By Emily / Last Updated December 4, 2020

The Error: memory card not formatting

"When I try to access some photos in my attached phone SD card, I just cannot open it and an error message saying 'The disk is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?' pops out. But formatting will result in data loss, which is not what I want now. Do you have any memory card not formatted solutions for this case? Thanks for any suggestion here!"

Reasons for memory card not formatting error

When your memory card is asking you to format in camera or phone, you will be unable to access the device and data. Why that occurs? In addition to physical damage, reasons behind this issue also include:

  • Remove the memory card from phone or camera in an improper way.

  • Memory card is write protected because of corrupted file system.

  • Memory card is infected by virus and leads to unfinished formatting.

  • Memory card is formatted quite frequently.

  • Abrupt power failure during writing, reading or transferring data.

  • Memory card has some bad sectors.

3 Solutions to memory card not formatting error

To help you fix SD card not formatting in camera or phone and restore the accessibility to the card, here we bring 3 different solutions. Before that, it would be better to retrieve important files from the corrupted card using professional data recovery software.

Solution 1. Check disk status

First of all, you can connect the memory card to a computer via a card reader. If Windows prompts formatting error messages, you can cancel it and right click the memory card in the File Explorer and select "Properties". Then go to "Tools" > "Check". That will help check the drive for file system errors.

Check File System Error

Besides, you can also run CHKDSK.exe tool to check and fix possible disk errors. Click "Start", enter "cmd" in the Search field, right click the Command Prompt and select "Run as administrator". In the elevated Command Prompt window, execute command:chkdsk g: /f (g is the drive letter of your card, and /f is the repair parameter).

Check Disk Error

If the memory card turn into RAW file system and the CHKDSK cannot check this type of card, you can use AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is a free disk partition manager for Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista users. It can check bad sectors on RAW drive. Its Professional edition offers more advanced features such as converting boot disk between MBR and GPT without losing data, migrating OS to SSD/HDD, extending system partition, etc. To check bad sectors, do as below:

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Free download, install and run this software on Windows computer. Right click the RAW partition and select "Advanced" and then "Check Partition".

Check Raw Partition

Step 2. Select the last way to check whether there are bad sectors on the selected partition.

Check Bad Sector

Step 3. Tick "Quick Check" and click "Start".

Start Check Raw Partition

If some bad sectors are found, you can repair them using a proper tool. If no bad sectors are detected, proceed to the next solution.

Solution 2. Reinstall the memory card driver

You can also try to reinstall the memory card driver in Device Manager to check whether the memory card not formatted problem can be resolved.

Step 1. Click "Start" button, type "device manager" in the search bar and press "Enter" to enter Device Manager console.

Step 2. Open "Disk Driver" and right click on the SD card, then select "Uninstall".

Step 3. Remove the memory card, reboot your computer and insert it again.

Finally, your PC will automatically install new drivers. Then you can see if you can open the memory card and access it.

Solution 3. Reformat it completely on PC

If the last two memory card not formatted solutions do not make any difference, you can reformat it completely on your computer. But there are chances that you cannot format it in File Explorer or Disk Management, and receive "Windows was unable to complete the format" or "The format did not complete successfully". Thus, Diskpart can help you format it more powerfully.

Firstly, launch Command Prompt as administrator (refer to solution 1). Then execute the following commands in order (replace disk 1 with your memory card number):

diskpart> list disk> select disk 1> clean > create partition primary> format fs=ntfs quick

Format Drive CMD

If your card is write protected or becomes RAW due to damaged file system and you cannot format it via common tools, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can help you with that.

Step 1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, right click the memory card and select "Format Partition".

Format Partition

Step 2. Choose a file system based on your requirements and click "OK".

File System

Step 3. Click "Apply" to commit the operation.

Apply

Summary

You can try the memory card not formatted solutions one by one until you solve this problem. In order to avoid similar disk not formatted issues in future, it is better not to remove the card when it is working, format the card in an incorrect way or too often, read/write data when the camera or phone battery is lower. The above software is also able to clone SD card, wipe SD card, format 32GB+ SD card to FAT32, and more.