Windows Was Unable to Format Memory Stick

Have you ever received message telling Windows was unable to complete format on a memory stick? A memory stick is specially designed for Sony digital camera, laptop, etc. If you get the error message that a memory stick is not able to be formatted on your computer or digital camera, you had better stop using the memory stick if you do not have any useful way to fix the problem.

==> For reasons why memory stick cannot be formatted and get solution to fix the issue, please visit this page: Windows was unable to complete the format

Windows Was Unable to Format RAW Memory Stick

A memory stick would turn to RAW file system due to human mistake or other reasons like virus infection. PC usually reports alert message saying memory stick needs to be formatted when its file system changes to RAW. If you confirm to format a RAW memory stick, sometimes Windows sill pop up another message saying memory stick cannot be formatted.

==> If you have any doubt for the RAW issue and want to get useful method to fix it, please read this article: How to fix RAW drive error


>> Quick Solution for RAW Memory Stick Recovery Which Cannot Be Formatted

Download iCare Data Recovery Pro to recover various kinds of files from different memory stick which is unable to be formatted.

Guide: Recover Files from RAW Unformatted Memory Stick

iCare Data Recovery is compatible with all memory sticks for digital camera, laptop, etc when it reports RAW but cannot be formatted:

Step1. Run the data recovery software and go to a proper scan mode.

select recovery mode

Step2. Choose the memory stick and wait the software to scan.

wait while scanning

Step3. Preview images and then save all lost files to another device.

preview found photo

Memory Stick for Sony Products Cannot Be Formatted

The first memory stick was manufactured by Sony. A memory stick cannot be compatible with all kinds of devices, but it works on many Sony products including camera, smartphone, laptop and more.
Nowadays, some other manufacturers are authorized to produce memory stick. Those manufacturers include Apacer, SanDisk, Lexar, Samsung and Transcend, etc.

==> See this page when any memory stick cannot be formatted: Memory stick is not formatted

You Cannot Format Flash Memory Stick to FAT32 on Windows XP

You can connect a memory stick to Windows XP computer to reformat it if it turns to RAW file system and asks to be formatted, but you may find that you cannot format a flash memory stick to FAT32 file system on Windows because there is no FAT32 option under Format section.

==> If Windows still shows that memory stick is not able to be formatted with the solution above, please go to this page: How to fix Windows unable to format problem

How to Format USB Memory Stick with NTFS?

The original memory stick is available in capacity from 4MB to 128MB, which cannot meet users’ demand for data storage. Today, the capacity of memory stick is up to 64GB, so you can reformat a memory stick with NTFS file system if it changes to RAW format by connecting it to your computer. If a USB memory stick reports it was unable to be formatted when you attempt to format a RAW memory stick to NTFS file system, you can try to format it with FAT32 file system to see if the formatting can be completed. Here, you can perform quick format or full format on the memory stick.

format with ntfs

==> To get more methods to format a USB memory stick successfully, please read this article: Windows failed to complete the format

Memory Stick Reports Windows Cannot Format This Drive

PC pops up "Windows cannot format this drive" message when you format a memory stick under Windows? If you get this message while formatting a memory stick, probably you have open some other window or program that is using the memory stick. You can open Windows Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Delete keys and close all programs and Windows that are using the memory stick.

windows cannot format this drive


1. Whenever you format a memory stick, you should format it to proper file system that can be compatible with the device you use.

2. Always remove your memory stick from camera or computer safely.

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