You have a problem if you receive a message, You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it on your Windows 11/10 PC, while using the external hard drive, USB, Memory or SD Card, as you may have important data on that disk – but Windows 10/8/7 will not let you use the disk and access the data, till you format it.
In the dialog box, you will see two options. Format disk and Cancel. If the data is not important and you can afford to do without it, selecting Format disk would be the easiest and best option. If not, then let us see what you can do.
You need to format the disk in drive before you can use it
The reason this happens is that the drive may be faulty. This could also happen if you remove the external drive without using the Safely Remove Hardware option. You may think that using recovery software can help you, but it will not as the partition itself has become inaccessible, and your computer will not recognize the drive – unless you format it.
You could restart your computer and try using a different USB Port and see if it work. Else using a partition recovery software like TestDisk can help. These tools help recover lost partitions and make non-booting disks, bootable again.
Keep a new blank GPT-formatted hard disk ready and then use Testdisk to copy your data to the new disk. After you have done this, you may format the old drive using GPT instead of MBR, and then copy your data back.
Once you have recovered your partition using partition recovery software, you might not even need data recovery software, as you might be able to boot and access your files. But if you do feel the need, here is a list of some free data recovery software to help you recover files.
If you have any other ideas on how to deal with this problem, please do share in the comments section below.
See this post if you receive The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.