Fix: Windows was unable to complete the format

The ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error is one of the most common errors which a lot of users are facing. If you are trying to remove all the data from your pen drive, micro sd card, or any other external drive, the error known as ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ pops up in some cases. The possible speculations are a lot to mention here but we will mention the essential ones: bad partitions, damaged hardware, the disk is not re-writable, malicious files, and many more.There are other issues like the Operating System is unable to detect the type of partition which your drive is using.

There are several reasons why this might happen:

  • 2048 bytes are used in every sector by the file system
  • The file system of the external drive is FAT
  • You are using a different Operating System (other than Windows) in order to format the drive

There are different methods which you can use in order to fix the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error. We have compiled all the fixes available all over the internet here so that each and everyone looking to fix this error can fix it with ease without wasting much time jumping from one source to another looking for the specific fix.

There have been instances where the users have cause irreversible damage to their systems. The damage is caused by the misconfiguration of certain files which are important to the operating system. Make sure you create a system restore point so that your system will be recoverable and you can go all out on all the fixes which are mentioned below.

READ  How to Fix SSL Error - Your connection is not Secure On Mozilla Firefox

5 Fixes for Windows was unable to complete the format Error

Fix 1: Check for hardware damage

The first thing you should do is test the hardware which gives you ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error. You can easily check it by trying to insert in some other computing device. You can also check the port for problems by trying various other hardware pieces and seeing if they work.

Fix 2: Check Security Lock

There are security switches installed in certain devices and they are for the purpose of protecting the data in the drives. If the switch is on, the write protection will be enabled on the drive and you will not be able to modify, delete as well as format the data in it. Make sure you have switched the security lock to disabled by flipping the lock in the appropriate direction.

Fix 3: Use disk management utility in your Windows Operating System

  • Press the Start + R key in order to open up the Run dialog
  • Type diskmgmt.msc in the input box and press Enter
    windows was unable to complete the format
  • In case it does not work out for you, press the Start + X key and select Control Panel from the options which appear before you.
  • Search for the term Administrative Tools in the search input box which is on the top right corner
  • Open the first result which pops up and expand the Computer Management window
    windows was unable to complete the format
  • Click on Disk Management, follow the instructions, disable the Quick Format radio button
  • This should fix the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error

In case you are unable to fix the error and the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error statement still persists, follow the next fix

Fix 4: Modify the registry in order to disable the security lock

  • Press the Start + R key in order to open up the Run dialog
  • Type in regedit and press the Enter key
    windows was unable to complete the format
  • Open the directory called HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  • Find WriteProtect key in the StorageDevicePolicies section
  • Set the value of the WriteProtect entry to 0 by double clicking and modifying it.
  • Restart your computer in order for the changes to take effect
  • The ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error should be gone.
READ  Fix Steam_API.dll Is Missing Errors

In case you are unable to fix the error and the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error statement still persists, follow the next fix

Fix 5: Use Command Prompt

  • Press the Start + R button in order to open up a pop up
  • Select Command Prompt from the list of pop ups
  • Use the commands diskpart, list disk and make sure you press the Enter key after you use each command.
  • Use the command: select disk (number) and press enter
  • Use the following commands: clean, create partition primary, format fs=FAT32, exit
  • There is a chance that you will get the following message:
  • Format cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Format may run if this volume is dismounted first. ALL OPENED HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID.
  • Would you like to force a dismount on this volume? (Y/N)
  • Press the Y button and hit the enter key
  • Your drive should now be formatted and the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error should disappear.

Conclusion:

This is one of the most comprehensive guide you will find for solving the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error and successfully format your drives. Make sure to follow each and every step systematically. We hope this helps. Good luck.

 

Rate this post

Leave a Comment