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How Can You Fix "The Format Did Not Complete Successfully"?



"I have a SanDisk 8gb on my blackberry phone, wanted to use it to transfer pictures from another phone...I did not Unmount it from the blackberry before I removed it, the other phone says the disk is full when I put it back in the blackberry, it says the disk is not formatted, but won't format it. I tried to format on my computer, but first get an error saying windows was unable to complete format, tried to format from disk manager, then get an error saying the format did not complete successfully. Any ideas?"

--From tomsguide.com

From the above case, you know it is an example of formatting failure. In this article, we will show you how to fix "the format did not complete successfully RAW" issue when formatting your micro SD card, memory card, USB drive or external hard drive. If you receive such an error in Windows 7/8/10, you can find a solution here.

Format Disk Error Description

As is well known, Windows has a built-in tool called Disk Management which can be used to free manage your disk and partition, for example, format/create/extend/shrink the partition, convert basic disk to dynamic disk and more. However, sometimes Windows Disk Management can't work in some cases, for example, "Extend Volume" is grayed out; "Convert to MBR/GPT Disk" only works after deleting all volumes; Windows fails to format with "The format did not complete successfully" error and more. Here a disk formatting error with Disk Management will be introduced in detail.

tip Usually, it is necessary to do disk formatting in some situations:
  • You want to use a new disk to save files. Then you must format your disk with a file system.
  • You decide to make a clean Windows installation, and during the process, the disk formatting will be an option.
  • The files on the disk need to be erased. So, formatting is a good choice to delete all data.
  • Perhaps there are some issues, such as the disk is write-protected, SD card corruption and more, then formatting can be used to fix those issues to a certain degree.

Nevertheless, Windows probably fails to format your disk in Windows 10/8/7, especially when you attempt to format a micro SD card, memory card, USB flash drive, pen drive, SSD or external hard drive. In Windows Disk Management, "Virtual Disk Manager The format did not complete successfully" error message appears.

As a matter of fact, this issue often happens when formatting a removable disk such as a pen drive, USB drive, SD card or memory card, especially formatting a RAW partition of the removable disk. When searching such an issue online, you will find many forums discuss "the format did not complete successfully RAW USB". Here is one picture to help you learn more:

fail to format

Or sometimes you want to format the exFAT partition in Windows Disk Management, but still, receive such an error.

the format did not complete successfully

If you are experiencing "the format did not complete successfully SD card" issue, you may be curious that why this issue happens to you? What should you do to fix it? Now focus on the following parts which will show some main causes and useful solutions.

Why Format Did Not Complete Successfully

Before we introduce solutions to this error, let's learn that why Windows Disk Management fails to format the removable disk. In general, there are four reasons leading to not completing disk formatting.

  • Virus Infection: The virus and spyware are ubiquitous. And then it is likely that kinds of viruses attack your computer and conflict with the installed programs and Windows snap-in utilities, then format did not complete successfully in Disk Management issue appears.
  • File System Corruption: The file system of the partition you want to format is corrupted/damaged, which obstructs formatting process.
  • Bad Sectors: It is possible that the SD card, USB drive or external hard drive to be formatted contains bad blocks or other physical damage.
  • Outdated BIOS or Windows Service Pack: If your BIOS or drivers are not up to date, or there is no the latest Windows Service Packs, then Windows fails to recognize drive parameters when formatting.

After learning these reasons, let's focus on the solutions about the format disk error according to the specific causes.

Solved - The Format Did Not Complete Successfully

If your disk becomes raw and fails to be formatted with the error message, but there are some important data, firstly you had better recover data from the corrupted or damaged drive and then start to fix the issue following the methods below.

recommend Hot article: Recover Data from RAW File System, RAW Partition, and RAW Drive Efficiently.

solution 1 Solution 1: Remove Virus

To a large extent, unknown viruses may stop you formatting your removable disk, therefore, please download a piece of antivirus software to check and kill those viruses firstly. Then try to format your disk with "Format" feature of Windows Disk Management. If you are still unable to format micro SD card, SD card or USB drive, try the next solution.


Usually, in addition to Windows Disk Management, some of you choose to format disk via Windows Explorer. However, "Windows was unable to complete format" error message appears in all probability.

solution 2 Solution 2: Check Bad Sectors

Usually, a simple virus checking and killing may be not useful to fix "the format did not complete successfully micro SD" issue. Actually, the bad sector is one of the main factors. Thus, it is necessary to do a disk surface test to check whether there are some bad sectors or other physical defects. In order to do this job, we advise you to adopt a professional tool. When searching for such a program on the internet, you will find it's variety. Which one to choose? MiniTool Partition Wizard is worthy of being recommended to test disk bad sectors with "Surface Test" feature. If "the format did not complete successfully" issue appears on a micro SD card or a memory card, please use a card reader to connect it to your computer for disk checking.

This professional partition manager has six editions, thereinto, its Free Edition can be used here for personal users. Before you do, please download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, then install it on your computer and launch it.

