How to Fix Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format SD Card/Pen/Flash Drive

Formatting can be a basic way to solve soft problems on SD cards, pen drives, and flash drives. However, sometimes you can see the error "Windows was unable to complete the format SD card or a pen drive, or flash drive". This article introduces you to 6 ways to solve the problem. If you lost the data in the formatting process, you can try iBeesoft format recovery software to recover files after formatted.

If you notice a message directing you to format the SD card, flash drive, or pen drive when connected to a computer, it is mostly because of bad sectors. Even if you proceed with the formatting option, you will see another message stating that Windows10, Windows 7 was unable to complete the format SD card.

Part 1: Reasons Why Unable to Format Error Occurs

Part 2: Six Different Methods to Solve Windows 7/10 Was Unable to Complete the Format SD Card/Flash Drive/Pen Drive Error

Part 3: Recovering Data from the Storage Device After Completing the Formatting Process

Part 1: Reasons Why Unable to Format Error Occurs

windows 7 was unable to complete the format sd card

The possible reasons why Windows is showing the "Unable to format" error is because:

  • The write-protection is active on the card, and Windows stops you from performing the formatting task.
  • The SD card or pen drive has an unknown virus.
  • The flash drive/SD card/pen drive has a corrupted file system.

Part 2: Six Different Methods to Solve Windows 7/10 Was Unable to Complete the Format SD Card/Flash Drive/Pen Drive Error

Solution 1: Using Disk Management Utility to Format the Drive

If you do not want to use a third-party application to fix windows 7 was unable to complete the format error, then using Disk Management provided by Windows helps you format the drive. The utility helps you format, create, delete, and shrink partitions connected to the system. However, you cannot format a 32 GB storage space drive or more to FAT32 using the utility.

1. Right-click on the computer icon in Windows 7 or "This PC" in Windows 10 and click "Manage".

2. From the new window that appears, click "Storage", and choose "Disk Management".

3. From the utility management window, choose the pen drive or SD card showing the inability to complete the format message. If the storage unit has partitions, then delete them to convert it into a single volume.

4. Right-click on the single partition unit and select "Format". If the storage space is exceeding 4 GB, select "NTFS" as the file system. Wait for Windows to complete the formatting procedure.

windows 7 was unable to complete the format

Solution 2: Using Diskpart Command to Solve the Issue

Using the command prompt and diskpart command answers how to fix Windows was unable to complete the format windows 7 error. If you have some idea about using the command prompt, then the operation helps you resolve it.

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and type "Command prompt" in the search bar. From the options you see, choose "Command Prompt", right-click it, and select "Run as administrator".

2. Input "diskpart" into the command prompt window and press the "Enter" button to complete format drive.

3. Enter the following command lines and hit the "Enter" key after each line. The procedure allows Windows to format the connected SD card/flash drive/pen drive.

list disk
select disk x
list volume
select volume x
format fs=ntfs quick

Note: Chane X to the drive letter of the connected storage media. You will find the letter after the first command line.

You can come out of the command prompt operation after it successfully displays that the formatting is a success.

Solution 3: Removing Virus and Formatting the Drive on Windows

If a virus is obstructing the device's use and preventing Windows from formatting the same, then cleaning the virus and proceeding with the format option is necessary.

1. Connect the SD card, pen drive, or flash drive to your computer.

2. Use your anti-virus software to check for viruses and malware on the drive.

3. After the anti-virus scans and removes any threats, you can continue with the process of formatting on Windows.

4. If you do not have any anti-virus software, you can use the Windows Defender program to check for viruses and malware on the connected device.

5. Remove the device and reconnect to the PC.

6. Open "Windows Explorer".

7. Right-click on the storage device and choose "Format".

8. The format window opens, allowing you to choose the settings. Select the file system as NTFS for devices greater than 4 GB or FAT32 for up to 4 GB units. You can add a volume label and click the "Start" button to begin the formatting process.

how to fix windows was unable to complete the format windows 7

Solution 4: Disabling Write-protection of the Device and Completing the Format

Windows was unable to complete the format flash drive windows 7 appears when the target device has the write-protection enabled. You can remove the protection physically. You will notice a switch on the SD card, flash drive, or pen drive. Turn it "off" to allow Windows to format the device.

If you used software to enable write-protection, you would require the same software to unlock it. You can then proceed with the formatting option. After removing the write-protection feature, follow the steps to format the device in Windows 10/7:

1. Connect the storage unit to the PC.

2. Open "File Explorer" and right-click on the device displayed under storage.

3.Select "Format" and set the parameters, such as the file system, default allocation size, and volume label. You can choose the "quick format" or click the "Start" button to complete format the storage device.

Solution 5: Resolving Disk Errors with Error Checking Features

The following procedure helps solve windows was unable to complete the format pen drive windows 7 error.

1. Connect the problematic device that you want to format to the PC.

2. Open "File Explorer" and select the device from the display screen. Right-click on it and choose "Properties".

3. From the new pop-up that appears, select the "Tools" tab.

4. Under the "Error Checking" feature, click the "Check" button to allow Windows to check for errors on the disk.

format disc windows was unable to complete the format

5. You can scan the drive or repair the same if there are any errors. Allow the process to complete.

6. You can once again right-click on the device and select the "Format" feature to fix unable complete format SD card, pen drive, or flash drive in Windows 7/10.

Solution 6: Fixing Bad Sectors in SD Card/Pen Drive/Flash Drive Using CHKDSK Command

If there are bad sectors present in any storage device, such as pen drive, SD card, and flash drive, Windows was unable to complete the format solved windows 7 will appear. You can use the command prompt feature to check for errors and fix the same.

1. In the search box, type "CMD".

2. From the options that appear, choose command prompt, right-click, and select "Run as administrator".

3. Enter the following command line in the command prompt window: "chkdsk h: /f /r /x"

Note: Replace the letter "h" with the letter of the drive that requires format.

windows was unable to complete the format usb flash drive windows 10

4. After completion, you can right-click on the device from "File Explorer" and choose the "Format" option.

5. You can set the file system to NTFS and input a volume label and click the "Start" button to format the drive and reuse.

Part 3: Recovering Data from the Storage Device After Completing the Formatting Process

After formatting the SD card, pen drive, or flash drive, you will lose all the data present on them. However, with iBeesoft Data Recovery's help, you can restore all the files present on the storage devices in three simple steps.

iBeesoft Data Recovery is an efficient program to retrieve all the files from any storage device. Recognizing all the file formats makes it a handy companion in getting back any file from the formatted storage device.

How to Recover Data After Completing Format with Windows

Step 1: After installing the trial copy of the software, launch it, and select the file format you want to recover. You can choose one or all the file types. Click the "Start" button to allow the software to proceed to the next step.

windows was unable to complete the format solved windows 7

Step 2: In this step, select the storage device as the path to scan for the file format chosen. Press the "Scan" button to recover files from formatted SD card, pen drive, or flash drive.

windows was unable to complete the format pen drive windows 7

Step 3: After completing the scan, the system will display the recoverable files from the storage device. You can select the files, preview the contents, and mark them for recovery. Press the "Recover" button, mention the path or folder to save the files, and wait for the process to complete.

windows was unable to complete the format flash drive windows 7

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