EaseUS Partition Master

A simple partition tool to manage disk space in Windows 11/10.

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4 Best Ways to Fix 'The Format Did Not Complete Successfully' Error

Updated by Tracy King on May 19, 2021
Written by Jean

Why Does The Format Fail to Complete Successfully?

Case 1 - "External hard drive is in RAW format, I tried to format it into NTFS but get the error 'the format did not complete successfully'. How to deal with the problem?"

Case 2 - "I receive the message 'The format did not complete successfully' when trying to format my pen drive by right-clicking format in Windows Explorer."

Case 3 - "I am seeing an error message that tells virtual disk manager the format did not complete successfully."

Case 4 - "I recently flashed a version of Linux on my USB, used it and worked out fine. But when I went to format it to use it as a normal drive again, Windows said that the volume was created successfully but it was not formatted."

the format did not complete successfully

You may wonder why Disk Management or Windows Explorer fails to format the removable disk, usually SD card, USB stick, and external hard drive. In general, from what we observed, there are several factors that can lead to not completing disk formatting. For example:

  • Virus infection
  • Unknown file system corruption
  • Bad sectors
  • Outdated BIOS or Windows Service Pack...

All Solutions to Fix 'The Format Did Not Complete Successfully' on SD Card/USB Drive

Despite an old topic for a long time, 'the format did not complete successfully' error is still a headache for many average users. Usually, such an error message means Windows was unable to complete the format for a hard disk or a removable storage media in a normal way, so you'd better stop trying.

To ease your worry, we find the six best ways to help fix the problem on USB, SD memory card, the external hard drive in Windows 10,8,7.

Solution 1. Remove Virus and Reformat

In most cases, including the format did not complete successfully issue, many USB malfunctions result from some unknown virus infection. So, it should be helpful to clear the virus for good to make the portable drive work again. Virus removable should be easy and quick if you have an anti-virus program installed. If you're confident with your computer skills, you can also attempt to remove the virus using CMD from any drive. After that, you can continue formatting the USB drive again in Windows.

Solution 2. Check and Repair Corruption

The corrupted file system and too many bad sectors will do damage to the storage drive, and they will surely affect the formatting operations to a large extend. When you unexpected received the Windows error telling you the format is not complete as usual, you can try to check the drive health. As soon as found issues on it, you need to find an easy yet powerful way to fix it alright.

Download EaseUS CleanGenius and install it on your computer. Let's start checking and refixing file system error on your device now.

Step 1. Click "File Showing" to enter the next step.

click file showing

Step 2. Choose the target device and tick the box of "Check and fix file system error". Click "Execute" to start fixing the problematic device.

select device and check fix file system error

Step 3. When the fixing process completes, click "here" to open and use your device. 

After fixing file system error, click to open and use device

Solution 3. Format This Drive with Command Prompt

If the format did not complete successfully in the Disk Management issue appears again after removing the virus and bad sectors, you can try formatting your USB drive or other devices by Command Prompt.

Step 1. Type cmd in the Search and open a DOS prompt.

Step 2. Type command: attrib -r -h -s ./s x:\*.* (replace x with your removable drive's drive letter, such as g or f)

Step 3. Type command: FORMAT X: /FS:FAT32 /Q /V:PenDrive (replace x with your pen drive's drive letter, such as g or f). This will reformat the pen drive into the FAT32 file system.

use cmd to fix the format did not complete successfully

Solution 4. Format with Third-party USB & SD Format Tool

EaseUS Partition Master Free is the best USB format tool as well as the best SD Card formatter that helps resolve Windows format error. You may as well use this method as the first because it's the simplest comparing with the former CMD methods. Above all, you can hardly make a mistake with it.

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Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 1

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 4


Hope at least one of the three troubleshooting methods helps fix 'the format did not complete successfully' error on USB, SD memory card, the external hard drive in Windows 10,8,7. If none of the assistive disk formatting tools help format the removable disk successfully, do not give up. It's not the end of the day. There are still the other two viable solutions to fix 'The format did not complete successfully' or 'The volume was created successfully but it was not formatted' in Windows 10/8/7.

You can effortlessly try the following two solutions in EaseUS Partition Master.

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Updated 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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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 49 reviews
  • 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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About EaseUS Partition Master

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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How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7

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