How to Format a Compact Flash Card

By Tyson Simmons

Compact flash cards have a severe tendency of becoming corrupted. So, it is very important to be able to format them on occasion. This will ultimately erase all the data on them, but will make them usable once again.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows 2000+
  • Compact flash card reader
  • Compact flash card

Step 1

Insert the compact flash card into your card reader. Make sure to face it the correct way to prevent breaking pins and reading strips.

Step 2

Connect the card reader to your computer via one of its USB ports. Allow the card a few seconds to connect before continuing.

Step 3

On the pop-up window on the screen select the option 'Explore Files'.

Step 4

Navigate up one folder until you can see the drive you just inserted. It should something like drive "H:".

Step 5

Right-click on the drive and click on the "Format" option.

Step 6

Make all the settings are at the default level.

Step 7

Make sure that the format is set to the "FAT32" file system. This is the file system that compact flash cards require to be navigable by computers.

Step 8

Click on "Format" at the bottom of the window. Allow the process several minutes to complete.