Ultimate Guide to Formatting USB Drives: Master CMD Commands and Recover Data

This article offers a detailed guide on formatting USB drives using CMD commands, highlighting alternative methods for different needs. It introduces MyRecover for comprehensive data recovery.


By Lori / Updated on February 5, 2024

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​​​​​​Ever encountered a USB drive that stubbornly refuses to cooperate, hoarding files like a dragon with its treasure? Or perhaps you're gearing up for a fresh project and crave a clean slate for your trusty flash drive. Fear not, for the Command Prompt (CMD) in Windows is your secret weapon in these ventures.


Beyond mere formatting, this guide unveils the magic of CMD for USB drive optimization and introduces the lifesaver that is MyRecover for when data seems lost to the void. Embark on this journey to become a CMD formatting maestro and a data recovery expert rolled into one.

How to Format USB Using CMD

Formatting your USB drive through CMD (Command Prompt) is a straightforward process that provides more flexibility compared to graphical interface methods. Before you embark on this journey, ensure all valuable data on the USB drive is backed up. Data loss is a common pitfall during formatting, and it's always better to be safe than sorry.

Overview of CMD Formatting

CMD formatting allows for a deeper level of interaction with your system's hardware. It can be particularly useful for fixing disk errors, removing viruses, or preparing the drive for a new file system.

Preparation Steps

Backup Your Data: The golden rule before any format is to backup your data. Use cloud services or an external hard drive to safeguard your files.

Open CMD as Administrator: Accessing CMD with administrative rights is crucial for executing format commands effectively.

Step-by-Step Guide

Connect the USB drive to your computer.

Launch CMD as an administrator by searching for it in the Start menu, right-clicking, and selecting "Run as administrator."

Enter diskpart to start the disk partitioning software.

Type list disk to display all storage devices connected to your computer. Identify your USB drive by its size.

Select your drive with select disk X (replace X with your drive number).

Clean the drive by typing clean.

Create a new primary partition with create partition primary.

Format the drive to NTFS or FAT32 with format fs=ntfs or format fs=fat32 respectively. For a quick format, add quick at the end.

Assign a drive letter with assign.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Permission Issues: Ensure you're running CMD as an administrator.

Drive Not Recognized: Double-check the connection and try different USB ports. If the issue persists, the drive might be physically damaged.


Introducing MyRecover for Data Recovery

After formatting a USB drive, whether through CMD or any other method, the potential need for data recovery is a reality many users face. Accidental deletion, formatting without a recent backup, or simply the desire to retrieve previously discarded files are common scenarios. Enter MyRecover, a cutting-edge tool designed to address these very issues.

Features of MyRecover

MyRecover stands out in the data recovery market for several reasons:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Navigating data recovery software can often be as daunting as the data loss itself. MyRecover counters this with an intuitive interface, making it accessible even for those less tech-savvy.
  • Deep Scan Capabilities: One of MyRecover's most powerful features is its deep scan functionality. This allows the software to dive deep into the storage structure of the USB drive, finding and reconstructing files that other tools might overlook.
  • Wide Range of Data Types: From documents and photos to videos and system files, MyRecover supports a vast array of data types, ensuring high recovery rates across different file formats.
  • Preview Before Recovery: This feature allows users to preview files before proceeding with the recovery. It's particularly useful for ensuring the recovery of correct files and assessing their integrity.

Recovery Steps with MyRecover

  1. Installation: Begin by downloading and installing MyRecover on your computer. Ensure you're downloading it from the official website to avoid any counterfeit software.
  2. Select Your USB Drive: Launch MyRecover and select the USB drive you've formatted. MyRecover will prompt you to choose the drive from a list of connected devices.
  3. Scan the Drive: Initiate the scanning process. MyRecover will perform an initial quick scan followed by a deep scan. The deep scan is more thorough but takes longer.
  4. Preview and Recover: Once the scan is complete, browse through the recoverable files. Use the preview feature to check the files' contents. Select the files you wish to recover and choose a safe location on your computer to store them.

Bonus Tip: Clean and Format USB Using CMD

The clean command in CMD not only prepares your USB for formatting but also removes any configuration or formatting information, essentially resetting your USB drive. This step is particularly useful if your USB drive is not functioning correctly or if you want to ensure it's completely free of any viruses.

Fix Existing Errors While Formatting USB from Command Prompt

Sometimes, you might encounter errors during the formatting process. Common issues include the USB drive being write-protected or CMD not recognizing the USB drive.

Solving Write-Protection:

  • Check for a physical switch on your USB drive that enables write protection and make sure it's turned off.
  • Use the attributes disk clear readonly command in diskpart to remove write protection.

CMD Not Recognizing USB:

  • Ensure your USB is properly connected to the computer.
  • Try using a different USB port.
  • Restart your computer and try again.


Continuing with the article, you would further elaborate on each section, ensuring a thorough exploration of each topic while maintaining a conversational and engaging tone throughout. Remember, the goal is to inform and engage your readers, providing them with valuable insights and actionable steps they can take to format their USB drives using CMD and recover their data using MyRecover.


Can formatting a USB drive cause permanent data loss?

While formatting a USB drive does remove accessible data, it doesn't always mean permanent loss. With tools like MyRecover, it's possible to recover data post-format, especially if the drive hasn't been extensively used after formatting.

How often should I format my USB drive for optimal performance?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but as a general guideline, formatting every few months can help maintain your USB drive's health and performance, especially if you frequently add and delete files.

Are there any risks associated with formatting a USB drive using CMD?

The primary risk is data loss, particularly if the wrong drive is selected during the format process. Always double-check the drive letter and backup important data before proceeding.

Can MyRecover retrieve data from a USB drive formatted to a different file system?

Yes, MyRecover is capable of recovering data from drives regardless of the file system change. Whether you've switched from FAT32 to NTFS or vice versa, MyRecover can scan and recover lost files.

What should I do if CMD cannot recognize my USB drive during the formatting process?

First, ensure your USB drive is properly connected and try different USB ports. If CMD still doesn't recognize it, the drive may have hardware issues. In such cases, disk management tools or third-party software might help recognize the drive, or it may require professional assessment.


Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.