Solution: Windows was Unable to Complete the Format on Memory Card

When you meet the problem that Windows was unable to format memory card, you can find the error and fix it with Windows Disk Management or AOMEI Partition Assistant.


By Cherry / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Removable disk not formatting

Hello all, I have a brand new 64GB SD card with the purpose of carrying videos. It was formatted to NTFS to store data, which reports errors recently when it is connected to computer, and it asked me to format it. Then, I tried to reformat it to FAT32. However, When I format it in Windows Explorer, the SD card format did not complete successfully and gives error message: Windows was unable to complete the format.

- Question from

Windows Was Unable to Format

For the moment, the SD card turns inaccessible and can’t be formatted. So, I’m here to ask if there is any way can format it and make it normal to use? Any help will be greatly appreciated!”

Many users asked that kind of questions on forums. Fortunately, this article will give you the detailed and overall explanation about this issue.

Main causes that Windows was unable to format memory card

Many users would prefer to store data on the memory card because it can store a large amount of data and save storage space on local hard drive; it is portable and easy to carry. It is widely used in digital products such as camera, cell phone, MP3/4 player, etc. Memory card is important to you.

Like the Scenario, sometimes, you may need to format your memory card for some reasons. But what if you meet the problem that Windows was unable to format memory card? To fix this error, you need to know the main causes that Windows can’t format memory card.

1. Virus infection

Memory card is portable and it is easy to connect to computer for transferring data. It may be used on various computers. Once you plug it into a computer which is not protected by antivirus software such as public computer, your memory card will infect virus with dangerous files, which may cause your memory card stop working, thus, Windows cannot format it, either.

2. Storage devices have bad sectors

All storage devices consist of sectors which are the smallest unite for data storing. If there are bad sectors on your memory card, you cannot read and write on it, even can’t format successfully.

3. Storage device damage

If your storage device is damaged, you cannot access it. And you cannot format the drive if it can’t be used.

4. Disk is write-protected

When your memory card is write-protected, you can only read it. If you try to change data on the write-protected drive, it may give you an error message: The disk is write protected. Remove the write protection or use another disk.” thus, if you want to format the write-protected memory card with Windows built-in tool, you need to remove the write-protection before.

How to solve Windows was unable to format memory card solution?

If you meet the problem “Windows was unable to format memory card”, you need to make sure that whether your storage device is damaged first. If it has a physical damage, then you need change a new one. If not, you need to check errors on the memory card and fix the errors. If there is no error on the card, you need to consider whether it has virus infection. For this situation, you need to install an anti-virus software to solve the problem. If it is because of the write protection, you can try the following solutions.

Solution 1: Using Windows Disk Management

Windows Disk Management is a disk partition manager provided by Windows. It is able to create new volume, extend/shrink partition, change drive letter, delete or format partition, etc. It can even format damaged flash drives. To solve Windows was unable to format memory card, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1. Connect your memory card to your computer, make sure it can be detected by your computer.

Step 2. Right click on My Computer, select Manage, click Disk Management to open it. In the main interface, you can see all storage devices on your computer.

Step 3. Right click the memory card, select Format. Then, it will pop up a small window that you can select file system to perform.

However, this action is not workable in some cases, for example, if the storage device has no partition, or the drive has RAW file system, the Windows was unable to format. Then, you have to recreate new partition for the memory card formatting:

Right click on the memory card, select “New Simple Volume” to recreate new partition for the memory card. When you recreate new partition on the flash drive, you’ll find it has been formatted and is properly recognized by system.

Or, you can turn to Diskpart format partition, or use third party software to solve “removable disk not formatting” problem.

Solution 2: Taking use of third party software

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a great disk partition manager that can rescue the shortages of Windows Disk Management. It can help you check and fix bad sectors for memory card, pen drive, USB flash drive, internal/external hard drive, and can help you complete the format successfully on memory card, or other storage devices even when the drive has no partition, or the drive has Raw file system.

If you can’t solve the question by the methods we mentioned above, you can take use of AOMEI Partition Assistant. No matter the drive has no partition, or the drive has RAW file system, it can solve it. Free download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to your computer for solving your problem in different situations--

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Situation 1: the drive has no partition

If it is because of the drive has no partition, you can make use of AOMEI Partition Assistant to create partition.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant, you can see the memory card on the main interface shown as “unallocated space”, right click the unallocated space, select Create Partition.

Create Partition 16gb

Step 2. Here, you can setup the new partition including the file system, here we create a FAT32 partition. Click OK.

Edit New Partition Ok

Step 3.When you back to the main interface, click Apply -> Proceed.

Proceed Create Partition 16gb

After that, you have create a new FAT32 partition.

Situation 2: the drive has Raw file system

Raw drive is a hard drive or partition which has not been formatted in FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 or NTFS file system. Raw drive can be caused by many reasons like virus infection, format failure, power outages, unrecognized file system, etc. To fix RAW file system, you need to reformat the memory card. And using AOMEI Partition Assistant to reformat memory card is a simple thing.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. In the main interface, you will see the memory card shown as unformatted. Right click it, select Format Partition.

Format Raw Partition

Step 2. It will pop up a window that you can choose to format the partition to FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3, etc. Choose the one you need, click OK.

Format Raw To Ntfs

Step 3. Finally, clickApply -> Proceed.



When you find the Windows was unable to format memory card solutions, you need to find what caused that first, and then, choose the right way to solve it. When you need, you can turn to a memory card partition tool to assist you with those problems. AOMEI Partition Assistant is a great partition manager that can help you solve removable disk not formatting problem, and many other problems, you can free download it to have a try. What’s more, if you need more advanced features, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Professional to gain that.

Cherry · Staff Editor
Cherry is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, cooking, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.