Windows Was unable To Complete The Format-How to solve this

Sometimes while formatting a pen drive , we get an error-Windows was unable to complete the format.Also in the explorer window ,the drive is shown but without showing total memory and free memory and if you try to format it ,it shows error.
                       In this post I will show you, step by step, how to solve this problem and repair your pen drive.This method works both on windows 7 and windows 8.
  • First in the explorer window your pen drive is shown as follows:

Unable to complete the formatWindows was unable to complete the format

  • Now right click on computer, select Manage.Computer Management window will open.Select Disk management and all the drives on your system will be shown.

disk management

  • Go to bottom of window, right click on your pen drive and select  change drive letters and paths .Remove the previous name and assign any other name which is not previously assigned.
windows was unable to complete the format
  • Then again right click on pen drive in computer management window and select New simple volume.A wizard will open .Click next and select FAT32 as file system.Again click next and your pen drive will be formatted and all space will be recovered. 

unable to complete the formatformatting the usb drive

If you face any problem in implementing above steps ,do let me know in comments.
If the above method does not work for you, I have written another post to repair the corrupted SD card/ hard drive. Find the post below:
Recommended Reading
How to Repair a Corrupted SD card / USB Hard drive


  1. Amar pawar

    In disk management,your usb drive should be showing as unallocated space…You need to left click on this unallocated space(in front of your drive) and select new simple volume…..hope this helps

  2. Fraser Liswaniso

    Please rephrase where we find New Simple Volume…. No one can find it. More details on how

  3. Amar pawar

    You need to go to disk management.In disk management there are two partitions.In the above partition your hard drives are shown and in the below partition removable disks are shown……….Right click on the removable partition with black color space and labeling 'unallocated'.

  4. alasia milan

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. alasia milan

    My memory card isn't showing up as unallocated.

  6. Amar pawar

    If you are not seeing your memory card as unallocated space in disk management,then your card might be corrupted or damaged permanently…..Do you see your card in my computer window?

  7. alasia milan

    I just ended up getting another memory card. Can cards become corrupted/damaged over time? Or does something have to happen to it to make it corrupted/damaged?

  8. Amar pawar

    Well some possible reasons for memory card corruption may include:
    -Removal of card while photo saving /viewing
    -removal of card while turning on/off camera
    -do not remove card when camera is on
    -Safely remove the card from computer

    Memory cards have a finite lifespan. A typical flash memory card unit has approximately 10,000 write/erase operations.

  9. Luthfiani Fitri Nurfajri

    Brother, i cant find new simple volume and there is not unallocated but primary partition. please help me solve it.

  10. srashti

    m unabl to find new simple volume option… also i m following these steps to format m sd card and it is already in FAT32 format… even cmd also unable to format d same..

  11. Amar pawar

    Make sure your usb derive is not showing as RAW partition.In this case you might not able to make work it again.
    TRY THIS:open the command prompt and type the following two commands:
    chkdsk G: /f
    chkdsk G:/r

    here change G with your drive letter.After this try it to format with hp disk it from here –

  12. Anonymous

    My usb is showing as RAW!!! What I can do? Please help

  13. Anonymous

    The PC indicated Permison denied, The administrator rights are required to run this tool 🙁

  14. Anonymous

    It's working!!!! You are great!! Thank you very much!! ♥♥♥

  15. Amar pawar

    Right Click and select Run As Administrator from options

  16. venkat

    for me its not working can you please help me. Mine is brand new pen drive 🙁

  17. Amar pawar

    Tell me the exact error …….Do your pen drive showing as RAW partition?

  18. Anonymous

    still its not working for me 🙁

  19. Anonymous

    I did all the steps 🙁 i downloaded HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool also.. still its throwing error !!

  20. Amar pawar

    Your usb storage drive might become raw drive…..which is usually not usable

  21. Sangh Priya Gautam

    Hi Dear,
    Till select new volume were fine, when i started to formatted this (pen drive Named as "L"), in formatted wizard asked select named as for format, I given as "M", and after completing wizard it is showing "The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error"

  22. Anonymous

    I tried formating with HP USB Disk Storage Format, but it tells me "device media is write-protected" 🙁

  23. Anonymous

    THis doesn't work for me….

