by one.

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

Commands Performed with explanation

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

Next Type command list volume and press enter key. Then you can see partition and disk list of current computer. All drives are listed with numbers and Disk 4 is the flash drive in question.

Continue typing disk 4 which is the problem drive and clean and press Enter. 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.

Type create primary partition and hit Enter; next type in Command prompt format /FS:NTFSG: (you can copy and paste it.) and press Enter. Here G is the drive letter of the USB drive, and you can change it in line with specific cases. The drive will be formatted toNTFS file system and the formatting is very fast.
When the format completes (100%), close the command prompt window and go to 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, after performing above steps you will lose all your previous data. So, if you have some important data in your drive, try to recover it first using hard drive recovery software. Here is the summary of all the above performed operations in order:

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

Very similar in terms of looks with the standard Windows format screen, 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.

There’s nothing too complicated about it, and both beginners and those more experienced should be able to figure out the purpose of each option, so you should be able to use right away after downloading the official package.

Simply select the USB drive, choose the desired file system (NTFS for drives that are larger than 4 GB) and you’re good to go.

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.