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Windows was unable to complete the format

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If you’re having a hard time trying to format your USB pen drive, keep reading. Sometimes when you try to format your USB pen drive, you might get an error message saying ‘Windows was unable to complete the format’. Most of us assume that our pen drives are no longer usable and ditch them.

One cannot narrow down to specific reasons why this error message appears. But, your pen drive is still usable 90% of the time despite this error message. All you have to do is install the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool and try formatting your removable drive again.

Go here and download HPUSBDisk.exe. Run the executable, and you’ll see a window like the one below, popping up:

windows-unable-format

Choose the USB drive that you want to format from the list that appears on top of the window and then choose the filesystem for the format (FAT/NTFS). Give the pen drive an optional label and choose ‘Quick Format’ if necessary.

Click ‘Start’ and hit ‘Yes’ in the confirmation dialog that appears next.

windows-unable-to-format-usb

When the formatting is complete, HP USB Disk Storage tool will return a message with details about the drive and file allocation units, like below:

windows-unable-to-complete-format

You can now continue using your pen drive. The next time Windows issues an unable to format error, use this tool again to erase data from your USB stick. Hat tip: Shrikanth!

Written by Killer Tech Tips

April 28th, 2012 at 9:59 am

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  • broascadilie

    Thanks You very much ! Into this exacly prob i ran yesterday ! Very good advice !

  • broascadilie

    I chosed NTFS instead of FAT32 ! Whic one is best ?

  • buddy

    both have different functionalities: for windows prefer NTFS and if u are using other OS choose FAT32

  • Amar pawar

    very well explained………The method given here also worked perfectly for me- http://www.superpctricks.com/2013/10/windows-was-unable-to-complete-format.html