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Windows Could Not Format a Partition Error Code 0x80070057

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    We Receive Error 0x80070057 When Trying to Reinstall Windows 7


    Sometimes due to virus infection or system crash, we need to purely reinstall Windows 7. Then we should first prepare an installation media, backup important data on the local drive and then reinstall Windows 7. If the process is successful then naturally we have solved the problem smoothly. Unfortunately, there are many times we cannot solve the issue. Occasionally when attempting this we may encounter the following error message: “Windows could not format a partition on disk 0. The error occurred while preparing the partition selected for installation. Error code: 0x80070057.”

    windows could not format a partition

    Another possible error code that can occur is as follows:
    “Failed to format the selected partition. Error: 0x80070057.”

    After searching the internet, we find the problem is all over the internet. Below is a typical example:

    "Hey everybody, I am trying to do a clean install of windows 7 onto my laptop, and I keep getting the error, "windows could not format a partition on disk 0. The error occurred while preparing the partition selected for installation. Error code: 0x80070057" . I have reformatted the hard drive and tried clicking next from there. This is the 64-bit version of windows 7, any help would be grateful." --By SleepykidX from Sevenforums

    So what caused this error? And what should we do to address this problem?

    Why Windows Could Not Format a Partition and How to Solve It

    Before answering these two questions, we'd like to tell why we should format a partition or a hard drive before reinstalling pure Windows. Reinstalling system indicates that there is something wrong with the original system, such as virus infection. In this case, if we do not perform "Format" in advance, the reinstalled system is not clean since there are a lot of system files on the hard drive, and the system performance will be deeply affected. Usually, we choose to install Windows with an installation DVD, which will perform "Format" automatically during the installation.

    But why sometimes Windows could not format a partition to install system? And how can we solve this issue? Here are the explanations.

    Resolution One: Format the hard drive during Windows 7 installation process.
    Generally speaking, this error code will occur when the system reserved partition is damaged. (System reserved partition is an area reserved for the BitLocker encryption and for the restoration of Windows.) As Microsoft suggests, we need to delete the system reserved partition as well as the system partition, create a new partition, and continue with the formatting during the installation process. To do this, follow these steps:

    1.Insert the Windows 7 installation DVD, and then start the installation. Set your preferences and click Install now.

    install windows

    2.After reading the Microsoft license agreement, click I accept the terms of license, and then click Next

    3.When we see the following window, click Custom (advanced).

    custom install windows

    4.Select Disk 0 partition 1, and click Delete.

    delete partition one

    5.Click OK to confirm.

    agree deletion

    6.Delete Disk 0 partition 2 with the same method. Then the whole disk becomes an unallocated space.

    7.Click New to create a new partition.

    create new partition

    8.Define the size of the disk, and then click Apply.
    Note: If we don't make any change of the new partition size, then the default value is the maximum size of the disk.

    specify partition size

    9.At this time Windows will prompt that "To ensure that all Windows feature work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files." Click OK when prompted.

    create additional partition

    10.Then we can see two partitions are created again. Select Disk 0 partition 2, and then click Formatting.

    format partition two

    11.Click OK when prompted.

    agree format

    12.Formatting should be completed correctly. Click Next to continue. We can now complete the installation without problems.

    continue installation

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    Resolution Two: Reinstall RAM.
    However, if the first resolution does not work, try this resolution. Just remove the RAM and install RAM again, for the RAM may get wrong. After that, repeat the first resolution.

    Resolution Three: Replace the SATA cable or SATA port.
    If you still get the same error code, you may consider SATA cable fault. Here is a specific example on Answers.Microsoft that gets to the point.

    Topic: Windows could not format a partition on disk 0 - error code 0x80070057
    I recently bought components to build a new Win 7 64bit PC.
    I've built many PC's in the past so wasn't expecting any problems I couldn't deal with.
    I had this exact same error message and have been pulling my hair out for the last two weeks trying to solve it.
    I even bought a new motherboard, CPU, and HD and got the same error. Urgghh!
    Well when I finally figured out what it was I was so relieved and so angry at the same time!
    IT WAS THE SATA CABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I've never had a problem with a SATA cable before so I never even thought about replacing it.
    The one that turned out to be faulty was one of the thin ones, but I've used many of these in the past without incident.
    This may or may not be the cause of your problem, but try it.
    Have a great Xmas and all the best for the new year!
    --By Freedonian from Answers.Microsoft


    Resolution Four: The system has lost hard disk driver and needs installation.
    Insert the Windows 7 installation DVD and follow the steps listed in solution one. When it comes to selecting disk where you want to install windows, you are expected to select “Disk 0 Partition 2”, and then click “Load Driver”. It will automatically install the disk driver.

    Resolution Five: Format the issue hard disk in Command Prompt Windows.
    1.Boot the computer with windows 7 installation DVD, then instead of selecting "Install Windows 7", select "Repair Your Computer" and then select "Use Recovery Tools";
    2.In the next window select "Command Prompt";
    3.Type "diskpart". This may take some time for it to pop up and it will ask you for Administrative privileges. Go ahead and click "Yes";
    4.Type "list disk". It will show a list of disks;
    5.Type "select disk X" to select your disk out of the list above. For example: "select disk 3";
    6.Type "clean" to clean the drive;
    7.Type "create partition primary" ;
    8.Type "select partition 1";
    9.Type "active" to activate the partition on the disk;
    10.Type "format fs=ntfs" to do a full format into NTFS. Depending on the size of the disk, this will take some time to complete.
    11.Type "exit" when the format is finished. We need to type "exit" for two times. One to exit from diskpart, and the other one for command prompt.

