How to Format SD Card When Unable to Format SD Card - 6 ways

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How to format a memory card SD/Microsd which says not formatting or can’t be formatted in camera/android phone/pc? This article tells you solutions when your memory card (sdhc, sdxc, micro sd card) is damaged/raw and unable to format sd card solution with a raw sd card formatter.

sd card format errorSD has got format error on phone/camera/pc

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"Yesterday, I want to open my SD card, but my SD card suddenly popped out a message said I need to format my device before I can use it. And the sd card became raw and show 0 byte. How can I repair the raw SD card and recover data from it?" -- Tom

Unable to Format SD Card

Sometimes your SD card becomes raw because it is corrupted, and it is also not able to be formatted by Windows system. When you try to format it, your computer will report "Failed to format the device". If so, you will need a professional format tool for help.

Windows can't format the sd cardWindows can't format the sd card, raw sd card format failed.

Don't worry about that, that is a common problem when the drive turns to raw, it often happens on SD card, USB flash drive, and other removable storage device. And this is not an irreversible error. Now I will show you some ways to recover the raw SD card.

Please turn on the usb mass storage or usb debugging mode if you connect sd to computer with phone, or it would lead to a format failure! Or you may pull out your sd card and insert it with a card adaptor to a pc.

foramt blank sd card after set it usb modeTurn on USB connection mode or usb debugging mode if you want to format memory card when you get phone connected to computer.

Solution #1 - Delete SD in Disk Management and then create new volume (Most efficientwork)

Reinstall drive step 2 Delete sd in disk management

Reinstall drive step 2 Create volume for sd in disk management

How to operate the deleting?

  • Go to disk management (right click 'This PC' on desktop->Manage->Disk management)
  • Right click your sd in the disk management
  • Delete volume option in the right click pop up window
  • Create new volume with its empty space by right click sd under disk management

When it still reported unable to be formatted error, try the following ways.

Reinstall drive step 2 Windows cannot format sd card

Recommend: how to fix SD when Windows was unable to format

Notice: If you have important data on the SD card, do a backup or recovery first.

Solution #2 - Format SD Card Using CMD Diskpart Clean when it cannot be formatted

CMD, command prompt of windows system, can act many command line on your system, formatting is one of them. When your SD card is recognized as raw drive, you are not able to format the raw drive by a simple right-click. So , in this situation, CMD can do you a favor. Follow the instructions here to format the raw SD card.

Step1: Run CMD.

Format raw sd card using CMDFormat raw sd card using CMD

Step2: Type"format K: /fs:fat32", or type "format k:/fs:ntfs"(K is the drive letter of SD card that you need to replace it with the drive letter how your sd card shows in your laptop, desktop.)

Format raw sd card using CMDFormat raw sd card using CMD

Notice: It will erase all your data on the SD card, you need to recover or backup your data in advance, or you will lose them all.

Recommend: if you can confirm formatting the sd, here are 10 free formatting tools that can help do the formatting if you are not so good at the cmd.

Solution #3 - Force Format SD Card when it failed to be formatted

If your SD card turns to raw or it is damaged, you may wonder how to force a format on your sd card, because the raw file system can not be recognized by windows system and the SD card will shown as inaccessible. It will also pops out the message that ask you to format it before you can use it every time. And you can not right click it and choose "format" option to solve this problem. So you need to force format it.

Sd card wont format problemSd card won’t format problem

How to force a formatting on SD?

  • use a disk format tool
  • format it on camera/phone

Recommend - force format sd card with Rufus

Formatting memory card with Rufus to force format sd card when it cannot be formatted. (Many users feedback this tool worked for them when the sd cannot be formatted)

You may download it here:

More download link is available at its website

format with rufusRufus to format usb disk that cannot be formatted

recommendAlso recommend: 8 free disk format tools

If it still does not work, there should be some other errors that you may need to perform reparing before the formatting like remove the write protection, repair its bad blocks etc.

Recommend: how to remove write protection on SD

Solution #4 - Remove sd card write protection

Step 1 - Remove sd write protection by switching off its write lock

Reinstall drive step 2 Disable sd card write protection

If it still did not work, try step 2

Step 2 - Remove sd write protection using cmd

Reinstall drive step 2 Part 1 - Remove memory card read only write protection

Video - How to Remove SD Card Write Protection

Also read: 10 ways to disable write protection on sd/usb

Solution #5 - Format SD Card in Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/xp

If you have a laptop or desktop, you may do the formatting on your PC with a formatter, Windows format function, Windows disk management format, and more.

For windows users, CMD is a good way to force format your SD card. You can also try system built-in format option, follow the steps to force format your SD card.

Step1: Go to "My Computer" and find your SD memory card.

Step2: Right-click the SD card, and click "Format" action, choose "quick format" as format type, if you want to erase all the data on it, you can also choose full format.

Step3: Click "OK" to start the format process.

format the sd card on windowsFormat the sd card on Windows

Or you may use disk management to format the memory card

format the sd card on windowsFormat the sd card on Windows

Notice: You need to make it clear that if you format your SD card, all your data on the card will be erased, so if you want to keep your data safe, you need to backup your data or restore them with a recovery tool.

Still unable to format sd card? Try this

Solution #6 - RAW SD Card Formatter – Format Tool

If your windows system fails to format your SD card, and even CMD is not able to format your SD card, you still have ways to perform the formatting on your SD card. How to make it? Try a professional format tool.

This is a link that can download many free format tools:

You can download one of them and use it to format your SD card easily.

Raw sd card formatter--format toolraw sd card formatter--format tool

Notice: formatting will erase all your data, please take care of your data first.

Recover Data from Raw SD Card

As we all know, formatting or reset is a whole deletion of your device, it will erase all your data on your SD card, if you have some important data on the SD card, you need to think twice before you format your SD card. Do you know how to protect your data on the SD card? Make a backup or recover them before formatting.

If you didn’t make a backup, you can still make it with a data recovery tool. You can choose a reliable program like iCare Data Recovery Pro which is a safe data recovery program that can help you retrieve your data from the corrupted SD card.

Instructions of recovering data from raw SD card won't format

Free Download

Step1: Download and Run iCare Data Recovery Program on your computer.

Step1 to recover the data on the sd cardStep1 to recover the data on the sd card

Step2: Scan your SD card.

Step2 to recover the data on the sd cardStep2 to recover the data on the sd card

Step3: Preview the found data after scanning, choose those you needed to recover.

Step3 to recover the data on the sd cardStep3 to recover the data on the sd card

Step4: Save them to another place.

After you recover your data on the SD card, you can repair the raw SD card by performing a formatting on your SD card.

This format error may happen to various kinds of memory card on different kinds of cameras and cellphones

  • SDHC, sdxc, microSD, minisd...
  • Samsung SD card unable to format, toshiba sd, SanDisk SD, Fujifilm xD...
  • Canon camera sd card, Sony sd card, samsung camera sd, Nikon sd, Kodak, Fujifilm, Olympus SD...
  • Samsung galaxy sd, Honor, Blackberry, LG phone, HTC SD, Nokia sd, and more


Question: sd card not formatting in camera, new sd card not formatting in camera, why won't my camera format my sd card?

Answer: When sd card has not formatting error in camera

  • if it's new, it means the sd card is too large for the camera, or the camera has reader damage -> Format sd card FAT in Windows to fix incompatible issue, or ask local repair shop for help to know more about camera repair.Format sd
  • If it's an old sd card, it means the memory card is either incompatible with the camera on file system or the sd card has logcal damages. -> You may format sd card FAT to see whether it is the file system incomaptible issue, or repair sd card with the following methods.

    More methods to repair sd card: sd card repair software [8 free]

Last updated on May 19, 2022

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Data Recovery Software Free Download > Format Recovery > How to fix raw sd card cannot be formatted error