Fixed: WD Quick Formatter Failed in Formatting External Drive

Learn how to fix the failed error or application not working issue when use WD Quick Formatter tool to format external hard drive by using better format software in Windows.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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The Scenario

WD quick formatter failed

I have a 1TB My Passport drive that works just fine. Recently, I’d like to back up all contents on the external drive, format it and then send it to my sister. Actually, either format or erase would be fine. However, when I use the WD Quick Formatter to format the drive, it running smoothly at the beginning yet gives me a prompt after a while. It reads: WD external drive format failed. Program exiting. Why would it be like this? How could I successfully format the drive? Please help

- Question from

Have you encountered WD Quick Formatter failed problem during the format process in Windows? Other similar situations like WD Quick Formatter error, WD Quick Formatter doesn’t work, WD Quick Formatter cannot open device etc. are listed by a part of users.

Why WD quick formatter failed?

Many factors account for WD Quick Formatter not working, from poor external drive contact to hard drive corruption. In general, you might in one of following situations.

● Hard drive is not setup correctly in BIOS, which may result in that Windows cannot detect it correctly.
● Software confliction. Some viruses or spyware program is conflict with this format utility.
● Hard drive confliction. The WD My Passport or other external drives may conflict with another device (on the same IDE cable).
● The drive is taken by other applications.
● If you’ve encountered the WD Quick Formatter Runtime error, it stands for a software or hardware problem that prevents the program from working correctly.
● The partition you want to format to FAT32 is larger than 32GB in Windows 2000, XP, or 2003.
● The partition you plan to format is corrupted or damaged.
● The external drive you attempt to format is physically damaged or defective.

Powerful alternative to WD Quick Formatter

It is easy to fix if you have find the right cause. For example, If WD Quick Formatter says the drive is in use and you’re sure that you have closed all applications and still get this error, try to disable the automatic backup program like WD SmartWare, anti-virus or remote access application. Nevertheless, if you find the WD Quick Formatter works fine and only gets an error at the end of formatting external drive, it may be hard to check out the causes. What’s worse, Quick Formatter can only used to format external drive. Therefore, it is not a bad choice to turn to powerful third party format tool like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

This format utility allows you to format external drive to NTFS, FAT32, EXT2, EXT3, or FAT. You are able to change the cluster size of file system, from 0.5KB to 64KB. Further, it can format bootable USB drive to normal, so does to bootable external drive. You can use this software to format internal hard drive as well. Besides, if you plan to resell the external drive, hard drive or partition erase is also available with “Wipe Hard Drive” or “Wipe Partition” functions. Download the free Demo to have a try.

Download Pro demo Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
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How to solve WD quick formatter failed in formatting external drive?

Note: Formatting process will delete all data on the hard drive, so backup files before reformatting if there are some important data on it.

1. Connect the drive to your computer. Download, install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant.

2. Select the drive you want to format and right click it. Then choose “Format Partition”.

Format Partition 128gb

3. In the pop-up window, specify the partition label, select file system as well as cluster size. Then click “OK”.

Select File System 128gb

4. What you see now is virtual result. Click “Apply” in the up-left corner to execute the operation.

Apply Proceed 128gb


When you meet WD Quick Formatter failed issue and cannot find the exact cause, why not change your mind and use another format tool? As you can see from the screenshot, AOMEI Partition Assistant can help you solve many other practical issues. For example, you can use it to remove Intenso USB write protect, solve conversion from FAT32 to NTFS is not available problem, format Kingston Windows To Go USB drive DataTraveler Workspace and so on. What’s more, you can create a bootable device using this software and format the hard drive under Windows PE mode. This limits the software conflict to a large extent.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.