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How to Fix the Error “Windows Cannot Complete Disk Formatting”

One of the common problems when formatting SD and MicroSD memory cards, as well as USB flash drives, is the error message “Windows Cannot Complete Disk Formatting”, while the error usually appears regardless of which file system is being formatted – FAT32, NTFS, exFAT or other.

This article will answer the question of what to do if you received an error message “The Format Did Not Complete Successfully” and propose three best solutions for its elimination in the Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 operating system.

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Windows users when trying to format USB flash drives, SD cards or external HDD through the standard menu of the “Format” disk often encounter the error “Windows Cannot Complete Disk Formatting” / “Windows could not complete the format”. In this manual, we will look at the main ways to bring the file system on such a flash drive / SD card to a working state and perform its regular formatting. These directions apply to the two Windows 10 and Windows 8/7 and earlier OS forms.

Windows Cannot Complete Disk Formatting

In most cases, the problem occurs after the memory card or flash drive was removed from some device like camera, phone, tablet etc. when using programs for working with disk partitions, in cases of sudden disconnection of the drive from the computer during operations with it, in case of power failures or when using the drive by any programs. In some cases, the problem is corrected quite simply with the help of built-in Windows tools, in other cases it is necessary to resort to the use of third-party programs, and sometimes the problem cannot be solved by software methods (when it is related to hardware problems of computer ports or microSD controllers).

Such an error may occur in the following situations:

You tried to format the external hard disk in RAW format, but the formatting process fails with the error “failed to execute”.
You received the error message “formatting was not successfully completed” when you tried to format the USB flash drive from the context menu by right-clicking.
You have a message in the virtual disk manager that the formatting was not completed successfully.

Repartitioning and formatting the drive in the Disk Management console

First of all, you should try to delete all partitions on the problem USB flash drive (memory card) and format it using standard system tools.

disk management

1- Open the Disk Management graphical console. To do this, open the console diskmgmt.msc or press the key combination Win + X and select the menu item Disk Management (Disk Management).

2-In the list of connected drives, find your flash drive.

3- In that case, if it has more than two sections delete them all. PCM -> Delete Volume. On the flash drive, there should be a solid blank (black) unpartitioned space labeled “Unallocated” / “Unallocated”.

4- Right-click on the unallocated space and select New Simple Volume.

Disk Formatting


5- Select the desired file system (first try FAT32 first) and uncheck the Quick Format / Perform a quick format box.

6- Now Check the performance and working of the flash drive.

Cleaning and formatting a USB drive or memory card through “DISKPART”

The DISKPART method for disk cleaning can help in cases where the partition structure was corrupted on a flash drive or memory card, or some device to which the drive was connected created partitions on it There are several sections).

1- Run the command prompt as a director, at that point utilize the following commands in order.

2- Diskpart.


3- List disk (as a result of this command, remember the number of the drive that you want to format, then – N)

4- Select disk N


6- Create partition primary.

7- Format fs = fat32 quick (or fs = ntfs)

8- If after executing the command under clause 7 after the formatting is completed, the drive does not appear in Windows Explorer, use clause 9, otherwise skip it.

9- Assign letter = Z (where Z is the desired letter of the flash drive or memory card).

10- Exit.

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