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Removing write-protection from a flash drive.

by mikelane84 / October 11, 2010 6:15 PM PDT

I have a problem. I was error-checking my USB flash drive when my computer froze and had to be hard-rebooted. This locked said flash drive into write-protected mode. Everything is still accessable, with the exception of the files it was checking when the computer froze (which I don't care about).

Being that the drive itself is write-protected, I can read and copy off of the drive, but can not change anything or add anything. I can not remove the write-protection. I can not reformat or even disk check it again. Relabeling the drive does not help, nor does trying to change file attributes through command prompt. There is not a switch on the side.

I am using a Corsair Survivor 32GB flash drive. I have tried fixing it on Windows XP and 7.

The drive itself is write-protected, not just the files. All efforts to bypass and/or remove it have failed. I'm content with formatting it and starting over, but it won't let me. Below is what I have tried after the basics in Windows itself failed.

The type of the file system is FAT32.
Volume CORSAIR created 6/15/2010 3:46 PM
Volume Serial Number is D0CF-6530
Windows is verifying files and folders...
Windows found errors on the disk, but will not fix them
because disk checking was run without the /F (fix) parameter.
Removing trailing folder entries from \Sanchez
File and folder verification is complete.
Windows found problems with the file system.
Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.
31,310,864 KB total disk space.
117,312 KB in 25 hidden files.
4,128 KB in 255 folders.
17,441,680 KB in 4,156 files.
13,747,728 KB are available.

16,384 bytes in each allocation unit.
1,956,929 total allocation units on disk.
859,233 allocation units available on disk.

The type of the file system is FAT32.
Cannot lock current drive.
Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected.

The type of the file system is FAT32.
Cannot lock current drive.Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected.

E:\>format/x e:
Insert new disk for drive E:
and press ENTER when ready...
The type of the file system is FAT32.
Verifying 30591M
Cannot format. This volume is write protected.

E:\>label e: R
Cannot change label. This volume is write protected.

I don't have a "transcript," but using the command string "attrib/d /s "e:[anything I used]" -r" and any other variations failed as well. It basically said that it wasn't interested in working with a write-protected directory.


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I don't think the drive is write-protected.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 11, 2010 6:54 PM PDT

Just that partition that was being chkdskd. So go into your OS'es Disk Management, delete the partition from the stick and create a new empty one. Does that work?


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More from Command Prompt
by mikelane84 / October 11, 2010 8:57 PM PDT

E:\>attrib/d /s -r
results in pop-up window:
"The disk cannot be written to because it is write protected. Please remove the write protection from the volume CORSAIR in drive E:"

Kees_B, thank you. I will go try it and see what happens.

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Nope. Not it.
by mikelane84 / October 11, 2010 9:16 PM PDT

I went into the disk management console. The drive is only one partition, so deleting one isn't an option. Neither is adding one, that I saw. I tried formatting it again (for kicks) and was told "The operation did not complete because the media is write-protected." I have also tried disabling then re-enabling the device doesn't help.

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Little more
by mikelane84 / October 11, 2010 9:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Nope. Not it.

To clarify about the partition thing not being an option, right-clicking the drive in the disk management had the option for deleting a partition, but it was shaded dark and wasn't clickable. I wasn't just assuming that it wouldn't work based on the presence of only one partition.

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More power.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 12, 2010 1:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Little more

If this was mine I might boot up GPARTED and see if it can remove that USB partition and create a new one.

I might also try the HP USB FORMATTING UTILITY and format it with that.

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by mikelane84 / October 12, 2010 11:20 PM PDT
In reply to: More power.

I downloaded it, burned it to a disk, and attempted to boot with it. It skipped it and went straight to windows. I noticed a lot of files were labeled linux. Is this the wrong version?

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by Kees_B Forum moderator / October 12, 2010 11:37 PM PDT
In reply to: GPARTED

It's a Linux CD, so that's quite OK. Two questions:
- Did you burn it as an iso? Some burn it as data and then it doesn't work.
- Did you check that your BIOS is set to boot from the CD-drive? If not, it boots from the hard disk whatever CD you put in.

All of this is a lot of work to save a USB-stick. If no luck with GPARTED, it's best to throw it away, I think.


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I was wrong
by mikelane84 / October 13, 2010 6:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: GPARTED

I burned it wrong. I don't know that I have the option with my little burning program to do it correctly.

As far as the amount of work involved, I'm deployed in Afghanistan. I don't have anywhere to buy a new one, and I honestly don't have anything better to do with my free time anyway. I still have an external hard drive, but I like having backups for the backups.

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Tip: Look up IMGBURN
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 13, 2010 6:52 AM PDT
In reply to: I was wrong

It's a better tool for making a CD/DVD from the .ISO in my opinion.

But try the HP USB FORMATTING UTILITY first (see google)

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Did you burn it as an .ISO?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 13, 2010 1:31 AM PDT
In reply to: GPARTED

Some file put the .iso file on the CD and wonder why it won't boot. Tell me what you see on the CD. If you see the .ISO file, then you didn't create the CD properly.

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same drive, same problem
by specto23 / December 7, 2010 6:45 AM PST

I was wondering if you got any further yet. I have the same drive and the same problem, got stuck with the same error messages under XP, win7 and under cmd-prompt. I also tried an extra registry entry to set write protection to null. No success. I just sent a request to corsair and will see what comes of it.
Please post if you got any further towards a solution please.

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