How to Fix Format Disk Error?

(Summary: This article will help you fix format disk error easily and also helps you recover data if you have accidentally formatted the hard drive.)
It is very frustrating when the user is not able to access Hard Drive, External Hard Drive, or USB drive in the computer due to errors such as “The volume does not contain file system” and “The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable”. This is because the file system in the computer might be corrupted.You need to format disk in driveA file system like a registry that holds the file data such as file location, size, and date modified. Without this information, the computer cannot access any file storage drive.The computer suggests formatting the drive in order to make the storage drive functional. However, it is a difficult choice for the user as formatting the drive can erase all the data in the drive.If you are one of those who are looking to fix format disk error without loosing the data on the drive, you have landed at the right place. Here are the complete solutions for the problem.Why do I get a format disk error on my computer?

  • Corrupted file system: When the computer show errors such as “The volume does not contain file system”, “The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable”. These are indications that the file system is corrupted. The computer also asks the user that drive needs to be formatted in order to use the storage drive.
  • Bad sectors: In case there is a bad sector formed at the location where the file system is stored, files in the drive cannot be accessed. A format disk error message such as “You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it” will be shown, asking the user to format the drive before using it.
  • Virus or Malware attacks: A virus infection to the hard drive can severely damage the file system. This can often lead to format disk error and hence the drive needs to be formatted before use.
  • Compatibility: When a USB drive or memory card that is connected to the computer contains a file system that is not recognized by the computer, this is because the USB or SD card could have been formatted by a different file system that is not recognized by the computer. Therefore the computer asks the user to format the file before using it.

Methods to fix format disk error:

Scan the computer with antivirus:

As we have understood that viruses can damage the file system. Running an antivirus scan on the computer can remove any potential virus on the computer. Also scanning the computer with antivirus will stop the virus from damaging the computer even more. This solution might help in fixing format disk errors without formatting.

How to Fix Format Disk Error by CHKDSK Method?

This is one of the effective methods that can help solve “The file directory is corrupted or unreadable” error with the computer’s built-in utility. The command helps in identifying any bad sectors as well as the corrupted or missing file system. Perform the below steps to remove the fix format disk error.

  • Press the Windows + R key on the keyboard
  • Now, in the search field type “cmd”
  • In the command prompt type “chkdsk H: /f” and hit enter. (replace H with the drive letter that has to be fixed)

After the scan is complete, exit from the command prompt and restart the computer. Now check the volume again for its functionality. Sometimes, if the drive is RAW the CHKDSK can also return an error message stating "CHKDSK not available for raw drives". Hence, you need to be aware that the CHKDSK may or may not help you solve the issue all the time.

In case the scanning is unsuccessful, the only other way to fix format disk error is by formatting the drive. However, it is recommended to recover data from formatted hard drive. If you have already formatted the drive while trying to fix format disk error, move on to the next section to recover lost data from the hard drive.

Recover Data and Fix Format Disk Error?

Now that you know the only way to fix format disk error is to format the hard drive, it is important that you restore your important from the hard drive before you format. Now the question is how do you recover data from inaccessible hard drive?

All you need is professional hard drive data recovery software that can help you recover data and allow you to fix format disk error by formatting the hard drive. However, choosing the right tool to perform data recovery is quite a task. It is recommended to make use of a tool that is trustworthy and safe to recover lost data.

With more than a million downloads and an award for its excellence in performing data recovery, Remo is easily the safest choice for you to recover data from a hard drive that has format disk error. The deep scan engine of the tool is designed to tool recover data from a hard drives that are facing severe data loss scenarios like boot sectors, corruption, or formatted. Download and Try the tool for free now. 


How to Recover Data Before Formatting?

Formatting the drive will create a new file system and the data present in the drive will be erased. Therefore it is important to recover data in the drive before formatting.

Download and install the Remo recover software and perform the below steps.

  • Launch the application, and in the main screen select Recover Partition at the top right corner
  • Next, select the drive that has to be recovered and click on Scan
  • Once the scanning is complete, the recovered will be shown in File type view and Data View, select the appropriate tab and browse for the needed files
  • If the data required is not found in the list, click on Deep Scan
  • After finding the data, double- click on the recovered file to Preview
  • Next, click on Save and provide a storage location to save the recovered data

Note: Never save the recovered data on the same drive that has been recovered.

After recovering the data, perform the below-mentioned steps format the drive and fix the format hard disk error.

How to Fix Disk Format Error?


You need to format the disk in drive

  • Click on Start at the bottom left corner
  • Type Disk Management in the search field
  • Right-click on the hard drive that has to be formatted, select format from the pop-up list
  • Give a descriptive name for the drive in the Value label field.
  • Choose NTFS in the file system dropdown.

You need to format the disk in drive

  • Check the Perform a quick format option and click OK
  • After formatting restart the computer and check the drive for its functionality


When the storage drive is having an error, it is always better to fix the issue before formatting. Run the antivirus scan or perform the steps for chkdsk as mentioned in the above article. In case of an external hard drive or USB, check the drive by connecting it to a different computer, if the drive works on another device, time spent on fixing the device can be avoided.

In case if you have a formatted hard drive use data recovery software to retrieve data from the computer. When it comes to recovering data from a corrupted storage drive, use Remo Recover to quickly recover the data in the drive.


How to Fix Format Disk Error? was last modified: November 10th, 2020 by Molly Owen

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