I have a USB Flash Drive. While formatting the drive with the Windows 7 it failed leaving the message which is:

windows was unable to complete the format

I can see the drive with the Windows Disk Manager, but it shows that it has a RAW file system, and any time I try to reformat it a second time, it simply says that It can't find the file or partition. Using DiskPart I've also not had very much luck as trying to use the FORMAT command results in an error. These are the commands I'm using and their output.


Microsoft DiskPart version 6.1.7601
Copyright (C) 1999-2008 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: WINROID-PC


  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          149 GB      0 B
  Disk 1    Online         3816 MB      0 B

Disk 1 is now the selected disk.

Disk ID: 00000001
Type   : USB
Status : Online
Path   : 0
Target : 0
LUN ID : 0
Location Path : UNAVAILABLE
Current Read-only State : No
Read-only  : No
Boot Disk  : No
Pagefile Disk  : No
Hibernation File Disk  : No
Crashdump Disk  : No
Clustered Disk  : No
  Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
  ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
 Volume 4     G                RAW    Removable   3816 MB  Healthy

Volume 4 is the selected volume.
    0 percent completed

DiskPart has encountered an error: The parameter is incorrect.
See the System Event Log for more information.

    0 percent completed

DiskPart has encountered an error: The parameter is incorrect.
See the System Event Log for more information.
DISKPART> clean all

DiskPart has encountered an error: The system cannot find the file specified.
See the System Event Log for more information.

DISKPART> list partition
There are no partitions on this disk to show.
DISKPART> online disk
Virtual Disk Service error:
This disk is already online.
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly
Disk attributes cleared successfully.
DISKPART> convert mbr

DiskPart successfully converted the selected disk to MBR format.

DISKPART> create partition primary

DiskPart has encountered an error: The system cannot find the file specified.
See the System Event Log for more information.


As you can see, no luck. I googled so much but no answer satisfy me. Also I follow these steps. But no solution.

When I plug the drive in, the computer makes a beep noise as though it has recognised something, but nothing appears in My Computer

How can I format the disk so I can use it again?

  • Are you sure there's not a hardware problem with the drive? Most flashdrives, especially cheap or old ones, have very limited lifetimes and after that time they become unreliable, especially on writes. Since formatting is a write operation (even on quick, though much less so than on full formats), a dying flashdrive may well decline to be formatted. – CBHacking Sep 15 '15 at 22:54
  • -1 You should quote the error (good that you kind of did) but then when you quote the error, at least quote it right. The error message that you claim windows gave you "windows unable to complete the format" is not even proper english. Windows did not use those words. So you are misquoting what the error was. Get the exact words – barlop Sep 15 '15 at 23:02
  • Dear I just edit my error message kindly have a look on it – Anonymously Sep 16 '15 at 19:56

Format usb to NTFS using cmd on windows

Press the windows logo key and type cmd then press enter.

I'm assuming that you are not a tech guy/girl but you are not afraid of the command prompt (cmd) either.

At the prompt type the following commands one by one in this order:


This will show you available disk and size of each disk which would help you to select the right disk in the next step:

list disk

Substitute the x by the disk number, most likely would be thisk number 1, you will know by the size of the disk shown in previous step):

select disk x


create partition primary 

At this command, it will take a couple of minutes, you will see the progress of the formatting shown in percentage, once the process shows completed then type the last command:

format fs=NTFS quick


Hopefully your USB is fixed.

  • 1
    On the format fs=NTFS line I would use format fs=NTFS quick instead. As posted, the system would zero out the flash drive and that causes excess wear on the flash media. This is new behavior as of Windows Vista (a long format didn't zero the drive in previous versions of Windows). – Wes Sayeed Sep 15 '15 at 23:00
  • Dear Kindly you should check my post one's more time so you can find I already did all steps which you mentioned in your answer. – Anonymously Sep 16 '15 at 19:59
  • I was clearly mentioned all the steps and there output which is generated. Kindly post something unique which I did't do? – Anonymously Sep 16 '15 at 20:06
  • Mr. Wes Sayeed would you please post or send me a link or whatever on how to quick format using fdisk, thanks in advance – habanany Sep 16 '15 at 22:09
  • @habanany why are you using fdisk. fdisk doesn't format, it never did, and it hasn't been used since the days of windows 98! it wasn't in windows xp and beyond. fdisk doesn't have one single program replacement, it had a useful /mbr switch for which xp and 7 have a replacement command and to partition you use diskpart. – barlop Jun 24 '16 at 9:30

I met the same situation,too.Referring to someone's opinion,you can replace the command clean to clean all.Finally,I ended up with format fs=NTFS without quick.

  • 1
    -1 why did you do it without quick, despite the fact that somebody commented that quick is much better since it doesn't wear out an ssd and the simple fact that obviously quick would be expected to be quicker. And famously when installing windows IIRC windows 98, when it offered quick or full, everybody found quick was fine - and quicker. Similarly format a: /q why are you wanting to do a full format when you can do a quick format and it'd be quicker surely. To leave that unexplained is a gaping hole in your answer. And it makes an existing comment of greater value than your answer. – barlop Jun 24 '16 at 9:33

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