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I have a 2 GB HP flash drive, when I right click and select the format option , I get a warning dialogue that says

Windows was unable to complete the format

How do I format a flash drive?

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You often cannot format a USB thumbdrive from windows formatter - especially with Windows XP or older. I'd suggest using the HP drive format tool - the one I have linked is an older, better version to format it.

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ok thanks Geek, i am trying – Anand Oct 31 '11 at 6:39

You can bypass that error with Computer Management. Execute compmgmt.msc on the command line:

When the application opens, under Storage select Disk Management. this will search for all the drives attached to the computer. Now find your flash drive in the middle window and right-click on it, and finally choose Format:

enter image description here

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Have a look to my answer at this question:

How do I reformat an unmountable/unrecognised/unformatted USB drive?

You could try to format your drive with diskpart.

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