Sometimes we are often asked to format a removable drive before we can use them, but sometimes it doesn’t happen entirely that way and sometimes you get the ‘Windows could not complete the format‘ Error message. If this is what you are going through, then you have come to the right place and we will try to help you solve this problem. Whether it’s an SD card, USB drive, or flash drive, here’s how you can fix this problem in no time.
Remove from read-only or lock mode
One of the solutions for your Windows not being able to format this removable drive could be to remove the active read-only mode on the drive. In the case of an SD card, it can be as simple as sliding a lock switch somewhere to the side, making it read-only. However, in other cases, you will need to remove read-only or write protection using the command prompt. To do so, follow the steps highlighted below:
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- Type ‘Course‘ in your search bar and click on the Course program or just use the shortcut Windows button + R and the Run dialog box will open.
- Go ahead and type ‘disc part‘ and press Enter. A ‘Do you want to allow this application to make changes to your computer?‘ will appear, click ‘Yes‘.
- A command prompt interface will open, type ‘list disk‘ and press Enter.
- Identify the removable drive using its disk size from the disks listed and note the disk number. Then type “select disk [disk number]” and press Enter.
- The next thing to do is type ‘attribute disk‘ to see the properties and if you see ‘Current read-only state: Yes‘, it means your computer is not authorized ‘write‘, that’s why you can’t format the drive.
- To change this, type ‘disk attributes erase read-only‘ and press Enter. Close the window and try formatting the drive again.
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Use Disk Management
- Right-click on the Windows Start icon on your screen and open ‘disk management‘.
- Locate the removable drive, right click on it and select ‘Format‘.
- Uncheck the box next to ‘Perform a quick format‘ and select ‘Agreed‘
- Just in case that doesn’t work, right click on the removable disk and click ‘Delete Volume‘
- After that you will need to create a ‘simple volumes‘ by selecting the drive and clicking ‘New simple volume‘, then following the prompts.
Error checking and repair reader
Another reason why you may encounter formatting errors is the misconfiguration of the flash drive and you can check if this is the case in order to perform a repair.
To check, just right click on the removable disk and click ‘Properties‘. In the resulting tab navigate to ‘Tools‘ and click ‘To verify‘ under ‘Error checking’. If there is a problem with your removable drive, a small window will appear with the “Repair drive” option. Go ahead and do that, then try formatting it again.
If after doing all this you still cannot format the drive, you should consider formatting it with another operating system like Linux or macOS. Ultimately, the next obvious thing to consider is that the removable drive might actually be bad and you should get a different one. Let us know how it goes in the comments section and let us know of any other errors you might come across.