Windows Was Unable To Complete The Format [Solved]

Formatting the SD card or any other USB drive is quite a simple procedure. But, sometimes, Windows users report several difficulties while trying to format the USB drive, CD, and SD card. 

The issue of “Windows was unable to complete the format” can take place due to bad sectors in the USB drive. If the drive you are trying to format is enabled with write protection, it may lead to this error. 

Other causes include physical damages in the hard drive, virus or malware invasion, and many more. 

If you are also stuck with the same problem, have a glance at the troubleshooting guide discussed below. 

Solutions for “Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format SD Card” Problem

You can perform the below hacks to fix the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error: 

Method 1: Utilize Disk Management

Disk management is an in-built tool in the Windows Operating System to manage the disks and partitions of the system. It has the ability to shrink or extend partition, create new volume, format or delete partition, change drive letter, etc. You can also format the corrupted flash drives using disk management. 

If you use the USB drive to format the unrecognized file system, it can lead to this error. Also, if it becomes uninitialized or unallocated, you can’t locate the drive in Windows Explorer or My Computer. Therefore, you will not get the Format option when you right-click on the drive.   

So, here are the steps to format the SD card using the disk management utility: 

Step 1: 

First and foremost, you have to open the Disk Management utility. For this, go to the My Computer icon located on the desktop page and right-click on it. 

Then, choose the ‘Manage’ option from the list and click on the ‘Disk Management’ option from the left pane of the screen. 

In the middle of the next page, you will see the partitions, local hard drive, and USB drive, which can be recognized by the capacity. 

Step 2: 

Thereafter, search for the USB drive and right-click on that. Choose the ‘Format’ option from the list. Next, click on the ‘File System Format’ option to initiate the quick formatting process. 

However, this step doesn’t work, according to some users. Therefore, you can bypass to Step 3. 

Step 3: 

After right-clicking on the USB drive, now you have to choose the ‘New Simple Volume’ option. Afterward, you will see the ‘New Simple Volume Wizard’ option, which helps to recreate new partitions in the flash drive. 

Click on the Setting option and tap on the Next button to proceed. Once the process completes, the USB drive is formatted successfully and recognized properly by the computer. 

But, if you see that the issue is still unresolved, there are some more solutions described further. 

Method 2: Use Command Prompt 

You can also format the SD card using the Command Prompt. So, follow the below-mentioned steps: 

Step 1: 

First, bring up the Start menu and type “command prompt” in the search bar. Then, right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ option that is showing as the search result. 

Choose ‘Run as administrator’ option from the list to open the Command Prompt window with Admin’s privilege. 

Step 2: 

Type “diskpart” in the command line and hit the Enter key to execute it. Now, it will show you the disk list and partition of the system. You will see all the drivers are listed in numbers and Disk 4 can be the flash drive in question. 

Step 3: 

Afterward, type “disk 4”, which is the problematic drive in the system. If the issue is with another drive, type the relevant name in this step. 

So, tap on the Clean button and then hit the Enter key to proceed. It will scan the entire system to locate the corrupted file structure. If it detects any damaged files, it will repair them. 

After completing the scanning process, you will see the confirmation message. It tells the scanning process is completed successfully and you need to create a new partition. 

Step 4: 

Now, type “create primary partition’ in the specific field and press the Enter key. Afterward, type “format /FS: FAT32J” in the Command Prompt window and again hit the Enter key to execute the command. 

Here ‘J’ is the drive letter. You can change it with your specific problematic drive. 

Finally, check if the drive is formatted successfully. Otherwise, you can move on to the next procedure. 

Method 3: Change/Disable Write Protection

If the write protection is turned ‘On’, you can face the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format CD’ error. Hence, solve this issue by eliminating the write protection manually. 

How to Turn Off  Write Protection? 

To do this, you can perform the steps given below: 

Step 1: 

In the beginning, press the R and Win key both at the same time to invoke the Run dialog box. 

Afterward, type “regedit” in the Run box and press the Enter key (else, you can tap on the OK button to proceed).

Step 2: 

Navigate to the location “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\” and find “StorageDevicePolicies” from the left pane of the screen. If you are unable to locate this, then right-click on the Control option from the right pane of the navigation menu. 

Step 3: 

Next, select the ‘New’ option from the list and click on the Key button. Now, make sure that you have renamed the key. Again tap on the key. Then, right-click on the right pane of the screen and click on the ‘New’ button.  

Step 4: 

Thereafter, right-click on the ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’ and select the Modify option from the list. It will navigate you to the Edit window. 

Go to the Value data section and set the value to 0. Then, click on the OK button to apply the changes. Confirm the security dialog box if prompts. 

You can now restart the system and check if the issue is resolved. 

Wrapping Up

In the above guide, we have provided some easy hacks that are able enough to get rid of the ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’ error. Hopefully, if you apply the steps accurately, it will help to put an end to this error. 

If you face any problem while performing the above hacks, then you can share them through the comment box. In case, there are other methods to resolve this problem, feel free to discuss them with us.