Formatting a microSD card

Just a small question, as I have just about given up on this little quest.

I have a 32gb Samsung microSD card that I use with an adapter in my Nexus 7 (2013 edition). In order to use an external card with this tablet, I have root access in the Nexus 7, and I have a program called Stickmount which recognizes the card and allows me to use files on it. The one fly in the ointment is the fact that I have to use Fat32, which limits me to 4gb file sizes.

I have tried formatting to exfat, but Stickmount won’t work with it, even when I add the proper binaries to the root of the microsd card. Ok, shouldn’t be such a big loss, since Stickmount will recognize cards with NTFS.

The problem is that Windows will not format the card to NTFS. No way, no how. It does erase anything on the card, and turns it into a raw partition, but that is as far as it gets. I get an error message to the effect that Windows cannot complete the format.

Any clues on why?

As I said, not a big deal, since my preferred file system management tool in Android likes Fat32 only, and I’d prefer to keep it. I can always compress video files to fit within the 4gb size limitation, and that is the main thing I use the card for, but I am curious as to why the card will not format to NTFS.

So, hints to appease my idle curiosity are appreciated.

Haven’t ever tried it but after searches yielded that MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition can do it, personally I like to use the Partition Wizard Bootable CD if I use from that company.

The other search mentioned this, using a command line:

convert S: /FS:NTFS /X

Change “S” to the correct drive designation of the microSD.

I only found one reference to this method so keep that in mind.

I have no idea how either of these suggestions would work, perhaps try it on a microSD card you aren’t worried about or maybe others here have done it before and know a sure method.

I’ve given this a quick try in Windows 8.1 with a spare SD card I have at work, but it successfully formatted with nothing other than choosing ‘NTFS’ as the file system:

I know in the past (specifically Windows 2000 & XP), in order for me to format an SD card or USB stick as NTFS, I had to enable ‘Better Performance’ in the device properties:

On the other hand, I don’t recall it ever giving me an incomplete format. I remember that if I didn’t enable the ‘Better Performance’ option, it simply refused to format my card or USB stick as NTFS, i.e. the existing file system would be left intact.



I’ve tried the “Better Performance” route, with no success (Windows 8.1).

MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition is new to me, so I can attempt it with that program, but it is still an oddity that Windows itself refuses to complete the format.

Have you tried a chkdsk/r and/or diskpart clean all? I’m thinking that something is corrupted on the card. I take it that the result of the format was a raw data partition.

I know it’s odd you can format it as Fat32, but NTFS is a much more complex file system using a master file table to index to files and folders.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc766465(v=ws.10).aspx

You could also try formatting with diskpart after you zero the volume.

I’m testing formating a generic 32GB Micro SD with W7 on my laptop.
It wouldn’t do a “Quick Format” When I tried that I got the same error message as Kerry.
This erased the card & left it RAW.

So far I left it on “Better Performance”.
I also had to use Administrative tools/computer managenment/Disk management to start the format to NTFS. It’s going very slow. When it finishes I will post the results.
As a side note it gave me the error message on the first attempt but I just tried again .

I also think DISKPART from command might work as cpubound posted.
I might give that a try when returning this card to FAT32 . As in may be more compatable that way.

Chkdsk found nothing wrong. Diskpart /clean [all] refused to do anything.

convert H: /FS:NTFS /X gave me this:


MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition worked to format the microsd card to NTSF.

Now to see if it’ll work in my Nexus 7.

The HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is pretty good at formatting things that Windows can’t format, so you could try that if you’re using an USB adapter to format (I don’t think it works with builtin card-readers).

Yes, both of the media players I have installed on the Nexus 7 could access and play the video I put into the NTSF formatted card.

Thanks for the assist.

check this out:

^Thanks but I tried that one, and it didn’t give a choice of file systems. Automatically used Fat32.

The only one I didn’t try was the one Drage linked, but I had solved the issue before he posted.

I finished testing the conversion to NTFS of a 32GB generic MicroSD card.

DISKPART was able to finish a format . The problem was I typed in for it to convert to NTFS but it was RAW when finished. So it isn’t the tool for this.