Then do as the following guidance shows:

Step 1: After double-clicking this free partition software, you will enter an interface. Click "Launch Application" to go to the main interface. (Only Free Edition needs this step.)

Step 2: Next select the micro SD card, USB drive or memory card you want to check, and click "Surface Test" from "Check Disk" menu.

surface test

Step 3: Then click "Start Now" to begin this checking process. After a few minutes, all sectors of the target disk will be checked. From the figure as follows, you know MiniTool Partition Wizard will mark "Disk block without read error" in green and mark "Read error in this block" in red.

check bad sectors

After finishing this process, if no bad sectors are found, you can skip to solution 3. If some bad sectors are found, what should you do to shield these bad blocks to avoid experiencing "the format did not complete successfully RAW SD card" issue again?

tip Some of you may ask why not use MiniTool Partition Wizard to shield bad sectors. It is a pity that this free tool doesn't have such a function. As we know, there is a tool called CHKDSK which enables you to scan your drives for bad sectors, mark disk sectors as bad and shield them so as to make your disk usable again. Read this post - 3 Ways to Repair Bad Sectors to learn the solutions.

Now, after shielding bad sectors, you can try to format your USB drive or SD card, then "the format did not complete successfully SD card" issue won't occur.

solution 3 Solution 3: Use Diskpart to Complete Formatting

In Windows, there is another built-in tool called Command Prompt that enables you to format your SD card or USB drive.

1. Click "Win+R", input "cmd" to open this free tool.
2. Finally, type "FORMAT X: /FS:FAT32 /Q /V:PenDrive" (X refers to the drive letter of your drive.)


This solution comes from Microsoft forum, check it to learn much.

solution 4 Solution 4: Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to Format

If you fail to format your USB drive or SD card with solution 3, "the format did not complete successfully RAW USB" issue is still not solved. Now try to use a professional formatting tool. Here MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition is also useful to do disk formatting. How to perform the formatting operation with this free partition manager? Look at the step-by-step guidance as follows:

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition. Then select the partition of your SD card, USB drive, external hard drive, SSD or memory card in the main interface, and click "Format Partition" from "Partition Management" menu in the left pane. Or right click on the target drive to select "Format" feature.

format minitool

Step 2: Then in the pop-up window, select FAT32 as the file system of your target partition. Click "OK" to return to the main interface.

format fat 32

Step 3: Finally, click "Apply" to make this change effective.

If there is more than one partition on your removable disk, external hard drive or SSD, please repeat the above steps to format the entire disk. With this tool, "the format did not complete successfully micro SD card" error can be fixed.

solution 5 Solution 5: Wipe the Entire Disk

If Windows Disk Management is unable to format your micro SD card or USB drive, in addition to using the third-party program to format it, there is another option for you to choose, that is to wipe the entire disk.

Step 1: After entering MiniTool Partition Wizard main interface, right click on the target disk and select "Wipe Disk".

wipe disk

Step 2: Then you can see there are five wiping methods, and here we recommend you to check the first or second method with a fast speed. Next hit "OK" button.


Step 3: At last, execute this wiping operation by hitting "Apply".

solution 6 Solution 6: Recreate Partition

In addition to the above ways to fix "virtual disk manager the format did not complete successfully SD card" issue, you can also delete the target partition and create a new partition by Windows Disk Management.

If you have "the format did not complete successfully external hard drive" issue and decide to delete the partition on an SSD or external hard drive, you can use "Delete Volume" to delete the RAW partition. And then use "New Simple Volume" to create a new partition. During the process of recreating the partition, formatting will be done.



If you want to delete the RAW partition of the removable disk, for example, a micro SD card, memory card or USB drive, Disk Management won't work showing gray "Delete Volume" feature.

can't delete

In this case, what should you do to fix "the format did not complete successfully RAW SD card/RAW USB" issue? Fortunately, you can also use MiniTool Partition Wizard to do this work.

Step 1: Open MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, and then select the partition you want to delete and click "Delete Partition" in the left pane.

delete partition

Step 2: Then select "Create Partition" from "Partition Management" menu. Here set the file system of the target partition as FAT32. (USB drives use it by default.)


Step 3: Then let all changes effectual by hitting "Apply". By recreating the partition, it is useful to fix format disk error.

Watch the following video to get a more intuitive guide.


Bottom Line

In this post, we show you what the error "format did not complete successfully in Disk Management" is, why it appears and the specific solutions to this issue on an SSD, external hard drive, USB drive, micro SD card or memory card. With the assistance of MiniTool Partition Wizard, it is helpful to ensure that disk formatting can be done effectively by checking and shielding bad sectors. Besides, suppose that no bad sectors are found, you can also easily find the format did not complete successfully memory card solutions that are formatting disk, wiping the disk or recreating partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard. Just free download this professional partition manager to have a try.

On the other hand, we welcome any question or suggestion to this post or our software from you. Please leave one comment in the following text box or send us an email via support@minitool.com. Much appreciated!