Formatting seems like the most effective way to fix a USB flash drive that can't be detected or accessed with various errors. And when you fail to format a USB flash drive in Windows' File Explorer or Disk Management, you have to turn to a dedicated USB formatter. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is a tool that is designed to format USB drive to FAT, FAT32, and NTFS.
Developed by HP in 2014, the tool is recommened by SanDisk to format SanDisk USB drive, while it can also be used to format Kingston, Apacer, Patriot and many other flash drive. The HP format tool works with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, although some users with computers on newer versions of Windows found the tool caused their computer to crash.
HP USB Format - Features
Format USB flash drive to FAT, FAT32, and NTFS, but not exFAT.
Provide quick format.
Create a volume label for the USB drive.
Can be used to create a DOS bootable USB drive.
Format HHD or SSD drive and other storage devices.
The HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool (opens new window) 2.2.3 is available to download.
The HP USB format utility is for Windows PC only, to format USB drive on a Mac, learn how to format USB drive on Mac (opens new window).
# HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool - How It Works
Step 1: Save Data from USB Drive Before Starting HP Format Tool
Since formatting a USB drive with HP usb disk format tool will erase all data on the drive, you may want to back up everything on the USB drive before formatting.
FonePaw Data Recovery (opens new window) can save data from USB flash drive even the USB drive is corrupted and inaccessible. It can recover files, photos, videos, etc. from broken USB drive so that you can fix the drive without losing your precious files.
Download FonePaw USB Data Recovery tool.
Run the tool.
On the homepage, select data and select your USB drive. (It can detect the drive even if the computer can't).
Click Scan and the tool will try to find everything from the corrupted USB drive.
Click Recover to save the USB drive data back to your computer.
Step 2: Format USB Drive with HP Format Utility
Download HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool package and run the tool as administrator. The application requires no installation process.
The HP USB disk tool looks like Windows' built-in utility and has a very simple interface.
Connect the USB flash drive that needs to be formatted to your computer. Select the drive in Device column.
Select the file system(FAT, FAT32, NTFS) that you want to format the USB drive to. Which file system should you choose when formatting USB drive? Learn about the pros and cons of FAT, FAT32, NTFS.
Select Format options. You can tick Quick Format, which takes only several minutes or even a few second to complete the USB drive formatting.
Also, there is the Enable Compression option, but normally you should not enable compression since it will compress all files on your USB drive, which slow down the write and read speed of the drive as the files needs to be compressed and decompressed all the time.
After you have selected the file system and formatting option, click Start.
The HP USB tool will warn you that the process will delete all data on the USB drive, click Yes to proceed.
When the USB drive is formatted, you should see a result window as follow.
Should you choose quick format on HP format tool?
To make the best choice, you need to understand the difference between Quick Format and Full Format.
By running a quick format on your USB drive, the HP USB format tool will only delete all data on the drive, but the data is recoverable with tools like FonePaw Data Recovery (opens new window) after the formatting.
On the other hand, if you untick Quick Format, you are performing a full format on the flash drive, which will delete all data on the drive and overwrite the storage space with zero. This makes it more difficult to recover files (opens new window) from the formatted USB drive. Moreover, a full format will scan the whole volume for bad sectors, which could take hours depending on the storage size.
To conclude, if you would like to recover files after formatting the drive, tick quick format and see if your USB drive is fixed after formatting; if you would like to remove everything on the drive to get rid of virus and fix problems on the drive, you should not select Quick Format on the HP USB format tool.