Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format

“Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format” [USB Problem Solved]

If you have ever put a USB drive into your computer and didn’t get a positive push forward, then you are not alone. Millions of people today have found themselves at odds with Microsoft because of the formatting of their drives, SD cards, and external hard drives. If you haven’t had good luck with yours, it’s time to find a solution, and that solution is now found here.

Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format [Solution]

The following is going to help you with the windows format problem. If you don’t want to throw away your USB drives or anything along those lines, then you’re going to love the following easy way to fix this issue. Formatting a USB drive shouldn’t mean that you get rid of it, it’s just a matter of changing a few things and getting back to work. Solving the windows was unable to complete the format riddle is not as complex as some people will have you believe, that’s for sure.

The First Option

There are several different ways that you can approach this problem. The first one is to look at the initial formatting error. If you receive an error, consider changing a few things. First, click on the drive you want to format and change the file system outright. You want to work with NTFS not FAT 32. You also don’t want a “quick format”, as that will only cause issues. Once you make this simple change, you will be able to move forward with formatting. This simple change is fast and works most of the time.

Disk Management

If you are getting Windows was unable to complete the format issues, then it’s time to look at something else. Here’s another way to look at the same problem, in case the first option doesn’t work. You’ll want to open up “My Computer”. Once you do that, you’ll look for “manage”, which should be right under the “open” text. Once you open that file, you’ll need to navigate to “Disk Management”.

When you select that, you’ll be shown a list of disk drive options. Locate the USB drive that you’ve added, which will be on the right-hand side. Once you locate that, right click on it. Amidst the options, you’ll find that one will be “format”. Select that, and then make sure that your type is NTFS and again uncheck quick format, and click ok. Once you do that, you’ll find that the formatting will be easy to accomplish.

The Command Line Solution

If you want to look cool, or perhaps you just want to get straight to the root of the problem, you can always format via the command line. This is for more experienced computer users, but it looks great and works a great deal of the time. To get this started, you will need to go to your start button and then type in the letters CMD. That will bring up the command line, which is a window with a black background and light text.

USB Disk Storage Formatting

For those that have HP computers or trust HP in general, you can always use their solution to help you out. This is a solution that is going to be easy to look into and work with. You’ll need to simply get the application and let the software format your USB drive. If you do this correctly, it will be a simple task overall.

Look For Drivers

In some instances, the USB driver you have on your computer is out of date, or the actual external drive needs a driver. This happens from time to time, and you don’t need to panic. Simply look up the USB storage manufacturer’s website. Once you do that, look for drivers and software updates that you can download and install. Often, these companies will help you with formatting and change up the elements within their drives. They will let you download a light package that you can then work with to get a focused change. Be careful when downloading anything, and make sure that you’re on the right page.

Clean Your Drives

Before you insert any drive into your computer, make sure that it’s clean. The connection points should be clear, without damage, and allow you to get moving forward. Cleaning your drives with canned air, or simply a quick dusting can help.

Also, you could clean, then restart your computer and ensure that your USB drives are working properly. Sometimes, the errors that you receive with formatting is due in large part to connection issues, and communication between the computer and the USB drive.

Once you have the command line open, you’ll want to type in the following: /FS:FAT32 X:

Once you type that in, click enter on your keyboard. You need to change X to whatever the letter of your USB drive is going to be or is. Changing the X is crucial to your forward progress. Once you do that, let the computer do the work, and you’ll have a formatted drive done from the command line.


There are several ways that you can approach the windows was unable to complete the format issues that rise. You don’t need to panic. Don’t throw away your drives. You just have to look at what the issue is, and start with the simplest solution first. Once you try the simplest of solutions, then go into more complex options. If after you do the above, and you have tried several different things to clean up the issue, then your USB storage unit may be corrupted or not able to format. This happens. If you have just purchased it, use the warranty information to get a new one. If you have not used it in a while, or you have used it a great deal, but have forgotten to reformat, then perhaps it’s time for a new one. At the end of the day, you can fix things with relative ease based on the ideas above. They should work to help clear up the windows was unable to complete the format problem you may encounter outright.

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