How to fix USB device format error in Windows

Every USB based storage user should know about this

By Gizbot Bureau

USBs come in handy when you need to carry around chunks of data. From documents to movies, a sizeable portion of the digital community, at one time or the other have come to rely on this tiny piece of hardware. USB devices have become larger in terms of storage capacity and vice versa in terms of its physical size. But being electronic devices, these are also susceptible to corruption. 'Windows was unable to format the drive’ is a rather common error message. Tackling the issue on Windows will need you to rely on one of the four best methods listed below:


Check for errors

Check for errors

The Windows operating system offers a built-in error-checking utility that can fix most USB-related errors.

Step 1. Open File Explorer and right-click on the pen drive and select ‘Properties. ‘

Step 2. Next, head to the Tools tab and then click on ‘Check Now' under error checking.

Step 3. The next pop-up window will provide you with two options, ‘Automatically fix file system errors' and ‘Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors' and then hit on Start.

The Error-checking utility will kick in and do its job at this point and you will not get this message again when you try to format your pen drive.

Update USB Driver

Update USB Driver

The ‘Windows was unable to format the pen drive' error might also pop up because of outdated USB drivers. Updating the drivers is another way to resolve the error in question.

Step 1. Open the Run dialog box on your computer by pressing the Windows key and the R button at the same time and then type in devmgmt.msc followed by Enter.

Step 2. You will be taken to Device Manager where you can find and expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers. Look for Unknown devices, right click on it and then click on ‘Properties. ‘

Step 3. In the next window, click on ‘Update Driver' and then select the option called ‘Search for updates automatically. ‘

The utility will search for the latest version of the USB driver and automatically install it on your device.

Using Command Prompt

Using Command Prompt

If the methods listed above doesn't work, the next option you can rely on is Command Prompt. You can format your pen drive using CMD.

Step 1. Connect your pen drive to your computer and remove all other USB devices.

Step 2. Open Command Prompt as administrator and enter ‘diskpart' and hit enter.

Step 3. Typing in ‘list disk' will list all connected devices. Note down the disk number of your USB Device.

Step 4. Type in ‘select disk disk_number. ‘ Replace disk_number with your disk number.

Step 5. Type in ‘clean' and then press Enter.

Using EaseUS partition tool

Using EaseUS partition tool

If all the methods listed above fails, the EaseUS partition tool can be used to format pen drives.

Step 1. Download and install EaseUs partition tool.

Step 2. After installing it, right click on the drive which you want to format and click on ‘Format. ‘

Step 3. You will be prompted to set the partition label in the next step. After doing so, select the file system.

Step 4. Next, click ‘OK. ‘

Step 5. In the last step, click on ‘Execute Operation' and then ‘Apply. ‘

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