The Windows can't format flash drive is a common error. It makes you waste time and can be a bad experience if you have no clue on how to go about it. It's even worse if you have no files backup. Luckily, I have all you need to know 'windows cant format flash drive' error on your computer.
There are things you can do when your Windows can't format a flash drive. If you cannot format the USB Drive on your Windows 10 computer, you can check that the USB Drive is not write-protected, scan your computer and USB drives for viruses, scan the USB with CHKDSK, or use Command Prompt to format a USB drive.
If your USB or SD card is locked or write-protected by third-party software, you will be unable to format the device. The only way is to remove the write protection before formatting your SD or USB drive. There is nothing you can do if your storage device is physically damaged.
This article gives you a detailed guide on resolving 'windows cannot format flash drive error' using different workable methods. Read on to understand which tools you need to format your flash drive.
You noticed something was wrong when you could not delete your file from your flash drive. You try formatting, but it only stays in the formatting mode. Canceling tells you the files are write-protected. What can you do when you find yourself in such a situation? And what are the possible reasons?
You commonly use USB flash drives to store your data. But there are situations where you need to format it to clean it or repair errors.
You can use Disk Management, File Explorer or Diskpart Command to do so. But sometimes, the issues can start with Windows, where it can not format the flash drive—Reasons being;
However, they can all be fixed. Below are ways to solve the problem of Windows not formatting a flash drive.
Check and fix adverse sectors on the flash drive.
Flash drives consist of small units used to store data, and sometimes the files can fill the abandoned sectors that might be adverse. The files in those damaged sectors can not be written or read, disrupting the formatting process.
Therefore, you need to check the bad sectors using the CHKDSK.exe.tool.
F is the first letter of my flash drive, so replace it with yours. So use the first letter of your drive.
Use CMD to fix can not format the flash drive.
Remove detected virus.
You often carry your USB flash drive because it is portable, and carrying data is easier than carrying your laptop around.USB flash drives can be connected to any device to transfer or store data. Therefore it can easily catch viruses because you plug them into computers with viruses.
You need to remove the virus by using a valid anti-virus in such a situation.
Disable write protection attribute before formatting.
In most cases, Windows can not format write-protected flash disks. Flash disks are write-protected because they are physically protected, set into reading mode, wrong registry settings, or corrupted files. Each of the problems has different remedies.
Look at the physical location of the switch on your flash drive. Slide the lock to unlock if it is locked, connect it back to your PC, and make sure it is recognized.
Edit Registry to remove write protection
Empty read-only attributes with Diskpart utility
Check and repair errors for the drive.
You should oftenly check on your disk to determine file errors in your drive
Here is how to check the errors in your drive:
Using the above ways, you will be in a position to format and fix errors in your flash drive.
Below are ways to fix your corrupted disk without formatting it.
CHKDSK CMD Fix Corrupted File System Error on USB
Change the Drive Letter of the USB Drive
To assign your USB drive another letter, follow the following steps.
Fix corrupted USB drive with Device Manager
What are the reasons that cause Flash Drive Corruption
You should be in a position to understand what could be the reason behind your corrupt USB flash drive before even formatting it.
Below is a list of a few causes;
Fix USB Flash Drive Not Recognized
Check USB Flash Drive in Disk Management.
There are times that your USB is detected but has not been shown. Therefore, launch Disk Management to determine if it is there.
How to open and check in Disk Management
You will have to change the drive letter and make a new partition to fix that.
Below is how to change the drive letter in Disk Management
Here is how to create a partition in Disk Management
Unplug and Re-unplug USB Flash Drive
Update the Device Driver
Finish the rest of the steps
Disable power save of USB Root Hub
Using Command Prompt in Windows 10
N/B: ‘D” represents the first letter of your USB flash drive or external hard drive.
Using Windows Explorer to run CHKDSK on an External Drive.
You can directly format your USB without losing your data by creating a backup. If you did not have any backup, you do not need to worry because you can still format it, but you will need a data recovery tool to transfer your data from the USB before formatting it.
An example of a recovery tool is the EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard. You can use it to recover all your files if you still want to keep them. This data recovery software can recover files from a corrupted USB or a USB flash drive that is not recognized.
Follow the steps below to format your USB flash drive without formatting.
How Do I Recover Deleted Files from a USB Drive?
Use the Command Prompt
You do not need to download any third-party tools to recover your files; instead, use the Command Prompt because it is easy and practical and supports almost all commands.
Below are the steps you need to follow.
Replace D with the letter of your flash drive.
Use the Restore
Restore previous versions' features helps you recover all your deleted files without using any recovery tool. This will only work if you enabled it before formatting your flash drive.
Here is how to recover those files;
You may also want to learn about back best practices.
It is not once that you can get stuck in situations like your USB flash drive refusing to format, your computer cannot recognize it, or you want to format your USB flash drive and still keep your files. Use is a good way to store files as they are not prone to cyber-attacks.
Such issues can be so annoying, especially when they happen when you need your drive most to either carry your files or store data in it. These problems are not rare. It does not only happen to you.
Many users go through the same situations. Fortunately, you can fix them all. After reading the above content, you should fix all the USB flash drive-related issues.
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