By Cherry / Last Updated October 17, 2019


“I have a 750GB external hard drive and when I plug it in, it says it needs to be format. Windows is unable to complete the format. can't run chkdsk, it's RAW format. Can't create an NTFS partition because I can't format it. Help me please!”

Actually, many users have met the external hard drive won’t format problem when they try to format their external HDD/SSD, a Micro SD card, USB flash drive, pen drive, etc. You may get the error messages “Windows was unable to complete the format ” or “the format did not complete successfully”.

Solutions for “The Format Did Not Complete Successfully”

General speaking, external hard drive won’t format could be caused by virus infection, bad sectors, storage device damage, disk write protection, etc. Thus, suddenly, you may meet the external hard drive won’t format problem like the list:

  • Disk is not formatted.

  • You need to format the disk in drive F: before you can use it.

  • This volume does not contain a recognized file system.

Many users would like to use the CHKDSK to repair this kind of problems. However, when you run chkdsk, you may receive the error that chkdsk reports RAW .

Fortunately, in this article, we will provide you two effective ways to solve the external hard drive won’t format problem.

Method 1. Solve external hard drive won’t format with CMD

1. Connect the external hard drive (HDD/SSD, USB drive or other devices) that you need to format to your PC.

2. Press Win + R to open the "Run" dialog,

3. Type: cmd and hitEnter to open Command Prompt as Administrator.

4. Type: diskpart and hit Enter.

5. Type: list disk and hit Enter to display all disks on your computer.

6. Type: select disk 0 and hit Enter; (0 is the drive letter of your USB.)

7. Type: clean and hit Enter.

8. Type: create partition primary and hitEnter.

9. Type:format fs=fat32 quick or format fs=ntfs quick and hit Enter to reset the drive to FAT32 or NTFS.

10. Type: assign letter F: (You can replace F with other letter based on your needs)

Diskpart Format

Finally, you should type: exit and hitEnter to finish the process.

Method 2. Fix external hard drive won’t format problem with AOMEI Partition Assistant

You may still cannot format the external hard drive the diskpart. When it cannot solve your problem, you can try some third party software like AOMEI Partition Assistant , a free hard drive manager that provides you format external hard drive successfully with three simple steps.

Step 1. Free Download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install it to your Windows 10/8/7 PC and launch it. You will see all disks on your computer in the main interface. You can see the unable to format external hard drive raw marked as Unformatted here. Right-click it and select Format Partition.

Format Raw Partition

Step 2. Then, it will pop up the format partition window that you can setup the details. Choose a file system you need in the list, click OK.

Format Raw To NTFS

Step 3. Finally, click Apply->Proceed to execute the whole progress.


Generally, the three steps will format your external hard drive. If it still failed, you can try to use Wipe Hard Drive of AOMEI Partition Assistant to help you solve your problem.

* AOMEI Partition Assistant is such a great format tool that can solve the external hard drive won’t format problem easily. It also can help you check bad sectors, test disks, and so on. You can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional to get more advanced features for better disk management.