Most of the time, we go to Windows File Explorer to access files and format drives. Most of the time, we can successfully format a drive to FAT and NTFS. However, in some cases, users report that Windows was unable to complete the format.
How does this happen? Let’s make it out!
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Reasons for Windows was unable to complete the format #
According to our survey, if one of the following situations is true, you will meet the “Windows was unable to complete the format” message.
1. The drive has NO partition.
If there is no partition on a removable disk, Windows will add a drive letter on the whole disk. Thus, you can find this removable disk in File Explore but are unable to access it. Without a partition, Windows cannot handle any read/write process, and the formatting process will be failed.
2. The drive has a RAW partition.
A RAW drive means that this partition has an unrecognized file system (such as Ext2/3/4) or the drive is not formatted or the format process is not finished. In any of these cases, Windows cannot recognize such partitions and will be unable to complete the format.
Knowing the reasons for Windows was unable to format pen drive/removable disk, let’s focus on the way to resolve this issue.
How to format successfully #
Before we go to the format process, we need to figure out if there is any important data saved on this drive. Data recovery is sometimes necessary in this process if we have. And to do this, use any of the top-rated data recovery software to help.
When data recovery is finished, we can move on to the key steps. Please follow the guidance in accordance with your own situation.
Solution 1: Create a partition on the drive
This is easy, and you can solve it either by using a top-rated partition manager or staying on Windows built-in Disk Management tool.
Their creation processes are much similar:
- Right-click on the unallocated space, choose New Simple Volume/Create Partition, or the similar.
- The next step would be to set up the partition size, drive letter, and the file system. If you are not professional, keep all the parameters the default.
- Then confirm the creation. During this process, Windows will format the newly created partition with your desired file system. In a few seconds, all is done.
Solution 2: format RAW drive using partition manager
If you find you have a RAW drive to be formatted, it is recommended that you recover files first and then you go to format the drive. Any professional partition manager on the market or Windows Disk Management can help you make the interactive formatting.
Here is how to do that:
- Right-click on the RAW drive and choose Format/Format Partition.
- Select your preferred file system, allocate unit size/cluster size, set a new partition label optionally, and confirm the operation.
Tip: you can also delete the RAW drive and then recreate one with FAT, NTFS, or exFAT file system. To know the key point, read FAT32 VS exFAT VS NTFS, What’s the Difference?Windows was unable to complete the format? Here are the best fixes you should give a try!