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How to remove media write protection in external hard drive

Last response: in Storage
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January 23, 2013 8:59:05 AM

Hello, I would like to ask how can I re-access or retrieve my files from my western digital external HD 500gb.

I can initialize the disk because it says, "The Media is write protected"

Please help me.
I attached a screen shot of my problem.

http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/6683/huhuf.png
Related resources
January 24, 2013 9:18:15 AM

NanaJo-55 said:
You could remove the write protection like this:
http://www.itrelated.info/remove-write-protection-from-...


hello Sir, I already tried this process.. but sadly I dont have a folder called "Storage Device Policies".

Its weird because I've been using my external HD for a long time, and then suddenly it becomes unreadable.

Any other options I can do? I have super important files related to work thats why I need to recover my files :( 
January 25, 2013 12:28:39 AM

There are some software to fix this write protected drive problem online. You could select one to take a chance.
September 26, 2013 2:33:50 AM

solegrin said:
NanaJo-55 said:
You could remove the write protection like this:
http://www.itrelated.info/remove-write-protection-from-...


hello Sir, I already tried this process.. but sadly I dont have a folder called "Storage Device Policies".

Its weird because I've been using my external HD for a long time, and then suddenly it becomes unreadable.

Any other options I can do? I have super important files related to work thats why I need to recover my files :( 


Tom's Hardware deserves a better answer than this.

The link Nanajo provided is correct, albeit the directions are a bit screwy and missing a critical step.

Try this (for anyone out there at present who stumbles on this):

1. Go to your registry. Click “Start” on the taskbar to open “Run” and type in “regedit”.

3. Drill down to Storage Device Policies"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > StorageDevicePolicies

4. Highlight "StorageDevicePolicies" and in the right hand view window you will see a "WriteProtect" DWORD key.

5. Double click on WriteProtect and in the dialog box that pops up replace the Value Data 1 with a 0 (zero)

6. Close out of the registry: File > Exit

7. Reboot your computer. This is the critical step. When you change the registry, most times you need to either reboot, logout and login or do nothing. Considering you want to edit an external drive that is write protected, a reboot is necessary.

Good luck to all.

If the key named “Storage Device Policies” is missing, right click in an empty area of the right hand panel and click "New" > DWORD Value

Name or double click on New Value #1 and name it WriteProtect" and leave the assigned value at 0 (zero).

Exit the same way and reboot.

You should now be able to engage with your external device.

I would also check the properties > security > advanced >owner and make sure you are the owner of the device and not some crazy number like S-1-5-21-73586283-1767777339-839522115-500, which means you had this owned by another account but that account got deleted and this is Windows way of showing a dead SID. Replace that with your account id.

In the Advanced Security Settings for (You device ID) Highlight your account in the "Change Owner to" view window.

Select the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" and hit "Apply"

You may get an error window that says:

Security
---------------------------
You do not have permission to read the contents of directory \Device\HarddiskVolume3\RECYCLER\S-1-5-21-1202660629-1425521274-839522115-1003\Df17. Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control?
All permissions will be replaced if you press Yes.
---------------------------
Yes No

Select Yes.

You now own the device.

NOTE: A nifty way to copy down the text of Windows pop up error messages etc is to click on the popup box (to select it from all other open windows) and hit Control + C

Then open up Notepad and in the text area click Control + V and the message will be displayed for copying and pasting as you desire.

Good luck
September 30, 2013 12:46:10 AM

progresslanguage said:
solegrin said:
NanaJo-55 said:
You could remove the write protection like this:
http://www.itrelated.info/remove-write-protection-from-...


hello Sir, I already tried this process.. but sadly I dont have a folder called "Storage Device Policies".

Its weird because I've been using my external HD for a long time, and then suddenly it becomes unreadable.

Any other options I can do? I have super important files related to work thats why I need to recover my files :( 


Tom's Hardware deserves a better answer than this.

The link Nanajo provided is correct, albeit the directions are a bit screwy and missing a critical step.