I tried the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool gave about the same message as Windows format. " cannot complete the format ".

Same for “Disk Management” .

MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition suggested by Steve33
Tested by Kerry56 & now by me worked.

After I copy & pasted a movie I converted to a single .vob over 4GB to the MicroSD 32GB card . I plugged my USB card reader into the USB port on my TV . The movie plays fine . The only drawback is it doesn’t show a time stamp. I don’t know why because VLC player did on the computer.

I’m giving MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition two thumbs up for this.

Do you have some canned air? Try thoroughly cleaning out any dust from every nook and cranny of your card reader, both on your PC and on the tablet. I have found that many problems with SD cards are caused by dirty and dusty readers. They are much more sensitive to that than USB ports, and even those need regular cleaning. Keep a can of air or a blower handy at all times.

[QUOTE=cholla;2732612]I finished testing the conversion to NTFS of a 32GB generic MicroSD card.

DISKPART was able to finish a format . The problem was I typed in for it to convert to NTFS but it was RAW when finished. So it isn’t the tool for this.[/QUOTE]
Cholla, usually wnen the MBR and/or the boot sector are missing or corrupted is when the partition is considered to be in raw format. I wonder if doing a bootrec/fixmbr and bootrec/fixboot would then fix the partition or at least make it unallocated space so it could then be formatted. I do not have a sd card so I cannot try this myself.

An sd card also may have a protected area on the partition for copyright protection as I have read . Are you familiar with this? And could this be causing problems for windows when trying to format? I would assume that the protected area is overwritten when formatted using windows or a third party software. Are you now able to format the card with windows?

On the canned air . No I don’t keep it. I have an air compressor & it has an inline filter. I then transfer air to a portable air tank. Maybe this isn’t as pristine as canned air but it seem to be moisture & debris free. I’ve never had a problem with it.
To add to that my card reader is almost new. It is a USB unit. When not in use (which is most of the time) I keep it in a ziplocked plastic bag. I agree dirt can be a problem but I don’t think it is in this case.

@ cpubound , Windows or any other software except MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition was able to format the SD card. With the exception of DISKPART formatting to RAW.
I can turn it into unallocated space with MiniTool Partition Wizard so that is not a problem.
I think you are maybe correct about the protected area . It does have slightly less than 32GB reported but most storage does the same .

I will give the bootrec/fixmbr and bootrec/fixboot a try.
Would I run those from an Administrator Cmd window at the prompt for the SD card ?
I don’t see those commands in Diskpart.

[QUOTE=cholla;2732938]
@ cpubound , Windows or any other software except MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition was able to format the SD card. With the exception of DISKPART formatting to RAW.[/QUOTE]
I am wondering whether it is possible now to format with windows since whatever was causing the problem before may have been overwritten by the mini-tool. I am trying to understand why some users are able to format and some are not and whether it has anything to do with the protected area.

[QUOTE=cholla;2732938]
I think you are maybe correct about the protected area . It does have slightly less than 32GB reported but most storage does the same .[/QUOTE]
Here is the link I am referring to:

[QUOTE=cholla;2732938]
I will give the bootrec/fixmbr and bootrec/fixboot a try.
Would I run those from an Administrator Cmd window at the prompt for the SD card ?
I don’t see those commands in Diskpart.[/QUOTE]
The card would have to be bootable for tihis to work. This tutorial is for a flash drive, but should also apply to a sd card:

I think that bootrec is in the Recovery Console cmd .
It isn’t in any of my Windows OS’s . At least not where I looked for it.
The admin cmd didn’t find it. I didn’t do a Search for it.
I could boot into the Recovery Console with my CD Then if it recognized the USB card reader with the MicroSD HC card. I could try bootrec.
I also might be able to extract it from the CD.

I tried to use bootrec/fixmbr and bootrec/fixboot but I couldn’t figure out how to use it for a flash drive or card reader with a SD HC MicroMini card.
I didn’t find much googling for a “how to” either.
Any ideas or do you have an old flash drive you could try this on?
If not it’s OK this is a "back burner " project for me.