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How to remove write protection from a USB flash drive

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 9, 2013 5:05:48 AM

You should remove it as below:
1 Pull the USB flash drive out of your computer's USB port. Check the bottom end and sides of the drive to see if it has a write protection switch. Push the plastic switch into the "Unlock" position.
2 Insert the USB flash drive back into the USB port. Close the pop-up window that appears and navigate to the Start menu. Select "My Computer."
3 Locate the drive letter that corresponds to your USB flash drive in the "My Computer" window, such as "F:\" or "D:\." Double-click the drive letter. Attempt to use one of the files on the drive. Right-click one of the files if you still receive a write protection error and select "Properties."
4 Navigate to the "General" tab and remove the check mark from the box labeled "Read-Only." Click "Apply" and then attempt to use the file.
5 Return to the Start menu and click "Run." Type "Regedit" and press "Enter." Navigate to the registry folder "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies."
6 Check if there is an entry at the right side of the window labeled "Write Protect". If the entry is not there Right-click inside the window and choose "New D Word." Type "Write Protect" and press "Enter."
7 Double-click the "Write Protect" entry. Check that the value listed in the text box is "0." If it is not, delete the value and replace it with "0."
8 Close the registry editor and attempt to use any of the files on the USB drive. Return to the "My Computer" window if you continue to receive a write protection error message.
9 Right-click the drive letter for the USB flash drive and choose "Format." Click the drop-down menu named "File System" and select "Fat32."
10 Click "Start" to format the USB flash drive and remove the write-protection feature.
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May 5, 2013 5:14:44 AM

Hi, thanks for guide. I have the same problem with write protection error msg. Started yesterday out of the blue, had been using the stick all day and was fine, suddeny it started coming. I can read the contents but cannot change anything. Tried formatting from start commandpromt mode, same errormsg. Checked regedit and added the key (it wasnt there before) and set value to 0. Is there any other way i could try or can it be the problem of the stick(just wore off?) Iwould appreciate your thought. Thanks
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May 5, 2013 11:27:40 AM

The files could have been marked as Read only somehow. Check the Properties of one of the files and see what show up at the bottom of the Properties page.

If it shows Read Only, change the attribute of all the files on the stick using the Command Prompt and by typing:-
attrib -r x:\*.*
then press Enter. The x above has to be replaced by the actual driver letter of the stick at that time.

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May 7, 2013 1:30:49 AM

how do i remove the write protect cause i have tried all the steps and it still refuses to remove the write protect feature
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May 7, 2013 11:54:30 AM

Are you sure there isn't a tiny physical switch on the side of the stick or card?
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May 10, 2013 9:26:04 AM

I tried your solution with no results. My PNY 64G has no switch. In regedit, I have no subfolder "StorageDevicePolicies", only the Storage subfolder with no entries.
What do I do at this point. I have also attempted to Format the drive with the CMD DOS command and even this produces the "disk is write protected" message.
I have two folders with about 12 Gb total information that I can copy all or parts and paste to another drive. The information is not needed; so contained information is not crucial.
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May 10, 2013 11:08:27 AM

A Linux system might take less notice of Windows write protection. Are you up for downloading and burning a Live CD? Have a look at http://www.pclinuxos.com.
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May 14, 2013 3:34:15 AM

Saga Lout said:
A Linux system might take less notice of Windows write protection. Are you up for downloading and burning a Live CD? Have a look at http://www.pclinuxos.com.

Hi!
I have the same problem with write protection, but I can't format my flash-drive even under the Linux. Seems to me, that there is something in the hardware. Is there any way to fix the problem?
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May 14, 2013 5:51:01 AM

The only time Linux has failed me over this has been when the data were totally corrupted or when there was a tine physical switch I'd failed to notice on the stick and which was turned off. I hope in your circumstances, it's the latter because embarrassing as it was, it was also fixable.
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June 2, 2013 1:55:00 AM

Saga Lout said:
The files could have been marked as Read only somehow. Check the Properties of one of the files and see what show up at the bottom of the Properties page.

