Usually, to format a USB Flash Drive on a Windows computer, users need to right-click the connected USB drive and select Format to start the USB format process.
However, in some cases, when formatting USB, quite a few users reflect that they cannot format the USB and the error message “Windows was unable to complete the format” appears on the screen during the format process. So why do you get this error? How to fix it? Today’s article will explain and guide you in some ways to fix the error of not formatting the USB.
The cause of Windows was unable to complete the format error
The disk is write protected
When we format the USB, it is a form of data overwriting, so you need to remove the “write protection” protection before formatting. Do you want to check if the USB has to write a protected error or not? The easiest way is to try to copy a USB file and if it says “The disk is write protected.” Remove the write-protection or use another disk”, the USB you have got write protected error that makes the USB unable to format the data.
USB has bad sector error
When storing files on the computer, all of that data is stored in sectors. The sector is the smallest unit used to store data. If the sector is damaged and cannot be read and written, then the sector has a bad sector condition. The reason for bad sectors? The hardware is too old, defragmenting the hard drive too often, disconnecting the USB from the computer the wrong way.
USB dropped, impacted many times
When using a USB, it is quite normal to fall, but that is why you cannot Format your USB. Professional repair centers will probably fix this for you, but the price you pay is not low at all. You should replace your USB flash drive instead.
USB is infected with Virus
Since the USB is used by many people and used on many different computers, the virus infection of the USB is only a matter of time. Therefore, when using our personal computers, you should use antivirus software to ensure the computer’s data safety.
See more: Top 10 Free Antivirus Software for PC
How to fix Windows was unable to complete the format
Format USB Flash Drive to another file format
The first way to handle the situation of not being able to format the USB is to Format the USB Flash Drive to another file format.
The steps include:
Step 1: Plug the USB drive into your computer, right-click the connected USB drive, and select Format.
Step 2: Change FAT 32 format to NTFS or another format in File System.
Step 3: Uncheck the Quick Format option and select Start to start the USB format process.
Finally, check if the Windows was unable to complete the format error has been fixed or not.
Using Command Prompt
Step 1: First, open the Start Menu, type “cmd” and you right-click on the first displayed result select Run as administrator.
Step 2: In the cmd application window, enter the command
In the above example, I choose to format the drive “C”, with “ntfs” as the drive format. However, depending on your purpose, the command will be different.
For example, you are trying to format the drive, the USB is denoted “J” and the data format you want for drive J is “FAT32”. Hence, the command you would type on the Command prompt would be:
Fix Windows was unable to complete the format with Disk Management
One of the easiest ways to fix the “Windows was unable to complete the format” error is to use the Disk Management tool. This is the software that is pre-installed on the computer to help manage all the hard drive devices.
To get started, do the following:
Step 1: Open the Start Menu again, and type “diskmgmt.msc” and press Enter.
Step 2: Select the drive you want to Format and get the error message. Right-click and select b.
Step 3: In the next window, follow the instructions to enter the volume, choose the drive format and continue to complete the Format process.
Using EaseUS Partion Master
Hard drive management software for Windows and macOS users. With the free version, it will support fixing the USB error that cannot be formatted. EaseUS software has many other cool features, but you need to upgrade your account to Premium.
Step 1: You need to download EaseUS Partition Master software. Then install as usual.
Step 2: Open the EaseUS Partition Master application, right-click the hard drive or USB you want to reinstall and click Format.
Fix Windows was unable to complete the format with AOMEI Partition Assistant
It’s another great tool for managing hard drives on your computer. Works on many Windows operating systems like Windows 10/8.1/7. With this software, you can copy, move, resize, and merge hard drives without worrying about losing data.
Step 1: Download AOMEI Partition Assistant software. Then install like other software.
Step 2:Open the application, Select the drive or USB and Right-click to open the feature menu.
Step 3: Select Advanced => Check Partition.
Step 4: From the Check Partition window, check the box “Check partition and fix errors in this partition by using chkdsk.exe” and click OK.
Using MiniTool Partition Wizard
Step 1: You need to download the free MiniTool Partition Wizard application.
Step 2: Install and open the MiniTool Partition application like other applications. On the main application screen, you will see the USB drive is in Unformatted mode. Now click on it and choose Format Partition.
Step 3: Enter the name of the hard drive, select the data type of the hard drive, Cluster Size and click “OK” to continue.
Step 4: Check that our USB has been formatted in the selected Format as in step 3. Finally, click Apply to complete the USB Format process.
As you have seen, fixing the “Windows was unable to complete the format” error is quite simple and easy. But that also doesn’t mean that you can ignore your computer without any precautions and computer protection.