Many users would meet the error: “Windows was unable to complete the format” when they try to format their USB drive to FAT 32 or NTFS in Windows Explorer. But why would this happen?
There are many causes that can lead Windows format USB drive failed such as virus infection, storage device damage, or there have bad sectors on the USB drive, or the USB drive is write-protected. Well, how can you format USB drive successfully under those circumstances?
Ways to format USB drive successfully
You may have a lot of problem about those questions, and you may take a lot of measures to overcome those bad situations like kill virus, check bad sectors, or release the write protection, and so on. Actually, there are many easier solutions.
Note: Following operation will wipe your data on USB drive. Please back up important files to safe places like local PC or cloud.
Solution 1: Disk Management format USB drive
When you cannot format USB drive in Windows Explorer, or the USB drive does not show in My Computer or Windows Explorer, you can go to the Windows Disk Management to format USB drive.
Step 1. Open Windows Disk Management by typing “diskmgmt.msc” and pressing Enter in the search box.
Step 2. Right-click the USB drive and select Format at the menu.
Step 3. Then, select a file system to format USB drive into FAT 32, or NTFS, or others. Click OK to start.
However, if the USB drive is shown as unallocated space in Disk Management, here you need to right-click the unallocated space, select “New Simple Volume” to create new partition for the USB drive. After creating partition on the USB drive, you will find that it has been formatted and it can be recognized by Windows Explorer.
Solution 2: Diskpart format USB drive
Mostly, when the computer cannot recognize a USB drive, you can try to use Diskpart to format USB drive. Diskpart is a built-in tool that manages your hard drives. You can use it to format disk including internal or external hard drive. Diskpart format USB drive is much more effective than Windows Explorer. Here we’ll take an example of how to format USB drive with Diskpart while it is not shown in Windows Explorer.
1. Open the command prompt by typing “cmd” at the search box, right-click the program and select Run as Administrator.
2. Then,type “diskpart” and press enter to launch the program.
3. Next, type “list disk” to display all disks on your computer.
4. Type “select disk 1” and press Enter. Here disk 1 is the USB drive.
5. Type “clean” and press Enter.
6. Type “create partition primary”, press Enter.
7. Type “format fs=fat32 quick” or “format fs=ntfs quick” and press Enter to format USB drive to FAT32 or NTFS as you want.
Finally, type "exit" to end up this, and you have already finished the task about Diskpart format USB. Then, you can active the partition and assign drive letter for the USB drive. For all this, Diskpart is dangerous for people who do not familiar with Diskpart cause all the operations cannot be revoked once the progress is launched. Thus, if there is one mistake, you may get into big trouble. Fortunately, there is another easy way to format USB drive that even a noob can do alone.
Solution 3: Format USB drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant
AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is remarkable free software that can manage your hard drive in Windows 7/8/10/11. You can use it to create/resize/delete/format/move/merge partitions in a few simple mouse-clicks in its intuitive interface. Format USB drive could be much simpler than Windows Disk Management or Diskpart format USB.
Step 1. Plug in your USB drive to your computer. Download the freeware, install and launch it. All disks on your hard dive will be shown on its concise main interface.
Step 2. Right-click your USB drive, select Format Partition at the drop-down menu.
Step 3. Here you can select the file system you need, edit the partition label and the cluster size.
Step 4. Finally, click Apply at the toolbar to submit the operations.
Even though, AOMEI Partition Assistant still provides you the way to partition hard drive from command prompt including format USB drive with command prompt. AOMEI Partition Assistant format USB drive is a good alternative to Diskpart format USB drive. Besides, you can use it to do many other things for managing your hard drive better.