[SOLVED] Windows was unable to complete the format

Q: Unable to format my Pendrive (USB flash drive) Error showing "Windows was unable to complete the format" ?

Sometimes you cannot (actually Windows cannot) format a USB Pendrive or to a particular File system (eg: NTFS, Fat32, etc) in GUI mode. But still you can try format by using command prompt in Windows operating systems.

Format the Pendrive to Fat32 file system using command prompt.
Login as an administrator powered user and go to "Command prompt" and run the below command. In the below command "g" is the drive letter of the USB flash drive. The command will format the Pendrive to Fat32 file system.
C:\>format g: /q /fs:fat32

Format the Pendrive to NTFS file system using command prompt.
Before formating your USB flash drive to NTFS file system, you need to enable the "Removal policy" of the Pendrive to "Better performance" option. Otherwise windows cannot format to NTFS filesystem.
For doing this, go to "Properties" of the pendrive and select "Hardware" tab and select the Pendrive from the listed disks then click on "Properties". Then click on "Policies" tab and enable the option "Better performance" and click "OK". Now run the below command in command prompt.
In the below command "g" is the drive letter of the USB flash drive.
C:\>format g: /q /fs:ntfs

Was this helpfull ?


Mohaddis-e-Aazam Mission said...

hi there thanks for the help but i get en error while formatting NTFS way i did the settings as you said the error i get is all boot sectors are unwritable

Amar pawar said...

very helpful.......well if your getting unable to complete the format, try this - http://www.superpctricks.com/2013/10/windows-was-unable-to-complete-format.html

Rajeeb Sahoo said...

still not complete
the error message is format failed..
plz sir help me...
i am using windows 7 ultimate

Blog said...

Click on your START orb-
Right click on COMPUTER-
Click on MANAGE-
Make your selection in the volume column by highlighting/right clicking on it. In my case, it was volume E and then select FORMAT.


Jovi Rex Arlan said...

hello there sir.i followed everything you said, from right clicking the said drive letter when formatting to disk management,change drive letter,choosing best performance in policy.still got the error "windows was unable to complete the format".. pls help me..hoping to here from you guys.

Jovi Rex Arlan said...

i also tried the command prompt with admin privilege.first i typed the /fs:fat32 and it says "volume is too small for fat32",then i changed it to /fs:fat and it says "Invalid media or Track 0 bad - disk unusable"

Dexter Coronado said...

jovi rex, we have a the same problem with our usb.. email me if u, fix the problem.. here's my email add.. rosingbalong@gmail.com

Adrian Samsudean said...

Thank`s, Worked fine for me

Vinod Karike said...

Got error as : Cannot determine the number of sectors on this volume. what to do?

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PartitionGuru said...

Too simple, but thanks any way!

This article: http://www.eassos.com/how-to/windows-was-unable-to-complete-the-format.php tells more on "windows was unable to complete the format"

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