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How to Fix External Hard Drive Not Formatted Error? Resolved

Published By Deepa Pandey
Ashwani Tiwari
Approved By Ashwani Tiwari
Published On February 27th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Minutes Reading
Category Data Recovery

Nowadays, users widely use a Seagate hard drive on the computer as an extended storage device. This is an external storage device due to its portability. It stores data items and is easy to plug and unplug either on a PC or laptop. It offers up to 5 TB of extra space to save the most crucial data, multimedia files, etc. In addition, most of the latest external hard drives offer quite a fast transfer speed, which makes them more attractive and desirable. Despite this, there are some circumstances where users may encounter a certain error, i.e., a Western digital external hard drive not formatted error, while plugging the hard disk externally into some other computer.

For instance, certain error messages mean that the device is not properly formatted. Such situations can make users clueless. A user’s data is really important and has been stored in an external storage device that can be attached externally or internally. Considering various such situations, this blog describes the reason for the drive-not-formatted error and the method to unable to format external hard drive.

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External Hard Disk Not Formatted Error: User’s Queries

Let us have a glance at the various subsequent user scenarios taken from different tech forums, which will help to understand the situation in a much better way.

“Recently, I came across a problem while accessing my 500 GB Western Digital hard drive. Every time I turn it on, Windows prompts a message that shows an external hard disk cannot format and asks whether I need to format the same. It is really frustrating now, as I am not able to access my important files. Is there any solution to fix the Seagate external hard drive unable to format?”

“I have a 2 TB Seagate external hard drive, which recently failed and it shows that no file is stored on the hard disk. However, I want to transfer all my crucial data to another 4 TB external HDD. I purchased a 3.0 USB IDE and SATA adaptor, which is attached to my computer. But, when I clicked on the external HDD, I got a reset unable to format external hard drive error. Do you want to format it now?” I have tried various approaches but was in vain. how to repair an external hard disk not detected error without losing data, please help!”

“My 32 GB of memory card is engaged with the data items and cannot store any further data into it. While transferring the memory card data to an external hard drive via PC, the PC refused to access the data and displayed a message. The hard drive is not formatted, format it now?” Could I be able to fix my external hard drive says it needs to be formatted. It says it needs to be formatted. Can anyone please suggest me any trusted solution to resolve the hard drive disk not formatted error?”

Read More: How to Recover Lost HFS+ Partition?

Factors Causing External Hard Drive Not Formatted Error

  • If the external hard drive is attacked by malicious viruses or malware,
  • Sudden power failure while copying files to the Seagate external hard drive
  • Improper removal of the external hard drive instead of safe removal
Note: In all the above situations, the window will prompt a hard disk format error and ask you to format it now. But, once you format the hard drive,. Everything will be erased, so don’t format without securing complete data. If you formatted it mistakenly, then you can recover data after formatting hard drive.

Techniques to Resolve Unable to Format External Hard Drive Error

The hard disk is showing abnormal behavior. Always asking to format, and showing a hard disk not formatted error in Windows. The only possible solution listed here is to simply perform the following steps:

internal hard drive not formatted error

Solution 1: Fix Hard Disk Not Formatted Error in Windows

Whenever a formatted error occurs on an external hard disk, you should either try to plug it into a different USB port or plug it into another computer. For this,

  • Initially, connect the Seagate external hard drive to another computer
  • Then, right-click on the Computer >> This PC
  • Now, check whether the external hard drive shows up or not
  • If you can read the data, then try to open it and fetch all the data items.

Solution 2: Resolve Western digital External Hard Drive Not Formatted Error

If the above-discussed method fails to solve the disk-not-formatted error, try using this method.

  • Firstly, Plug-in the external hard drive into the system
  • After that, go to the start option and type cmd in the search bar
  • Now, right-click on cmd and select Run as administrator option
  • Then, a new command window will open. Type the command CHKDSK [driveletter] /r
Note: “/r” is the command for repairing the issue. For example, If the memory card display as C: Drive, then enter the command as “CHKDSK C: /r”
  • After completion of the process, move further and select Yes
  • Then, CHKDSK will give you information that the process has been completed successfully
  • Finally, go back to My Computer & access the data stored on the external hard drive.

Note: The method is applicable for all brand hard drives like Seagate, Western Digital (WD), Toshiba, Samsung, etc. If both methods fail to fix my external hard drive says it needs to be formatted, it says it needs to be formatted. Then you have to format the hard disk. So, secure all files and folders before fixing the hard disk not formatted error.

Solution 3: Reset External Hard Disk Not Formatted Error Using Software

The above-discussed manual approaches can solve the issue when the can’t format external hard drive. When this error occurs, one should initially run the check disk option. But, during the formatting of the disk, there are chances of data losses that can be repaired by external hard disks not detected by using the Hard Drive Data Recovery Software.

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It provides a solution to recover deleted data that are permanently lost or corrupted. Along with that, it supports raw data recovery from both internal and external hard drives. It also provides fast data recovery from IDE and SATA devices. It also allows us to get back deleted data of different file types, such as documents, images, video, and audio files. To recover your data without losing any piece of information, download the free demo version of the utility to check its working efficiency. After that, follow the below-mentioned steps.

Read More Related Blog: How to Fix My Computer Restarted and Deleted Everything?

Steps to Seagate External Hard Drive Unable to Format

  • Install and launch the tool on your Windows PC.
  • After that, select the formatted scan option instead of the scan option.

seagate external hard drive unable to format

  • Now preview recovered data in the software panel.

External Hard Drive Not Formatted Error

  • Finally, save deleted data on your PC at the desired location.

western digital external hard drive not formatted


By reading this blog, one can simply fix the Western digital external hard drive not formatted error by using the manual approach. In other words, the manual solution makes it quite easy to resolve the issue. But, it has some consequences, like data loss while formatting the hard disk. Hence, it is advised to first secure all stored files and folders by using the best data recovery software. After that, format the hard disk. Also, how do i fix my fix external hard disk not recognized error easily?