Windows Legacy OS forum


How can I remove drive-protection from thumb-drive?

by b2009m / May 3, 2011 4:49 AM PDT

Hi there. This isn't specifically Windows 7, but I hope I have more
possibilities with Windows 7. My thumb drive, which I hate to have to
throw away, has become write-protected. It's a 16 GB thumb drive, so
nothing to toss easily. It has no physical switch on it. I read about
all sorts of solutions, like low-level format or registry editing.
Nothing helps. I always come back to square one: Can't format because of
write-protection. Registry doesn't do a thing. I also found out that
there is a virus on it. Maybe it caused the problem. However, the virus
program can't remove it, because of the write-protection or because it
is a 'non-local disk'. Vicious circles...
Does anyone have a fool-proof solution? I'd love to hear it.
Thanks in advance.

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Clarification Request
Have you tried
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 3, 2011 5:09 AM PDT

the "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the Notification Area, (by the clock)? In Windows 7 it will show in the "Show hidden icons" arrow when you mouse over it.

If you use that, then when Windows tells you it is safe to remove the thumb drive, do that, then reboot the computer, and when Windows is loaded, connect the drive up again.

If it has malware then you need to sort that out, and I would suggest trying either one of the free versions of Malwarebytes Anti-malware and SUPERAntiSpyware.

You may need to run those, and your anti-virus, in Safe Mode.


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How can I remove drive-protection from thumb drive?
by b2009m / May 3, 2011 11:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Have you tried

Thanks for trying. Malwarebytes does not address the thumbdrive. It just works with the main C: drive.

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Malwarebytes Works With Flash Drives Here..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / May 5, 2011 4:42 AM PDT

Perform the "Full Scan" and after pressing the "Scan" button, you'll see a list of drives for selection.. Include the drive associated to the flash drive and if you'd like UNCHECK the box next to the C: drive. The scan would then only proceed on the drive associated with the flash drive.

Hope this helps.


All Answers

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Which Brand Thumb Drive? And Have You Tried Autorun Eater?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / May 3, 2011 8:03 AM PDT

First,download Autorun Eater from the link below and run it while the flash drive is installed.. Once that's
done,you should be able to install, update, then run Malwarebytes, or the manufacturer's format tool, etc.
to clean out the rest of the junk.

The thumbdrive manufacturer may have a format tool which allows you to format the drive entirely.. For example, SanDisc has the tool below which removes all U3 and security tools from the drive. Other manufacturers have similar stuff as well.

Hope this helps.


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How to remove Drive protection from thumb drive.
by b2009m / May 3, 2011 11:32 AM PDT

Thank you, too, for trying. The manufacturer, HP, does have a formatting tool. However, even with that, it detects the write-protection and doesn't accomplish anything. Concerning autorun eater, that is not the problem: I am able to read the drive and all the files. I just can't add to it because of the write-protection.

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And What Happens Where You Delete All Files
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / May 4, 2011 1:54 AM PDT

The AutoRun Eater tools allows you to remove the virus where it may not be removable any other way.. And once that's done, can you copy all the files to a folder on your desktop, then delete all files from the thumbdrive? If so, try formatting at that time.

If you can't format it after all the steps previously mentioned, then I'll suggest the drive is toast. They all wear out eventually. Some sooner than others.

Hope this helps.


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Usually means the drive has been ...
by Edward ODaniel / May 3, 2011 12:27 PM PDT

written to as many times as it can take.

If there is no such switch, you can check under "Properties" when the drive is open; if you do not have write access, you may be able to grant it under the security tab. Finally, some drives mount as if they were a CD-ROM drive. These are usually non-writable permanently, having a software protection in the controller. They can only be unlocked by the manufacturer, and you have to have a great reason for doing so (so far, only Cruzer U3 drives have this feature).

You might get lucky with the following process if changing permissions didn't help:

Add an entry to the registry to force the system to recognize the USB drive is not write-protected. This worked on Win XP SP3.

Under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > System > CurrentControlSet > Control

Click Control folder to select it, then click the Edit pulldown, New and Key.
A new Key folder will be added to the bottom of the folders list in Control folder.

Right click that new folder and rename it StorageDevicePolicies.

Now, select that StorageDevicePolicies folder, click Edit pulldown again and
click New and DWORD value. This will enter New Value into the right column
that will be highlighted. Change the words New Value to WriteProtect

Make sure the Data value is set to 0 (zero) and not to a 1. You can change the
value by right clicking on WriteProtect and select Modify.

Close the Registry Editor and reboot your machine to make the change take effect.

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How to remove write-protection from thumb drive
by b2009m / May 3, 2011 2:14 PM PDT

Thank you for your answer. But if you read my first message, it will say that I tried that already. I worked with the registry, even in different PCs. No luck.

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you need to remove write protection from the drive
by adibaby / May 4, 2011 6:46 AM PDT
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Sorry, but I did read your post and ....
by Edward ODaniel / May 5, 2011 2:40 AM PDT

although you mentioned the registry ou didn't indicate WHAT you had actually tried.

Did you try changing permissions on the drive's security tab as I indicated?

This pen drive formatting utility might do the trick for you:

You might also try:
1. Goto Start > Run, type cmd and press enter, this will open command prompt.

2. Type the following command on the command prompt replacing X with the drive letter of your pen drive -- CHKDSK X: /F

Another to try -

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