Cannot Format the Pen Drive

Asked By 20 points N/A Posted on -


When they try to format the pen drive, Windows Shows error "Can not format the pen drive". Initially I thought, it could be a virus problem and so I ran for virus scans many times with different anti-virus packages. But none of them seemed to work. It shows no report of the virus. I am in a fix whether if it's a hardware problem or a software problem. Please help.


Best Answer by Thom Jorke
Answered By 0 points N/A #128023

Cannot Format the Pen Drive


There can be more than one reason behind such problems, some of the common problems are:

1. Virus or Trojan infection.

2. Corrupted flash chips on the pen drive (hardware fault).

3. Fake pen drives! (Many such drives are there in the markets, beware).

Since you say you have scanned it well it cannot be a virus problem. if you are sure its not fake the third one is most unlikely. So what is left is the second choice.If the pen drive is not detected at all, or shows a less capacity, then there are high chances that its a chip corruption. 

Flash chips are the actual hardware components that save the data. A physical or electrical or an electromagnetic damage to these chips make the pen drive faulty. This can happen because of voltage fluctuations and faulty USB ports. In such case, get the flash drive replaced if its under warranty as it cannot be fixed otherwise!

Best Answer
Best Answer
Answered By 0 points N/A #128024

Cannot Format the Pen Drive



Have you tried to format it on a different computer? Try that first. If you still couldn't format it on another computer then it's definitely a hardware problem. As far as I know it cannot be fixed.

But then it can also be a virus related problem. I had a similar problem two years ago but I could format my drive on another computer. I also checked with my antivirus but it did not detect anything.

Just remember that not all antivirus can detect everything. To confirm whether it's a virus problem or not, here's what you can do. You can try to kill all the running process (including the virus "process") and see if your thumb drive is working.

Here's how to kill all the running processes:

  1. Click Start > type "cmd".
  2. The command prompt will open. Now, type exactly like this: taskkill /f /fi "username ne dummyx".
  3. All the active windows will be closed and your taskbar will disappear. To open it again, press CTRL+ALT+DEL, Click Start Task Manager.
  4. Click New Task, type "Explorer".
  5. Now, go to explorer and format your pen drive. If it's working now, then the cause is indeed a virus. Try different antivirus and make sure their virus definitions are up to date. After your computer is clean, then you can format your pen drive.
  6. Otherwise, it's a hardware problem.
Answered By 590495 points N/A #328232

Cannot Format the Pen Drive


If your pen drive or USB flash drive can’t be formatted, first thing to do is check the drive for errors. Try downloading PC Tools Performance Toolkit. Once installed, start PC Tools then go to “Recovery” tab and click “Repair Drives.” On the next screen, select the drive you want to check. From the options, select “Surface Scan.”

Click “Start” then wait. The checking will be quite long depending on the size of the drive and the extent of the problem. If bad sectors were found, try repeating the scan a second time. Bad sectors are normal for hard drives and usually appear as the drive gets older. But for USB flash drives, this is a sign that you need to replace your drive.

When it is finished, try formatting the drive again.

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