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Here is everything you need to get rid of “You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it” error

USB error - You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it

When the error message “You need to format the disk in drive X: before you can use it” appears when you want to open a drive, it simply means that the drive is corrupt or a file system-related issue.

This error usually occurs when trying to access external drives, and this is because external devices are used with different systems, and thus, they pose higher chances of getting infected with malware.

In this article you will find out:

  • how to fix this “You need to format the disk in drive..." error
  • how to protect your data

Are you ready? Let's read!

How to fix formatting-requesting error

Here are few methods that can be helpful and any of them can be your solution.

Method 1: Connect to a different USB port

The first troubleshoot you should try out is to connect the external device to another USB port on the computer. Sometimes, not all the USB ports in a computer may be working properly.

Method 2: Connect to another Windows PC

When you connect the drive via another USB port and the error persists, try connecting the drive to another Windows computer.

Method 3: Update Drivers

Another possible cause of this error is outdated drivers. When most of your drivers are outdated, it could cause the system to misread certain devices/drive you may connect to the computer.

  • Open Device Manager by right-clicking on the Start icon, and then choose the option from the context menu.
  • Find the disk driver, right-click on it and select Uninstall or Update.
  • Depending on your selection, follow the prompts to complete the process.

Method 4: Run CHKDSK

CHKDSK is a great Windows built-in tool but before you run it - make sure you don't need to restore any deleted files. For much more information you can read CHKDSK safely use guide.

  • Right-click on the Start/Windows icon and click on Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin).
  • When the command-line terminal launches, enter the following command and hit the Enter key afterward: n chkdsk X: /r /f

Note: replace X with the drive letter of the affected drive volume

Method 5: Use the “Scan Drive” option

As an alternative way to use CHKDSK you can try these steps:

  • Launch File Explorer and right-click on the problematic drive.
  • Go to “Properties” and navigate to the “Tools” tab.
  • Now click the “Check” button, and then “Scan Drive”.

Important Notice: If you receive a prompt to format the disk, don't accept it, instead, click "Cancel". Formatting the disk would erase everything that's saved inside.

How to get back your inaccessible data

If none of these methods worked to fix the error, and you need to access some files in the drive, DiskInternals Partition Recovery can help you with that. DiskInternals Partition Recovery is a professional tool that allows you to recover corrupted files and partitions. It runs on all Windows versions and supports virtually all file systems.

The software supports three data recovery modes, as well as supports different external and internal drives. It can recover data that was lost due to accidental deletion, malware attack, OS/HDD crash, etc. Thanks to the built-in Recovery Wizard, anyone can recover their lost data using this software tool.

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