  24. Ayush Verma

    bro Im formatting a CD by this it is not showing unallocated and aloso the option new simple volume and i have a windows 7 ultimate

  25. Amar pawar

    You can format a CD only if it is of type CD-RW(Rewritable).The above solution will work only for pen drives and memory cards not for CDs.

  26. shivam

    dude i tried all but still its showing format not successful.what to do?

  27. Amar pawar

    Is your pen drive showing as Raw partition?

  28. Amar pawar

    Your usb storage drive might become raw drive…..which is usually not usable

  29. Richard Chang


    i have 2 partitions.

    16MB unallocated
    59.46G primary

    i only get "New Simple Volume" on the unallocated and even then, it is greyed out.

    can you assist pls?


  30. Suresh1791

    hey dude i follow all steps but still not working. it shows RAW partition. HP tool failed to format it. "format h:" command also failed to format that device. is there any more option to format it? or this device got faild?

  31. Suresh1791

    hey dude i follow all steps but still not working. it shows RAW partition. HP tool failed to format it. "format h:" command also failed to format that device. is there any more option to format it? or this device got faild?

  32. Anonymous

    I did everything you have listed above for a Toshiba External HD that I am trying to format. I too can follow you all the way until 'NEW SIMPLE VOLUME" which is not there. I followed your link an ran the HPUSBDisk as ADMIN and it says the drive is WRITE PROTECTED and will not work either… I have tried everything to format this drive. Any other ideas? Thank you!!!

  33. Anonymous

    UPDATE: I was able to see what you mean by NEW SIMPLE DRIVE under the BLACK instead of the BLUE top once I right clicked. however it still doesnt work. I still get the error-

  34. Vishwavinayak Kaushal

    bro i downloaded that software which u told me yo download nd i started formating it but it still showing device media is write protected now tell me that my pendrive is dead or there any chance to make it usable for me

  35. Amar pawar

    Sorry dude your disk drive has became raw, which in not usable..

  36. Amar pawar

    If it is showing media is write protected,then you might have a chance to repair it.I advice you to go near service center and they will remove write protection from it

  37. Amar pawar

    First you need to remove write protection from your external hard disk.Go to service center of toshiba

  38. Anonymous

    Hi Bro!!! I Too Have 8GB Micro SDHC Card and i have tried all the as u suggested and yeah i can acces my sd card i can view free space and used space in my sd card and access all files and folders too and also use them but as soon as i try to format it completes up to 100% and pops up saying "windows was unable to complete format" and if i use SD Card Formatter Tool It Say Write Protected and when i use it in my cell or any other java or android cell phone it says damaged SD Card So Please Help me :'( :'( Please Email Me tips/solution on

  39. Amar pawar

    What error you are getting while formatting the method I have mentioned? Defrag your card and try to format again.

  40. Anonymous

    i tried to defrag but it wont :'(

  41. Anonymous

    windows was unable to complete format in explorer window and disk management and write protected in sd card formatter and format tool and if i try to defrag and analyze in middle of process there comes a pop up window in right down side corner saying "a hardware installed to this pc could not be …." :'(

  42. Amar pawar

    Try t format with HP usb disk storage format tool……if this also not worked your card might be physically damaged

  43. Amar pawar

    It will not work if your drive permanently converted to raw type.

  44. Rahim.K

    when i click finish showing this dialog box
    "The media in the drive may have changed"
    please give me tips

  45. Kalle Liikanen

    My device is Iomega Prestige 1TB

    It's three years old, and I've used it a lot. Recently, there was about 490GB of files inside the disk, and when I tried to add some new photos there, it got stuck at 0% and says "calculating…" When i chose to cancel the file transfer, it just says "cancelling…" but nothing happens. Then i tried to safely remove the hard drive, but of course, it says that the drive cannot be removed because it is currently being used. So i had to plug it off.

    I copied all the files from that disk to my pc, and decided to format it, but it doesn't work. It's not showing as RAW, and the disk management says it's "healthy", and if i try to format it or change / remove it's drive letters, Windows freezes and i get the blue screen until i plug the disk off manually.

    I mean, i can't do anything, but still I'm able to transfer simple files like .txt -files to the hard drive, which is strange. If i try to transfer photos for example, Windows just freezes every single time.

    So it works but still it does not work.

