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Fix Diskpart Clean Not Working on Disk/USB/SD Card [5+ Fixes]

Updated by Roxanne on Aug 13, 2021
Written by Tracy King

Diskpart is a Windows built-in tool for users to clean up disk, format drive, or convert disk for free. However, sometimes Diskpart may not work due to some errors. If the Diskpart command fails to execute your command, don't worry.

You can either follow fixes on this page to make Diskpart work normally again or choose a Diskpart alternative tool to resolve this issue on your own:

Among these fixes, EaseUS Partition Master can assist you in formatting, erasing your USB, SD Card, or drive with ease.

Case - DiskPart Clean Not Working Error

"Hi there, do you know how to clean up a whole disk or USB drive when the diskpart clean command is not working in Windows 10? I was planning to use the Diskpart to erase my external hard drive so to wipe out all data. But it won't work.

Instead, it prompts an error message, warning that 'DiskPart has encountered an error: Access is denied...'. How can I fix this error, any DiskPart alternative method that can help me fix this issue? "

Diskpart not working

Are you having the same error on your computer? You want to use Diskpart to format or clean a hard drive, USB, or SD card, but the command window warns that Diskpart has encountered an error.

So why is Diskpart not working? Mostly, the Diskpart not working error is caused by the following reasons:

  1. 1. Drive is occupied or being used by other programs.
  2. 2. USB or SD card is locked or write-protected.
  3. 3. Hard disk is encrypted by a third-party encryption tool.

With one of the listed problems on your device, Diskpart won't be able to execute any formatting or disk erasing command. As for the specific fixes, follow the next part, you can find all the detailed steps shown below.

How to Fix Diskpart Clean Not Working Error

Applies to: Fix Diskpart clean not working, cannot clean disk in Diskpart error in Windows 10/8.1/8/7, etc.

When Diskpart stops working or won't work for formatting or cleaning disk, follow the 5 fixes that you can apply to fix not working Diskpart on your computer immediately. Then, you can complete cleaning up disk or formatting drive, USB or SD card, etc. on your own.  

Fix 1. Reconnect the Target Device to PC

Sometimes, when your hard drive or external USB, SD card is not correctly connected to the computer, Diskpart won't be able to execute any formatting or cleaning command lines. So your best choice is to reconnect the device:

Step 1. Unplug your USB, SD card from PC.

If it's a hard drive, reinstall it to your computer via a SATA cable and a power cable.

Step 2. Reconnect the target device to your PC again.

Step 3. Log in your computer as an Administrator.

Now, you can move to Fix 2 to check if the drive is currently locked or encrypted.

Fix 2. Check if Drive Is Being Occupied or Locked

Step 1. Keep the target device connect to your PC and open File Explorer.

Step 2.Try to open the device to see if you can access all data.

Step 3.Once the target device is accessible, follow Fix 4 or Fix 5 to clean the drive.

If the system warns that your device is being occupied by a running program or file, close the running program or opening file. Then move to Fix 4 or Fix 5 to execute the disk cleaning operation.

If you receive a notification, telling that your disk is write-protected, unlock or remove write protection from the device first with tutorials in Fix 3.

Fix 3. Unlock Drive, Remove Write Protection

Note that when a storage device is locked, encrypted, or write-protected, you won't be able to access nor make any changes to the drive. So the first thing to fix Diskpart not working error is to unlock, decrypt, and remove write-protection from your target disks.

You have four options:

#1. Unlock External USB/SD Card

Step 1. Connect the external USB or SD card to PC correctly.

Step 2. Change the Switch on USB or SD card to the Off-side.

Unlock SD card:

Unlock SD

Unlock USB:

Unlock USB

After this, you can run Diskpart clean command to clear the USB or SD card now. For an easier way, turn to EaseUS Partition Master as shown in Fix 4 for help.

#2. Remove Read-only State from Device 

Device display as Read-only is a common issue that stops Diskpart from cleaning or formatting a storage device. If your disk shows as Read-only in Disk Management or says it's read-only, take the steps below to clear this state, making your drive accessible again:

Step 1. Keep the device connected to your PC correctly.

Step 2. Press Windows + R, type cmd and hit Enter to open Command Prompt.

Step 3. Type the command lines here and hit Enter each time to clear read-only state from your device:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk # 
  • attributes disk clear readonly

Replace # with the disk number of your target device.

Step 4. Type exit to close the program once the process completes.

Clear Read-only from device

#3. Remove Write Protection by Editing Registry Key

When a storage device is write-protected, you can follow the steps here to remove write protection by editing the registry key:

Step 1. Connect the write-protected device to PC.

Step 2. Type regedit in the Run dialog and click "OK" to open Registry.

Step 3. Navigate to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies.

Step 4. Double click "WriteProtect" key and change the value to "0", click "OK" to confirm.

