Every now and then Windows will throw up an error that it is unable to format the disk. We usually attempt to use a pendrive in a state of hurry. So it naturally frustrating when Windows shows up such an error. In this article we shall see a foolproof method to overcome this problem and carry out a safe and successful format of your pendrive.
The exact error message
While attempting formatting of a removable disk, the following error message pops up.
Windows was unable to complete the format.
The title bar shows Format Removable Disk along with the drive letter.
Reasons for Windows not able to format
A quick Google search for this problem gives the following possible reasons
- Damaged Pen Drive (including bad sectors)
- Pen Drive infected with virus or other malware
These may sound convincing enough, but are not the actual reasons. Simply put in, Windows OS is actually not able to format a pendrive in certain situations. So at this point of time, we may need a better formatting tool than the one provided with the Windows OS.
The free tool to format any pendrive in Windows
MiniTool has a free version in their set of formatting and partition management tools. It is called MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition. It is available for download at the link given below.
Pro versions of the free tool are also available at the price. The trial version can also be downloaded for evaluation. In this article we shall focus on the free tool and its features.
MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition
Installation of the software is a standard Windows OS installation procedure. The installation places a shortcut on the desktop. Click on the shortcut to open the software.
Click on the launch application to start the software. This will take you to the main software interface.
The main interface has the following elements
- Action Panel (On the left side)
- Legend Bar (At the bottom)
- Tool Bar (Below the menu bar)
Menu bar is fixed. You can hide the Legend Bar and Action Panel since the same options are available in the menu.
The basic operations available are
- Convert Disk
- Clean Disk
- Check Disk
Under these options we have sub options like wipe disk, copy disk, partition recovery and delete partition. Wipe Disk tool will help you to erase and rewrite the contents of the disk, so that it will be difficult to recover data, at least by the free data recovery tools.
Please note, the more passes will mean more time depending on the size of the disk too.
Surface test is a good way to check for errors in the removable disk. That way you can be sure of the expected life of the disk.
Format removable disk or pendrive
Select the disk you want to format and click on Delete All Partitions. This will show the following prompt.
On clicking yes, the action is accepted by the software but changes are not committed till you click apply. This ensures that you get each available opportunity to review changes till they are finally applied. Remember, all these actions are irreversible. You data is present will be lost forever.
After the operation is completed, you will get a blank drive without any partitions. Click on create partition to reach to partition tool.
For a free tool, it does give a lot of options.
Before you commit changes, it allows you to carry out numerous partition related actions on the removable disk.
Most of these options are for advanced users only, so make sure of what you are doing before committing any action. This tool will help you to format any removable disk where Windows OS might fail.