How to Fix “You Need to Format the Disk” Error on Windows 2023

Not interested in Format the Disk? You’re not required to! Here’s how to resolve this issue on Windows without losing any of your data.

We often share and transfer files using external flash devices and hard drives. Despite the growing popularity of cloud sharing, big or private data are still best shared through hard disks. You may transfer data from one disk to another by simultaneously connecting numerous USB devices to your computer.

The “You Need To Format The Disk In Drive Before You Can Use It” problem, however, is experienced by certain customers. You must first format the disk in order to utilize it. If your drive contains crucial files, it isn’t a wise choice. We’ll outline many techniques you may use to evaluate your disk drive again. Let’s start.

What Are the Reasons Behind the Error Message?

The “Format Disk in Drive” notice may appear for one or more of the causes listed below:

  1. Perhaps the port or the USB drive is broken.
  2. The disk’s device drivers are faulty or out-of-date.
  3. The drive cannot be accessed because of malware.
  4. Essential system files are corrupted or missing.
  5. System services and apps are in conflict with a third-party app.

Methods to Fix the “Format the Disk” Error

To resolve the disk error warning and preserve your stored data, use the following techniques:

1. Check the USB Drive Format the Disk

Unplug the USB drive if attaching it to any other USB port on your computer results in the same error. Connect it to a different computer and see whether you can read the file contents without any problems and it appears in Device Manager. If it succeeds, make a backup copy of all your data on that machine.

2. Perform a Complete Shutdown Format the Disk

Microsoft has made Quick Start-up the default setting in subsequent iterations of the Windows operating system. The system and kernel-level processes are hibernated to speed up system startup after a shutdown.

Nonetheless, you will consistently see the error notice if the primary system services experience a problem and cease to function effectively. To resume all core services, a complete shutdown can be performed.

Repeat the next set of actions: Format the Disk

  1. In order to open the Run command box, press Win + R.
  2. To launch Command Prompt with administrator rights, type cmd in the text input box and click Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
  3. Type the command below, then hit the enter key: /s /f /t 0 shutdown
Format the Disk
  1. Your system’s shutdown will take longer than normal to complete. Restart the device and launch File Explorer.
  2. Check to see whether you can access the files on the USB device by clicking on it.

3. Do a Clean Boot Format the Disk

The usual operation of system apps might be hampered by third-party programs and services. Therefore, restart your computer after a clean boot. It will stop all third-party services and applications from starting up. If you can now access the disk, try the clean boot procedure again while turning on third-party services one at a time to find the offending software.

4. Change the USB Drive Letter Using Disk Management

The USB disk problem on your PC could be fixed and accessible by changing the drive letter. To alter the drive letter, repeat these steps:

  1. To launch the Run dialog box, press Win + R. Enter the disk mgmt.MSC command after typing it.
  2. Locate your USB disk drive in the Disk Management window and then right-click on it.
  3. From the context menu, choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. Choose Change from the menu. Next, choose a drive letter from the drop-down list by clicking the arrow button to expand it.
Format the Disk
  1. Finally, press the OK button. Reaffirm your choice by selecting Yes to modify the Drive letter.
  2. When the drive’s letter changes, a system message will appear to let you know and prompt you to mount the drive.
  3. In order to check whether the USB device is accessible or not, press Win + E to launch File Explorer.

5. Scan the Hard Disk Using CHKDSK

The USB drive may have corrupt files and faulty sectors, which is why Windows requests that you format the disk before using it. But, you may use the built-in CHKDSK tool to check the USB drive for faults and correct them. All of the files on the format the disk will be scanned, and the drive will be fixed. You have two options for running CheckDisk: from the command prompt or through File Explorer’s Properties panel.

6. Run an SFC and DISM Scan

If the check format the disk is ineffective and the issue persists, it’s probable that one or more of your system files is missing or corrupt. To check for corrupt system files and replace them, run an SFC scan first. To repair the Windows installation image, run a DISM scan after that. To successfully conduct the DISM scan, confirm that your internet connection is operational.

7. Use a Linux Installation Media to Access the USB Disk Drive

This approach is more of a workaround to prevent data loss. If there isn’t a nearby second computer, you can make a Linux installation media and view the contents of the USB drive by mounting it in the Try Ubuntu mode. You can effectively build a backup of the USB disk without having to waste time looking for another computer.

Repeat these procedures to access the USB device using Linux installation media:

  1. Connect your machine to the Linux installation media.
  2. To access the boot devices menu, press Esc and turn on your computer. Launch it after selecting the Linux installation disc.
  3. Choose the Test or install Ubuntu option from the Grub menu. Click the Try Ubuntu option when the setup window has started to open.
  4. Choose the Files app from the menu on the left.
Format the Disk
  1. To open a USB drive, click its name in the navigation window. You may now move these files to a different location on your internal or external hard drive.
  2. Once you’ve finished transferring everything to the USB device, close the Try Ubuntu mode by clicking the power icon and selecting the Power off option.

8. Try Generic Fixes for Drive Formatting Issues

Before taking more extreme action, try some more broad remedies if none of those have helped. Windows may display a number of distinct error messages relating to problems with storage disk formatting, and they all have some similar remedies.

For further information, see How to solve format disk problems on Windows without formatting your drive.

9. Reset Windows How to Fix Format the Disk

Consider performing a full Windows reset if nothing seems to be working and you see the issue whenever you attempt to connect a USB disk to the computer. All of your system files and installed applications will be deleted (though you can choose to keep personal files on the system drive).

Try System Restore first using any available System Restore points, though, before completing a System Reset. You can factory reset your Windows machine if that doesn’t work and a reset doesn’t appear to help.hard-drive/fix

Access USB Disk Contents Without Formatting

When File Explorer asks you to do so in order to access the USB disk, it is not a good idea to click the Format button. Initially, make an effort to identify any hardware issues and rescue the data on the USB device. To access files on the USB device, use a different machine or make a Linux installation media.

Reset your Windows computer if SFC and DISM are unable to fix the system and you continue to see the issue with every USB disk you attach to your system.

Tech One PK

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