Change registry key to remove write protection

After this, exit Registry and restart your PC. There, you should be able to access the drive and clean it via Diskpart clean command now.

Remove Writ Protection Tool

If you don't consider yourself a pro-computer user and you're not familiar with command-lines, don't worry. There are graphical-based solutions to help you remove write-protection from your hard drives, USB drives, and even SD cards.

EaseUS CleanGenius is one of these tools that helps you fix aforementioned issues on your drives without knowing a thing about command-line.

Here's an easy-to-follow guide on how to use this tool to get your issues sorted:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS CleanGenius (free) on your computer.

Step 2: Run EaseUS CleanGenius on your PC, select Optimization and choose the Write Protection mode.

disable write protection

Step 3: Select the device that is write-protected and click Disable to remove the protection.

Disable Write Protection from storage devices.

#4. Decrypt Device using Third-party Tool

Note that if your hard drive, USB, or SD card is encrypted by a third-party software or encryption program, you will need to use the encryption tool to decrypt the drive.

Fix 4. Clean Disk/USB/SD Card Using Free Diskpart Alternative Tool

Best for: Windows beginners, all levels of Windows users;

Note that if you prefer an all-in-one disk cleaning tool, Diskpart is not the best shot. It's even too complicated for Windows beginners.

Here, we'd like to recommend you to try Diskpart alternative freeware - EaseUS Partition Master Free. It works as equivalently as diskpart in formatting devices, cleaning up and erasing data or changing file systems on your USB, SD card, or hard drive. 

Follow to clean up your disk, USB, or SD card now:

We've set two options for you to wipe data. Choose the one you need.

Option 1.  Wipe Partition

  • Right-click the partition you want to erase data from, and choose "Wipe Data".
  • In the new window, set the time for which you want to wipe your partition, then click "OK".
  • Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-right corner, check the changes, then click "Apply".

Option 2. Wipe Disk

  • Select the HDD/SSD. And right-click to choose "Wipe Data".
  • Set the number of times to wipe data. (You can set to 10 at most.) Then Click "OK".
  • Check the message. Then click "OK".
  • Click "Execute the operation" and then click "Apply".

After this, your disk is blank and you can apply the Create partition feature in this tool to create new partitions to save your data. 

Besides, it even supports you to resize partition, create a new partition, delete or even command partitions for free on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. 

Fix 5. Run Diskpart Clean Command to Clean Drive/USB/SD Card

Finally, you should have fixed all the errors which stop diskpart from working in the system disk, external storage devices. And then, you can run a disk clean command in Diskpart to make it 100% working again:

Clean Disk via Diskpart Clean Command:

Step 1. Connect your device to PC.

Step 2. Press Windows + R keys, type cmd and hit Enter to open Command Prompt.

Step 3. Type the clean command lines here to wipe your disk and hit Enter each time:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk #
  • clean or clean all

Replace # with your drive number.

"Clean" means to delete everything on your drive but files are recoverable.

"Clean all" means to erase your drive, data, both partitions and data will be unrecoverable.

Step4. Type exit to close the Window.

Diskpart clean command


On this page, we explained the causes of Diskpart clean not working error, and provide the complete resolution to help you fix this issue. If you are with this error, reconnect your drive, and remove the write protection first.

Then, apply the easiest Diskpart clean alternative tool - EaseUS Partition Master Free to easily wipe the hard drive, clean everything on your drive in only a few simple clicks.

If you have more questions related to Diskpart clean, check the questions and answers listed here. Hope we can solve your doubts.

People Also Ask About Diskpart Clean

1. Does Diskpart clean erase data?

Note that Diskpart clean command is set to delete all partitions and data on the target device. Accordingly, the data that gets cleaned is recoverable. So the answer is no.

Diskpart clean command will not erase data. But the Diskpart clean all command will do.

2. How long does Diskpart clean take?

According to most users and EaseUS partition master expert, Diskpart clean is a very shot process. It only takes 1-2 minutes to delete everything from the drive.

But the clean all command in Diskpart will last longer, about 4-5 minutes or so. Because it will delete all the partitions on your target device and erase all saved files.

3. How do I format disk via Diskpart command?

If you want to format a hard drive, USB, or SD card using Diskpart, here is a simple guide that you can follow:

  1. 1. Connect target disk to PC.
  2. 2. Press Windows + R, type diskpart, and hit Enter.
  3. 3. Type list disk and hit Enter.
  4. 4. Type select disk # and hit Enter. 
  5. 5. Type format fs=ntfs quick or format fs=fat32 quick and hit Enter.
  6. 6. Type exit and hit Enter.

Read More: Format USB Flash Drive using CMD.

Now that you can apply diskpart to format a disk, clean up data in hard drive partition or change the file system of USB/SD card, etc. storage devices in your PC again.

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Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

Read full bio

Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

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