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

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

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 - EaseUS Partition Master to formatting, erasing your USB, SD Card, or drive with ease.

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 Windows 10 is supported

How to Fix Diskpart Clean Not Working Error
Fix 1. Reconnect the Target Device
Fix 2. Check if Drive Is Being Occupied or Locked
Fix 3. Unlock Drive, Remove Write Protection
Fix 4. Clean Disk Using Free Diskpart Alternative Tool [Easiest]
Fix 5. Clean Disk Using Diskpart Command

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 are not professional in computing management and not familiar with command lines, don't worry. EaseUS R&D team has promoted a fresh kit for helping you resolve the write-protection issue on your hard drive, external hard drive, USB or SD card, etc., devices.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to the command line. 

Use this one-click tool to solve the write-protection issues on your own:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M for free.

Step 2: Run EaseUS Tools M on your PC, choose the "Write Protection" mode.

Step 3: Select the device which is now "Write-Protected" and click "Disable" to remove the protection.

Remove 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. 

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 Windows 10 is supported

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


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition you want to erase data from, and choose "Wipe Data".

Wipe Partition - Step 1

Step 2: In the new window, set the time for which you want to wipe your partition, then click "OK".

Wipe Partition - Step 2

Step 3: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-right corner, check the changes, then click "Apply" to wipe the data on your partition.

Wipe Partition - Step 3

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.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

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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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

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Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

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