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How to cancel a format in progress if Windows won't cancel format?

Updated on Aug 24, 2018 by Jean to Resource

Summary

How do you force stop the process of formatting a hard disk or external USB drive when Windows will not cancel the format as you wish? Read this post and find data recovery solutions if force quit turns your hard drive into a RAW disk.

How to cancel a format in progress?

"Hi, I have an issue with a WD Elements external hard drive and I wanted to format it on Windows using the Diskpart. But after I entered the command [format fs=ntfs], this stage hangs there for already two hours, still 12% completed! Can I just interrupt the format process and start it all over again? But it seems that Windows won't cancel the format in a safe way. Please help."

Hard disk formatting is recognized as a good choice when it comes to fixing some generic hard drive issues, such as hard drive becomes very slow suddenly, cannot open hard drive as usual or bad sectors were developed on the drive. Microsoft Windows allows for hard disk formatting in many ways, and users can format the internal drive as well as some external USB flash drives in File Explorer, Windows Disk Management program and Command Prompt.

The cost of time on formatting a storage drive depends on how much the storage is used, usually from seconds to hours. But sometimes, quite a lot of people got stuck in a formatting process for an incredibly long time, for example, over 24 hours, they badly need to interrupt the format midway. At such a moment that hard drive takes forever to format, they have two concerns. Will stop the format in progress do damage to the hard drive? What to do if Windows won't cancel the format even after you close the format window?

How to Cancel Hard Drive Formatting in Windows 10/8/7 Completely?

Try to locate the formatting process in Windows Task Manager and end the task completely.

  • To invoke the Task Manager in Windows:

Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete

  • To determine whether your formatting process is still working or not:

Under the Processes tab, locate the disk formatting utility you closed just now, see if the percentage number is changing. Right-click on the process and select End task.

How to Recover Data from a Partially Formatted Hard Drive

By doing like this, you have to accept a fact that interrupting the format once it has started is not 100% free of risks. As soon as the task is taking effect, especially the process is going for a while, you will get an inaccessible hard drive that shows up as a RAW drive in the end.

For people who forgot to back up the hard drive before starting the format and later canceled the format, download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover data from a partially formatted hard drive. Let this professional hard drive recovery software help get all the erased data back on the drive that has not been fully formatted.

STEP 1

  • Launch EaseUS formatted data recovery software after the installation.
  • Choose the hard drive which you've accidentally formatted.
  • Click "Scan".
select the formatted hard drive and click scan

STEP 2

  • Start scanning lost data all over the hard drive.
  • Proceed with the data searching. You'll see more and more data showing up in the scan results.
scan lost data on the formatted hard drive

STEP 3

  • After the scan, browse data in each section, especially in "Lost Partition". It's a highlighted feature of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for retrieving data from a formatted hard drive partition.
  • Select the data files you wish to recover.
  • Click "Recover". 
select wanted data and click recover

Tip: instead of the original hard drive, choose a different location to save the recovered data.