Reasons for being unable to format an external hard drive

Why are you unable to format an external hard drive? What could cause this problem?

External hard drives are secondary storage devices that are helpful for storing data outside a computer. Formatting of external hard drives refers to clearing of data and improving the device. Formatting of the device will make the drive error free. You can format an external hard drive by connecting it to the system. Sometimes formatting is not possible. The cause of this issue maybe due to improper steps followed by you while formatting the drive. You should select a suitable file format for the process of formatting a drive. The presence of any infection on the system also prevents you from formatting the hard drive. Failure of the system to detect a drive also results in formatting problems.

Discussed below are some tips to format an external hard drive:

  • Follow the proper steps

  • Remove any infections present on the device

  • Alternative steps

Follow the proper steps

You should follow the correct process to format external hard drives. Open 'Computer Management' option by right- clicking on 'My Computer'. Click on 'Disk Management' under the Storage section. Now right-click on the drive partition in which the external hard drive resides. Then select the 'Format' option and choose the file format as 'NTFS' by providing the name of the drive. Click 'Ok' and start formatting.

Remove any of the infections present on the device

The 'Format' option will remove infections from the external hard drive. But sometimes certain infections will prevent you from formatting the hard drive. They reside on the drive even after the scanning process. Such infections are harmful, and require extra tools for their removal. Tools for removing infections from the secondary storage devices are available nowadays.

Alternative steps

Issues on the system also cause issues that result in formatting failing on external hard drives. You should also check the compatibility of the device with the Operating System. Devices that were previously used and formatted on other Operating Systems may not work on Windows Operating Systems. Keep such points in mind while formatting.

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