You are here

USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

For anything relating to music-making on Windows computers, with lots of FAQs. Moderated by Martin Walker.

Moderator: Moderators

USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Oliver21 » Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:53 pm

I have just bought two 264gb USB flash drives to back up my c drive. Ive been through a few stand alone hard drives but none of them have been compatible with XP.

I have been using a Sandisk Cruzer blade which works fine but the 128gb only seems to store about 114gb and I can't find larger storage ones of that type. So I bought the two 264gb drives to take over the back up duties.

When I put them into my PC it says they need formatting. ExFAT is the only system available and when I try to format them I get an error message stating it was not possible.

I have managed to format them on my laptop (running Windows 10) using NTFS but XP really doesn't seem to like that and says the files I'm trying to copy are corrupted...

The two 264gb drives are showing as no space available.

Any advice would be gratefully received.
User avatar
Oliver21
Regular
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Petersfield, Hants, UK
http://www.oliversheen.com

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby James Perrett » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:18 pm

All the drives that I've bought have come already formatted. Most of the 256GB ones seem to be FAT32 while others are ex-FAT. I found it useful to install the ex-FAT driver for XP - it doesn't include one as standard.
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10132
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:57 pm

I've also had to use a standalone formatter to cure some USB-drive format issues.

But also... what make are these drives? Where did you purchase them? It's not unknown for unscrupulous traders to sell drives as high-capacity and be able to kid the purchaser that it is a high capacity drive. All is good until you try and do anything with the drive apart from look at its supposed capacity.

But I'm being Mr Gloomy... let's hope it's just a formatting issue.
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7871
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:03 am

264GB? That seems an odd size. I've seen 256GB USB drives, but I don't recall seeing 264GB before.
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 29562
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Oliver21 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:51 pm

Sorry Hugh you're right it is a 256gb. It is showing up under properties as a functioning mass storage device but its say that the device is full no free space and the file system is unknown.

I bought these from Amazon but they had very good reviews with very few negative reviews

Can anyone recommend a external drive that will work with XP? Am looking for about 500-1000gb They seem to be as rare as hens teeth.
User avatar
Oliver21
Regular
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Petersfield, Hants, UK
http://www.oliversheen.com

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby James Perrett » Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:59 pm

Now that I have the exFAT driver installed I've not had any problems with accessing discs under XP.

For external hard drives take a look at the WD Elements range. I use a 500GB drive here which I bought to work with an A&H Qu mixer but it also works fine with XP and Windows 10. I've also had success with the My Memory 256GB drives at

https://www.mymemory.co.uk/mymemory-256 ... 0mb-s.html
User avatar
James Perrett
Moderator
Posts: 10132
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:00 am
Location: The wilds of Hampshire
JRP Music - Audio Mastering and Restoration. JRP Music Facebook Page

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Oliver21 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:49 am

Hiya James Thanks for the reply I looked for the exFAT driver and installed something that said it was it but it hasn't made a difference to these flash drives.

Where do you download it from? Cheers


O
User avatar
Oliver21
Regular
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Petersfield, Hants, UK
http://www.oliversheen.com

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Mike Stranks » Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:39 am

I think this: http://www.tucows.com/preview/1604712/USB-Flash-Drive-Format-Tool is what I used.

But there are loads of standalone formatters out there... this one: https://www.authorsoft.com/usb-disk-storage-format-tool.html seems a bit more heavy-duty...

Of course, you use these or anything else at your own risk and responsibility... :)
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7871
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Oliver21 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:03 pm

Hi Mike

Of course. I tried the first one you recommended and it said "Your version of Windows does not match the one you are trying to install"

I'll try the other one...
User avatar
Oliver21
Regular
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Petersfield, Hants, UK
http://www.oliversheen.com

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Oliver21 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:12 pm

Hmm

I tried the second one (the authorsoft.com one) and got the following messages:

USB Disk Storgae Format Tool
EOle Exception
The service cannot be started, either because it is disabled or because it has no enabled devices associated with it

...then after pressing ok on that one I got:

USB Storage Format Tool
X (a white 'x' in a red circle) Access violation at address 0047E267 in module 'USBFormat Tool.exe'. Read of address 00000000
User avatar
Oliver21
Regular
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Petersfield, Hants, UK
http://www.oliversheen.com

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Oliver21 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:15 pm

Just as an aside, when I go to my computer there are showing under 'Devices with removable storage' as well as the expected CD Drive (D:) a further 5 drives lettered E: G: H: I: and J: all of which say when clicked on 'please insert a disk'

I have no external drives connected to my PC.
User avatar
Oliver21
Regular
Posts: 79
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Petersfield, Hants, UK
http://www.oliversheen.com

Re: USB Flashdrive won't format on XP

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:27 pm

Do you have a multi-card reader built-in or attached, or maybe a printer or something connected with a multi-card reader built in?
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 29562
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound