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

Jean updated on Oct 28, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

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  • Outdated BIOS or Windows Service Pack...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.

If you don't have any technical know-how and want to minimize data risks, using third-party software could be a better choice. The Command line is suitable for computer professionals since wrong commands can cause severe problems. Therefore, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to solve your computer issues.

To fix file system error or disk error:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for Free and install it.

Step 2: Open the software and select the "File showing" option. 

Step 3: Choose the drive and wait for repairing. After the operation completes, click the "View" button to check the drive. 

select the drive and check off file system error

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.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

Step 1: Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master.

Select the HDD or SSD which you want to wipe. And right-click to choose "Wipe Data".

select wipe data

Step 2: Set the number of times to wipe data.

You can set to 10 at most. Then Click "OK".

set the times

Step 3: Check the message.

A message tells you that the computer would restart after disk erase is recommended. Then click "OK".

check the message

Step 4: Click "Apply" to apply the changes.

Click "Execute the operation" and then click "Apply" to start wiping data.

start wiping data


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.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

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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.

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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.

About EaseUS Partition Master

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