    Resolution Six: Format partition under startup mode.
    1.Build Free Bootable Partition Manager with Pwfree91.iso.
    2.Set computer to boot from the bootable media in BIOS.
    3.Boot computer to enter MiniTool Partition Wizard.

    partition wizard boot disc welcome page

    4.Format the target partition.

    format partition

    5.Conform the operation and reinstall Windows.

    apply changes

    If the Format Partition function fails to work, just delete partitions in MiniTool Partition Wizard.

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    More for this issue:
    Sometimes, when we try to format a partition before installing Windows, Windows is unable to complete the format. This error might be caused by insufficient user permission, and what we are expected to do is to modify user permission. Follow the instructions below.

    1.First of all, open Windows Explorer, drop down "Organize" and choose "Folder and search options".

    folder file option

    2.Remove the tick before "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" under "View" board.
    Note: You will receive a warning window saying "These files are required to start Windows. Deleting or editing them can make your computer inoperable. Are you sure you want to display these files?" You don't need to worry about it and click "Yes".

    unhide protected files

    3.After that, find the folder that cannot be deleted. Right click on it and select "Properties". Switch the board to "Security" and press "Advanced".

    advanced settings

    4.Switch the board to "Owner" and press "Edit" button.

    change owner

    5.Press "Other users or groups" to assign ownership to Administrators. Then you can format the hard drive without block.

    edit name

    Something You're Looking for - Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format


    "Hello, 
    I'm new to these little things. How can I open my flash drive when it says "You need to format the disk before you can use it". But when I format it, a pop up message appears saying "Windows was unable to complete the format". How can I open it when I can't format it? Hope you'll help me. 
    Thanks."
    --By Allen420 from CCM


    Disk formatting is quick and efficient in cleaning up disk partition files, and is usually adopted by us when we are creating a bootable USB flash drive or empting an external hard drive. However, sometimes Windows will give us a prompt saying "Windows was unable to complete the format", just as shown in the figure below.

    windows unable complete format

    If we encounter such a situation when formatting a USB flash drive, what should we do to format it? What caused these prompts?

    Reasons and Solutions

    Normally, four factors may cause Windows unable to complete the format:
    1.The drive is write protected. Since formatting is a kind of writing operation, you need to remove the write protection before formatting it. How do you know it is write protected? Well, copy something to it. If you see the following message: "The disk is write protected. Remove the write protection or use another disk", then it is write protected indeed.
    2.The drive has bad sectors. Files stored on hard drives usually occupy many sectors. Sectors are the smallest units for data storage. If a sector is damaged and cannot be read or write, it is called bad sector. Bad sector can affect the formatting operation as well as the data recovery operation. What caused bad sectors? Bad quality, excessive defragmentation, or falsely unplug the USB drive, etc.
    3.The drive is physically damaged. Physical damage is another important reason that caused storage device inaccessible, so Windows requires to format it. Professional repair center can repair the bad spots but the cost is not cheap. So you may consider changing another drive.
    4.The drive suffers from virus infection. Since USB drives are often carried by users and are connected to various computers, they are more likely to get virus infection than other hard drives. The virus often fills the USB drives with dangerous files and make them out of service.

    Below are the solutions for "Windows was unable to complete the format". Please note that all these solutions will not work if the USB drive is physically damaged.

    1.Use Disk Management to format. Right click "My Computer" and select Manage, and then select "Disk Management" on the left side. Then you can see the USB drive is listed on the middle panel. Right click the USB drive and select "Format" option to perform a quick format.
    2.Use command prompt to format. Sometimes Disk Management is not as helpful as command prompt. Although using command prompt may seem complicate, it still deserves a trying. The operation is: run "cmd" > type "format X:/fs:fat32" (X: refers to the target partition drive, and fat32 can be replaced by ntfs). This process may last long.
    3.Use third-party tool to check and repair bad sectors and then format it. Use "Surface Test" of MiniTool Partition Wizard to check whether there is bad sectors on the USB drive. If YES, find software that can fix the bad sector, such as PartitionGuru, and then perform format.

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    How to Transfer Data from USB Drives We Cannot Access
    Remember all data will get lost once we perform "Format". So it is significant to backup the important data in the USB drive. But since we cannot access the hard drive and Windows keeps asking us to format it, we have to rely on data recovery software. Here MiniTool Power Data Recovery is recommended.

    Please note that not all the data can be recovered if the USB hard drive is damaged or repaired. But data recovery is still the most reliable way to keep data integrated.

    Step 1: Connect the USB drive to computer and run MiniTool Power Data Recovery.

    damaged partition recovery

    Step 2: Choose "Damaged Partition Recovery".
    Step 3: Select the USB drive to make a full scan.
    Step 4: After the scanning, choose the files you want to recover and select a destination path. Note: we suggest selecting any location except the original drive. Then just wait for the success.

    Bottom Line


    We have talked so much about why Windows could not format a partition and explained the most feasible resolutions for error code 0x80070057. In addition, we have stressed the importance to do data recovery before formatting a USB drive that cannot be opened. If you are suffering from the same issue, try these methods to get out of the trouble. We expect your success.