Fix Windows Unable to Complete Format On USB Flash Drive

08. December 2016 Software 0

When using a USB flash drive have you ever seen one of the following errors when trying to access the drive from Windows? Don’t throw the drive away quite yet; try one of the following tricks to get it working.

Please insert a disk into Removable Disk

The other day I was trying to install Windows 8.1 with Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool, and the install failed on my new 64GB flash drive. After that, no matter what version of Windows I tried to use the drive on, I kept getting these errors indicating the drive wasn’t getting recognized.

Note: In this scenario, I am using a drive that has no data on it. If you have a drive that does have data, you’ll want to try a different troubleshooting method as this will wipe any data from it.

please-insert-a-disk-into-removable-disk

Windows was unable to complete the format

When you see that the drive is not recognized, and you try to format it, I got the “Windows was unable to complete the format” error.

windows-was-unable-to-complete-the-format

Fix Your USB Flash Drive

To fix the drive right-click This PC in Windows 8.x or 10, or the Computer icon in Windows 7 and select Manage.

fix-your-usb-flash-drive

That opens up the built-in Computer Management utility. From the right pane go to Storage > Disk Management and in the center section find your flash drive (you should be able to find it by its size – and the fact Windows recognizes it as Unallocated space.)

Right-click on it and select New Simple Volume.

new-simple-volume

The New Simple Volume Wizard will start – just work your way through it following the on-screen instructions. It’s a clear process, and you can keep the default settings, but when you get to the screen shown below, you might want to give the drive a particular name.

simple-volume-wizard-will-start

When done working through the wizard, click Finish and wait a few moments.

formatted-and-is-now-correctly-recognized

You should then see that your drive has been formatted and is now correctly recognized by Windows.

pc-as-a-drive

Then it will also appear in Computer or This PC as a drive that’s ready to use.

overlooked-trick

If this doesn’t work, you might need to try something else, but a lot of times I have found this overlooked trick usually works.

What is your take? Has this fixed your flash drives, SD cards, or traditional spinning hard drives? Leave a comment below and tell us if it worked, and if not, what did work for you.

 


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