By Bryce / Last Updated March 10, 2022

The symptom: SSD drive won’t format

SSD, short for solid-state drive, is a type of data storage device, produced by many manufactures like Samsung, Kingston, and so on. Compared with traditional hard disk drive, it performs better in many aspects: faster running speed, lower power consumption, less noise, and so on. Thus, there are more and more users who want to use SSD and need to format or reformat SSD. However, it is possible that SSD won’t format, with the error message – Windows was unable to complete the format or something else when you try to format it in Windows File Explorer.

Why SSD won’t let me format?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, there are chances that you will be bothered by SSD formatting failure. Generally speaking, SSD not formatting mainly caused by the factors as follows:
▪ The SSD is infected with virus.
▪ The SSD has bad sectors.
▪ The file system of the SSD is corrupted.
▪ The SSD is write-protected.
▪ The SSD is physically damaged.
▪ …

How to fix SSD unable to format problem?

When you are unable to format SSD in Windows File Explorer, firstly, you should ensure that your SSD is not physically damaged. If so, you need to replace it with a new one. If not, you can try one or more of the solutions presented in the next context.

Solution 1. Remove write protection from SSD

When your SSD is write-protected, you will not be allowed write to it. If you try to format it, you’ll be prompted that the disk is write-protected. In such condition, you can clear read only via Diskpart utility:

1. Press Windows + R simultaneously to open “Run” dialogue.

2. Input “diskpart” and hit Enter to run Diskpart as administrator.

3. In the Diskpart interface, type the following commands and hit Enter after every command.

▪ list disk

▪ select disk n

▪ attributes disk clear readonly

Clear Readonly

PS.: “ n” is the disk number of your SSD that is write-protected.

Then, you can see the message Disk attributes cleared successfully; type “exit” and hit Enter to leave from this window.

After that, you can format your SSD with a desirable file system.

Solution 2. Format RAW SSD via Diskpart

If you have disabled write protection from your SSD but still can’t format SSD in success, you can open Disk Management to check the status of the SSD. When it shows as RAW in Disk Management, you can format the RAW SSD by following the steps below:

1. Run Diskpart as administrator.

2. Run the commands presented below:

▪ list disk

▪ select disk n

▪ clean

▪ create partition primary

▪ format fs=ntfs quick

▪ assign letter=m

Clean and Format

Then, you can close this window.


▪ If you need to format SSD to FAT32 or exFAT, you can replace ntfs with fat32 or exfat.

▪ “f” refers the letter assigned to your SSD and it can be replaced.

Solution 3. Format SSD via free third party format tool

To complete the format in an easy way, you can choose a free partition manager like AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It enables you to format SSD, HDD, USB flash drive, pen drive, or SD card to NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, Ext2, Ext3, or Ext4 even when your disk is shown as RAW in Disk Management. It can also format drive beyond 32GB in capacity to FAT32. See the following steps to see how to format Kingston SSD in Windows 10 using AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard.

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Step 1. Download this format tool free, install, and run it. In the main interface, right-click RAW SSD (it will present as Unformatted in AOMEI) and choose “Format Partition”.

Format Raw Partition

Step 2. Here are five file systems for you to select. Pick one based on your demand. Then, click“OK”.

Format Raw To Ntfs

Step 3. Return to the main interface. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit operation.


Solution 4. Format SSD with OS on it via bootable media

If the SSD that you want to format is with OS running, you won’t be able to format it and will get the error “You cannot format this volume. It contains the version of Windows that …”

If you need to format the SSD that operating system is running, you can disconnect the SSD from the computer and connect it to another working computer to format it. If you are without another computer, you can create bootable media via AOMEI Partition Assistant to format the SSD. Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Insert a USB drive to your computer. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant and click “Make Bootable Media” and click “Next”.

Step 2. In this window, select a way to create a bootable media (Here USB Boot Device is selected) and click “Proceed”.

Make Bootable Media

Step 3. You’ll be prompted that all data on the USB drive will be erased, click “Yes” and wait for the process to complete.

Step 4. After creating a bootable USB drive via AOMEI Partition Assistant, enter BIOS to boot from this USB drive.

Boot from USB

Step 5. Now, you’ll be in the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the SSD that you want to format and do the following prompts to perform formatting.


▪ Be cautious to format the SSD that OS installed on as it is not available to boot computer from this SSD anymore after you format it.

▪ You can enjoy more advanced features like aligning SSD partitions if you upgrade AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to Professional version.


To tackle with SSD won’t format issue, it is unnecessary to try every method aforementioned. Based on a specific situation, get the most possible reason for SSD not formatting and you can take corresponding measures to fix this issue quickly and effectively.

All in all, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a great tool to help manage disk partitions well in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista. For Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003 users, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a popular recommendation.