"Write protected" USB thumb stick?

Before you ask, I did check the USB stick, and there is no physical switch that sets the stick in read-only mode.

With that being said, here goes: I have a USB stick that is in read-only mode, according to windows. I can see all files, I can copy them, but I can't write to it, delete from it, format it, repartition it, ...

This happened after I plugged in the stick into an Apple computer. Since then, I have not been able to make any modifications to the stick. I'm not blaming Mac, I am just writing down an observation.

The stick currently is using FAT for a file system. This is the outcome of a chkdks:

C:\Users\me>chkdsk e:
The type of the file system is FAT.
Volume Serial Number is 8028-7EDE
Windows is verifying files and folders...
File and folder verification is complete.
Windows found errors on the disk, but will not fix them
because disk checking was run without the /F (fix) parameter.
Convert lost chains to files (Y/N)? n
32768 bytes of free disk space would be added.
Windows found problems with the file system.
Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.

2,058,059,776 bytes total disk space.
1,605,632 bytes in 18 hidden files.
753,664 bytes in 23 folders.
2,049,277,952 bytes in 567 files.
6,389,760 bytes available on disk.

32,768 bytes in each allocation unit.
62,807 total allocation units on disk.
195 allocation units available on disk.

What boggles me is that this is not simply on a file-level, but on the device itself! I cannot format, repartion, anything...

Any suggestions on how I can wipe this whole thing and restart using it? I'm not worried about the data, because as I said, I have been able to copy everything off the stick to my harddisk.

What I have tried already:
- disk management in windows: I cannot delete the partition (windows reports access denied)
- chkdsk /f: checkdisk cannot fix any errors because it reports "write protected"
- gparted: I forgot the exact error, but when I delete the partition, and hit 'apply' it doesn't remove the partition
- registry: I forgot the exact key, but there is a key where you can set all USB to be write protected. Mine isn't set up this way, because I can write to other USB devices.
- repair tool from apacer: http://www.apacer.com/en/support/downloads/Repair_v2.9.1.1.zip. I tried this and it said "USB stick not found"
- HP repair tool (also called Drivekey): I tried formatting both with the cmd tool and the windows tool, and both reported that the stick is write protected.
- tried the stick on different computers, with different windows OS (I tried XP, vista, windows 7): they all report write protected
- tried other keys on those computers: all other keys work fine, which proves that it is not the computer, but the stick

I'm at a loss. I don't care about the data on the stick, because I have been able to copy that. I don't really care about the stick to be honest, but from a geeky-tech perspective, this is puzzling me right now.

Thanks for any other suggestions you may have!
3 answers Last reply
More about write protected thumb stick
  1. Your registry may be set to disable writing to external devices, see: http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-disable-write-access-to-usb-hard-disk-and-flash-key-drives/
  2. sminlal said:
    Your registry may be set to disable writing to external devices, see: http://www.mydigitallife.info/how-to-disable-write-access-to-usb-hard-disk-and-flash-key-drives/

    I have done that, and it doesn't fix the problem. I have tried other keys on the same computer, and I can write to those, so the registry key is definitely not an issue here. Thanks for the suggestion.
  3. Answer:

    Remove USB Memory Stick Write Protected:
    How to remove a write protection from your USB memory Stick
    1. Shutdown your computer or laptop
    2. Insert USB Memory Stick into your laptop or Computer
    3. Turn on laptop and then immediately start pressing (F8) key then Advanced Boot Options screen will come up
    4. Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    5. After loading files if your USB Memory Stick drive letter is (G) for example then write as
    6. C:\windows\system32>G: and press enter
    7. G:\>format G: and press enter
    8. If ask you (Y/N) then press (Y) and press enter
    9. Now a full format will start which remove write protection from USB Memory Stick.
    Before removing USB from your computer, Always remove it safely by going into to my computer then right click on USB and click eject.

    Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_do_y [...] z1SxLKgIwh
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