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Fix 'You Need to Format the Disk in Drive' Error

Posted by Abby Haines to Resource 2016-07-01

Summary

This article will show you how to effectively fix 'you need to format the disk in drive before you can use it' error on hard drive or SD card without losing any data. Follow to repair your not working hard drive or SD card with 'you need to format the disk' error message and restore lost data with ease now.

"Today when I plugged in my Sandisk SD memory card, Windows reminded me 'You need to format the disk in drive G: before you can use it'. Is there any way to fix this error without losing my data?"

Symptoms and reasons for 'you need to format the disk in drive' error

Usually, if you frequently force unplug your SD card, USB, external hard drive or any other removable device without using the Safely Remove option, the partition table of the device will be corrupted and become RAW which is unreadable by Windows. And then you might receive the disk format error message: "You need to format the disk in drive X before you can use it. Do you want to format it?" when you are trying to access the external USB disk or memory card. 

You need to format the disk before you can use it error

How to fix 'you need to format the disk in drive' error?

When "You need to format the disk in drive" error appears, you cannot access your data and have to reformat the device for reuse. But what will you do if you have a lot of important files on the inaccessible external USB disk or SD memory card? Is there any way to recover data from inaccessible hard drive before formatting? Yes, in this page, we will introduce you two ways to fix 'you need to format the disk in drive before you can use it' error without data loss. 

Recommended Solution - Recover data with EaseUS file recovery software

Even there are several ways to fix 'you need to format the disk in drive before you can use it' error, for data security, our recommended solution is to recover data from SD card, USB drive or external hard drive with EaseUS file recovery software and then fix the device by formatting. So, now follow these steps to try the easiest solution first.

Step 1. Connect your SD card or USB drive to the computer and launch EaseUS file recovery software. Select the memory card or USB drive where you lost your data and click "Scan" button.

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard will start a quick scan first. After the quick scan completes, a deep scan will automatically launch in order to find more files.

Step 3. After the scan, you can preview all the listed recoverable document and image files one by one and select out those you want.
Then, click "Recover" button to get them back once. Here you should save all the recovered files on a different drive or memory card in case of data recovery failure.

Recover data from  you need to format the disk error

Step 4. After this, you can directly format your hard drive, SD card or USB drive with 'you need to format the disk' error and repair it to work again.

Solution 2 - Fix you need to format the disk in drive error by checking disk error

1. Plug in your SD card, USB drive, external hard drive or other devices to PC.
2. Go to the Start menu, type in "cmd" in a search bar, hit Enter key.
3. Right-click "cmd.exe" to open Command Prompt window.
4. Type "chkdsk o:/f" (here o: is the drive letter of your external USB device) into the command line and press Enter key.  

After all the operations, Windows will start checking and repairing disk errors and damaged files. When it is finished, you can try again read your SD card or external USB drive after restart your computer.

However, if you are unable to go through this process, and encounter the following message: the type of the file system is RAW, CHKDSK is not available for RAW drives. When it happens, you need to perform raw drive recovery to retrieve your data with EaseUS data recovery software. It is the only way to fix 'you need to format the disk in drive' error in this case.