Try this (for anyone out there at present who stumbles on this):

1. Go to your registry. Click “Start” on the taskbar to open “Run” and type in “regedit”.

3. Drill down to Storage Device Policies"
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > StorageDevicePolicies

4. Highlight "StorageDevicePolicies" and in the right hand view window you will see a "WriteProtect" DWORD key.

5. Double click on WriteProtect and in the dialog box that pops up replace the Value Data 1 with a 0 (zero)

6. Close out of the registry: File > Exit

7. Reboot your computer. This is the critical step. When you change the registry, most times you need to either reboot, logout and login or do nothing. Considering you want to edit an external drive that is write protected, a reboot is necessary.

Good luck to all.

If the key named “Storage Device Policies” is missing, right click in an empty area of the right hand panel and click "New" > DWORD Value

Name or double click on New Value #1 and name it WriteProtect" and leave the assigned value at 0 (zero).

Exit the same way and reboot.

You should now be able to engage with your external device.

I would also check the properties > security > advanced >owner and make sure you are the owner of the device and not some crazy number like S-1-5-21-73586283-1767777339-839522115-500, which means you had this owned by another account but that account got deleted and this is Windows way of showing a dead SID. Replace that with your account id.

In the Advanced Security Settings for (You device ID) Highlight your account in the "Change Owner to" view window.

Select the "Replace owner on subcontainers and objects" and hit "Apply"

You may get an error window that says:

Security
---------------------------
You do not have permission to read the contents of directory \Device\HarddiskVolume3\RECYCLER\S-1-5-21-1202660629-1425521274-839522115-1003\Df17. Do you want to replace the directory permissions with permissions granting you Full Control?
All permissions will be replaced if you press Yes.
---------------------------
Yes No

Select Yes.

You now own the device.

NOTE: A nifty way to copy down the text of Windows pop up error messages etc is to click on the popup box (to select it from all other open windows) and hit Control + C

Then open up Notepad and in the text area click Control + V and the message will be displayed for copying and pasting as you desire.

Good luck


hai sir,.,i tried your step.,.,still i cant solve the same main problem as solegrin.,.,
how can i initialized my unallocated disk when it said media write is protected .,.,?
after i reboot the computer.,.,then.,.,what should i do?
i tried another method with click on new simple volume to make my disk can be used.,.,however its unclickable.,.,what truly i need to do?can u help me?
did solegrin already solve the problem?
this my email meri.mute@gmail.com
November 9, 2013 1:36:16 PM

I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.
December 3, 2013 1:12:50 PM

pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.


This worked perfect, Thanks!
January 7, 2014 9:09:36 AM

The solution worked just perfect for my 1TB external hard drive (Fantom Drives GreenDrive) on Windows 7.
Thank you so much.

pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.


January 16, 2014 6:52:43 AM

pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.


---i really want to try this but how to access as admin...it automatically enters to desktop as user...
January 16, 2014 12:11:10 PM

angela21 said:
pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.


---i really want to try this but how to access as admin...it automatically enters to desktop as user...

Once you enter the cmd.exe in the search field of the start, right click it in the search results and select "Run as Administrator", now you can do the procedure above.

January 23, 2014 6:44:03 AM

Piratesrevenge said:
angela21 said:
pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.


---i really want to try this but how to access as admin...it automatically enters to desktop as user...

Once you enter the cmd.exe in the search field of the start, right click it in the search results and select "Run as Administrator", now you can do the procedure above.



Thank you for the quick response. I was able to try it. But still it cannot. Is there any chance that my files be retrieve? Your help is very much appreciated.
March 24, 2014 4:27:07 AM

pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.


what if the drive contains file? do they delete by this procedure?

April 6, 2014 7:06:11 AM

pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.


Thanks pszalapski - This solution worked for me.
13 minutes ago

pszalapski said:
I tried this and it worked, in Windows 7. Start Cmd.exe as administrator, then:

C:\> Diskpart

DISKPART> list disk
DISKPART> select disk (id)
DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly

Then I was able to manipulate the volume in Disk Management control panel.




but i still cannot open my disk,, can you help me. please.
i just find like this. :( 

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i282/Suprex_Manchunia...

!