  46. Zodiac


    I click on change drive letters and paths but nothing happen can you tell me how to do
    thank you

  47. sumanth vinay

    when i complete all the process said by last step it was showing that it cannot be completed….so pleasse solve my problem

  48. Amar pawar

    try some other tool to format like Hp disk utility tool

  49. Amar pawar

    What the actually eroor is? Is change drive letters and paths greyed out?

  50. Amar pawar

    Your drive showing as Raw or healthy partition?

  51. Ani Kuriakose

    Mine is brand new Transcend 16GB microSD card but I am not able to format or copy the data from old microSD card to this new one. The mobile is able to read the card but the laptop keep saying the drive needs to be formatted

  52. Amit Singh

    m not able to formate my sd card just because in disk manager some unallocated space is showing in front of sd card……when i try to resolve according to you by right click on unallocates space new system volume is disable….. plz help me to solve my prob

  53. Nutesh Dalal

    Dear Friend,

    I am not able to format my SD Card. There are some unwanted files which i delete at that instant but after sometime they become visible again in my PC & in my phone. I tried to format it via PC & several other phones but this problem persists. I also tried chkdsk utility but it also stops working after 3% and gets off. I tried your method also but not got any success. Can you have any other idea to solve this issue.

  54. Shaik Mohammed Taher

    im also facing the same problem as Nutesh dalal said im unable to copy files into memory card or delete them plz help

  55. Sandeep Kaur

    my pen drive shows the FAT32 problem. I don't wanna format my drive coz it has some important data. how I can prevent my data plzz help

  56. Amar pawar

    Hey, You can recover audio,video and image files from a corrupted pen drives.
    Try easeus recovery software to recover your files and then format your drive.

  57. anish khaire

    I tried your suggestions but its showing "incorrect function"…what can I do ? 🙁

  58. Amar pawar

    This error is generally shown with CD/DVD drives…. R u accessing CD drive or a pen drive ?

  59. Raymond Cruz

    Mine is showing as FAT32 i can't reformat it and the disk is in the primary partition can you help me with this? I'm not worried if i can't recover my files, I have my backup on my desktop.

  60. Amar pawar

    If it is not raw, then there are chances you can format it. Try HP USB Dis-Storage Format tool and let me know me results.

  61. Uthayakumaran Thisothan

    HP USB Dis-Storage i had used this software but its tells no media specified. sir how can i sole this problem?????

  62. BB

    Hi ,
    I performed the above mentioned steps, but even after renaming the drive ,it shows healthy primary partition. I could not find new single volume option . Please help me with the same.
    thank you.

  63. Eswaran R

    hai friends how to my pendriver format

    Window can't format h

    check to see the disk and driver are connected properly,make sure that the disk is not read only and then try again.for more information search help for read only files and how to change them

  64. John In

    I don't find new simple volume option in windows 7 after assigning new name to the drive.

  65. Dhruv Dewan

    Bro..When i click finish.
    I said.Incorrect Function.
    Pls help.

  66. Shubham Rajak

    I tried formatting using HP USB DISK FORMAT but than it says the disk is Write-Protected. 🙁

  67. Amar pawar

    You might need to remove the write protection first. Search the google for it.

  68. Krishna Muraree Roy

    my microSDcard showing HEALTHY(Primary Partition). but unable to format using all the ways provided by you including HPUSBDisk software(Failed to format the device ) .
    Now what i have to do.
    plz help me.

  69. Akash Singh

    my pd showing raw suddenly and i cant open or format it plz help………….no need for data recovery just want to format it

  70. goswami tarun

    my pen drive is 8 gb but show only 64 mb and i can't format it give trik how to format it.

  71. Kevin Heart taker

    I am getting a error cyclic redundancy check .
    now what should i do ?

  72. Manoj Kumar

    Hello bro…my memory card is not fomat,when i trying to format its show error like as-Window was unable to complete format..and no any file delete by phone but by computer it was done…..its file system FAT only….so plz help me as soon as that how can i solve my problem….plz

  73. Hamid Butt

    Hello bro…my memory card is not format,when i trying to format its show error like as-Window was unable to complete format – when i try to change the disk letter through disk management it show only 15 MB unallocated space and no drive letter shows. its 4 GB card how i can use it fully

  74. Christine Bayot

    iv edont those steps and im getting error cyclic redundancy check. whta's wrong????

  75. Dev Dutt Tyagi

    hii bro….
    my 8GB pan drive usable space when i parchesed 7.8GB but now this space only 7.25GB what is it problem and how to remove it ?