If it shows Read Only, change the attribute of all the files on the stick using the Command Prompt and by typing:-
attrib -r x:\*.*
then press Enter. The x above has to be replaced by the actual driver letter of the stick at that time.



You are a genius man:)  Thanx for the Trick:) 
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June 2, 2013 1:55:03 AM

Saga Lout said:
The files could have been marked as Read only somehow. Check the Properties of one of the files and see what show up at the bottom of the Properties page.

If it shows Read Only, change the attribute of all the files on the stick using the Command Prompt and by typing:-
attrib -r x:\*.*
then press Enter. The x above has to be replaced by the actual driver letter of the stick at that time.



You are a genius man:)  Thanx for the Trick:) 
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September 24, 2013 5:43:36 AM

Saga Lout said:
The files could have been marked as Read only somehow. Check the Properties of one of the files and see what show up at the bottom of the Properties page.

If it shows Read Only, change the attribute of all the files on the stick using the Command Prompt and by typing:-
attrib -r x:\*.*
then press Enter. The x above has to be replaced by the actual driver letter of the stick at that time.



I have been having this problem for a littel while, i have tried all of these methods, and even the CMD thing doesn't work, says attrib.exe write protect error.

even formatting the flashdirve doesnt work.

What can i do??? (apart from throw the drive into the bin and get annother)
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September 24, 2013 7:49:50 AM

You could be lucky and find a tiny switch on one side of the stick, then again, you might find a Linux system feels far less precious about these things than Windows.

There's a Registry tweak you might like to try but I'm sure you already have. Back the Registry up by selecting Export from the File menu before doing anything else then navigate to this key:-
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
where you should find Write Protect in the right hand pane. If it isn't there, right-click that pane and select choose New DWord, type Write Protect and press Enter. If you create it yourself, give it a value of 0 (zero) but if it was already there, make sure that is its value.

Leave the Registry from the File>Exit menu, remove the stick and restart teh computer. Try the stick again and it might have worked.
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October 15, 2013 1:47:27 AM

Thank you very much this RegEdit.exe fix worked for me :) 
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November 6, 2013 11:13:21 PM

i am not able to remove the number from 1 to 0 pls help me to recovery
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November 6, 2013 11:37:36 PM

You probably don't have permissions to edit that part of the Registry. Try restarting the machine and tap the Function 8 key then select Safe Mode from the menu and log in to the Administrator account. You should then be able to make that change from 1 to 0.
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Best solution

December 5, 2013 8:30:58 PM

I took my USB drive apart and found the switch. Little white fellow, moves left to right, vice -versa. There is a slot for gaining access to the switch but it was useless.
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December 5, 2013 11:12:35 PM

Totally buried? Incredible. What make and model was that one? Actually, I'm not really surprised that the card has a switch and the stick manufacturers probably only provide the exterior and don't both to expose the switch.
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December 11, 2013 10:08:14 AM

Saga Lout said:
Totally buried? Incredible. What make and model was that one? Actually, I'm not really surprised that the card has a switch and the stick manufacturers probably only provide the exterior and don't both to expose the switch.


hi there
I have a Toshiba 32gb flash drive, no switch
it is write protected, I am NOT tech savy and can not figure out what you are trying to direct us to do, want to use this for xbox 360, but cant remove write protection, can you help?
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December 11, 2013 11:14:10 AM

Is the Registry adjustment in my September 24th post not working for you?
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December 11, 2013 11:51:37 AM

Saga Lout said:
Is the Registry adjustment in my September 24th post not working for you?


I have tried everything, including something while in safe mode, totally depressing, lol
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December 11, 2013 12:26:01 PM

You could try snapping the plastic cover off and hope there's an internal switch as warhog posted earlier in this thread. Beyond that, I'm out of ideas.
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