  76. Sambath

    Dear sir,
    I want to format my SD drive 32GB and i follow all your steps but after finish one message appear [Data error (cyclic redundancy check), Why? Please help me!

  77. Vincent Mkandawire

    thankssssssssssssss it worked for meeeeeeeeeeeeeee you are a genioussssssssss

  78. Jaja Peace

    sir, if its RAW , means i cant to reformat ? its is ?

  79. Talha Shaikh

    can u plz help me how to remove write protection. help me plz its urgent.

  80. keyjey

    In my case, Im using my external hard drive which is 1TB, I cant proceed to diskpart because after I click format disk, windows says, "Windows can't format F".. due to read only. I dont know what to do then. How can i fix this? Help please! Thanks..

  81. shadrak rufus

    Thank you so much boss. I was really worried. Its working now.

  82. riddik anass

    My memory card isn't showing up as unallocated.

  83. Hany Salem

    Hey bud, it doesn't show new simple volume on right click and I tried the above 2 commands and it said can't open volume for direct access also I tried HB USB disk storage format and it said there is no media in the specified device. so what can I do?

  84. Bhavita Agrawal

    I can not find new simple volume after changing the name of drive. status of pendrive shows healthy and not unallocated. What is the solution please suggest.

  85. Sunil Chavan

    we are fasing the format did not complete successfully error
    please help us

  86. Gaurav Kapoor

    Its still showing an error "The format did not complete successfully" & even after using HP USB tool for format the same error is coming "Failed to format".

    Please help

  87. Gaurav Kapoor

    After using this tool the same error is coming "Failed to format". Now what to do

  88. Ralene Bagadiong

    I almost buy a new one until I found this tips. A bunch of thanks. ^_^

  89. sumit kumar

    I tried it but its not working for me.
    my pen drive show RAW.
    Can anyone help me to format it or how to convert RAW into FAT32 or NTFS.

  90. Vaindart

    sir, i've tried all step you told preaviously but my micro sd card is not formatting but format process is getting 100 % completed than its showing error " windows was unable to format" what should be the error…and how i can format if sd card is raw.

  91. ashish

    Hey I am Facing a Problem on my Transcend 16 gb Micro SD Card which is running on a Android Phablet. The Problem is as below.
    1. My Micro SD Card was running good but suddenly it doesn't accepts any new files to be stored even though there is enough space on the drive.
    2. It does not let me delete any of the files. Wen try to delete a file, it gets deleted for some time and again it is visible.
    3. I tried to format using a card reader on windows 8 but it says it is unable to format.
    4. I tried to format it on Android but it says not successful.
    5. On Card Reader i can manually delete files but it comes back when it is reinserted.

    Kindly go through it and please give appropriate solution.

  92. Aditya Rao

    Hello sir, i am using strotinum 16gb pendrive some of the files that have named as #* (symbols) files are created and showing error as windows was unable to complete format, i have tried disk management, command prompt and check disk method when i press format i will automatically ejected from computer and within a second it will automatically it will re connects, i have also installed hp disk format tool and sd card formatter it will shows error the files are write protected, please help me to overcome from this problem sir thankyou.

  93. Unknown

    My sd card shows as primary partition not as unallocated..

  94. Wajdan Ali

    my hard drive showing Raw 🙁 can't fix it i tired the same thing .. but still same prob
    298.08 GB Raw
    healthy (primary partition)

  95. Santanu

    hp usb disk format storage tool worked for me.. Thanks a lot man.

  96. Amar

    Dear i have try all process like, format my 32 GB memory card from My Computer, Disk Management & CMD promt . i also try commend of Disk Part > List Disk>select disk>clean.
    After this process my memory card is showing unallocated disk and then i have follow your process New Simple Volume>Format the volume with the following setting then showing result was “Format did not complete successfully”. Now i want your help . Can you help me please…..

  97. yuzzo b

    Then again right click on pen drive in computer management window and select New simple volume.A wizard will open .Click next and select FAT32 as file system.Again click next and your pen drive will be formatted and all space will be recovered.
    no New simple volume option after right click my drive

  98. yuzzo b

    Then again right click on pen drive in computer management window and select New simple volume.A wizard will open .Click next and select FAT32 as file system.Again click next and your pen drive will be formatted and all space will be recovered.
    No such a “New simple volume option” after right click my drive

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