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My flash drive seems to be permanently stuck as Write Protected.

I have tried literally everything to get it working and literally nothing is getting it out of write protection. I'm starting to get frustrated to be honest, because I honestly don't know why it's doing this and I can't find a single person that has ever had this problem to the extent that I do.

I've already tried the following methods to get it out of write protection:

*Flipping a switch - there is no switch on my flash drive.
*Formatting the flash drive - I get the "The disk is write protected." error whenever I try this.
*Checking the flash drive for errors - I get the "The disk is write protected." error.
*Going into my flash drives properties and turning off write protection - write protection does not show up under my *flash drives properties.
*Going into regedit, finding my StorageDevicePolicies, and setting WriteProtect to 0 - regedit claims WriteProtect is already set to 0.
*cmd prompt: diskpart-> list disk -> select disk 1 -> attributes disk clear readonly - I get the message "Disk attributes cleared successfully." However, nothing happens; I still get the error "The disk is write protected." whenever I try to do anything.
*cmd prompt: diskpart -> list disk -> select disk 1 -> clean - "DiskPart has encountered an error: The media is write protected."
*Using the "Usb Format.exe" - it can't find my flash drive.
*Using HDDGuru to do a low level format - I get a bunch of errors like "1/31/2013 9:37:03 PM Format Error occurred at offset 159,318,016: 19 - The media is write protected".
*Trying to test with H2testw 1.4 - I get "The media is write protected. Code 19"
*HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool 2.2.3 - I get "Device Media is write-protected".

I am trying to fix a 16 GB PNY. The exact model can be found at http://www3.pny.com/category_buymulti.aspx?Category_ID=50

I know it is the flash drive, because I have a 4 GB SanDisk that works fine and has been working fine for years, but I need this one because it has more space. And I've only had it for like two months and already it's messing up on me. -.-
18 answers Last reply
More about flash drive permanently stuck write protected
  1. Nyakitty said:
    I have tried literally everything to get it working and literally nothing is getting it out of write protection. I'm starting to get frustrated to be honest, because I honestly don't know why it's doing this and I can't find a single person that has ever had this problem to the extent that I do.

    I've already tried the following methods to get it out of write protection:

    ****

    I am trying to fix a 16 GB PNY. The exact model can be found at http://www3.pny.com/category_buymulti.aspx?Category_ID=50

    ****


    I just had this same exact issue with a Patriot drive. I found this article fantasic (http://www.jwgoerlich.us/blogengine/post/2009/11/05/Use-Diskpart-to-Create-and-Format-Partitions.aspx) however it did not resolve the issue.

    I was told by many sites you should just return the memory. Then I contacted Patriot and they said that I should use their special tool (located at : http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar) to do a low level format. Of course this means you loose your data, however it recovered the drive back to working condition. The tech said that this tool only works on Patriot drives so you will likely have to contact PNY for their tool(s).
  2. Hi all,

    I had the exact same problems with the exact same potential solutions that never worked for me. I found a utility tonight that fixed my 32GB PNY usb drive. It's called RecoverTool_V2.00.28_L0920.

    I had probably read at least 40 forums with the same problems and this was finally the fix. It allowed me to disable write protection and format the PNY drive and start over. I did lose all data but I didn't need it. I just wanted to use it. Good luck!
  3. After you ran your usb drive through the recovery program, what did you do to fix the write protection thing? You mentioned you didn't actually recover any data, were you able to delete it?

    brooksaaron said:
    Hi all,

    I had the exact same problems with the exact same potential solutions that never worked for me. I found a utility tonight that fixed my 32GB PNY usb drive. It's called RecoverTool_V2.00.28_L0920.

    I had probably read at least 40 forums with the same problems and this was finally the fix. It allowed me to disable write protection and format the PNY drive and start over. I did lose all data but I didn't need it. I just wanted to use it. Good luck!
  4. Jeromy R said:
    Paul Neuman said:
    Nyakitty said:
    I have tried literally everything to get it working and literally nothing is getting it out of write protection. I'm starting to get frustrated to be honest, because I honestly don't know why it's doing this and I can't find a single person that has ever had this problem to the extent that I do.

    I've already tried the following methods to get it out of write protection:

    ****


    I am trying to fix a 16 GB PNY. The exact model can be found at http://www3.pny.com/category_buymulti.aspx?Category_ID=50

    ****


    I just had this same exact issue with a Patriot drive. I found this article fantasic (http://www.jwgoerlich.us/blogengine/post/2009/11/05/Use-Diskpart-to-Create-and-Format-Partitions.aspx) however it did not resolve the issue.

    I was told by many sites you should just return the memory. Then I contacted Patriot and they said that I should use their special tool (located at : http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar) to do a low level format. Of course this means you loose your data, however it recovered the drive back to working condition. The tech said that this tool only works on Patriot drives so you will likely have to contact PNY for their tool(s).

    i think that to return the hardware is a good solution. i have a pny myself stuck like this and the pny utility failed and so did another low level format utility i tried and easeus partition master, it didnt do any good for it either. i will do some more rescearch and testing ill post if anything works


    Hi, I downloaded the patriot restore utility and when I chose 'Restore', (rather than 'Format', at the stat-up screen, the app performed a low level format and my USB stick is useful to me once again.

    Every other solution offered on this page, and others, failed to achieve this.

    Thank you Patriot and Paul Neuman.
  5. Paul Neuman said:
    Nyakitty said:
    I have tried literally everything to get it working and literally nothing is getting it out of write protection. I'm starting to get frustrated to be honest, because I honestly don't know why it's doing this and I can't find a single person that has ever had this problem to the extent that I do.

    I've already tried the following methods to get it out of write protection:

    ****

    I am trying to fix a 16 GB PNY. The exact model can be found at http://www3.pny.com/category_buymulti.aspx?Category_ID=50

    ****


    I just had this same exact issue with a Patriot drive. I found this article fantasic (http://www.jwgoerlich.us/blogengine/post/2009/11/05/Use-Diskpart-to-Create-and-Format-Partitions.aspx) however it did not resolve the issue.

    I was told by many sites you should just return the memory. Then I contacted Patriot and they said that I should use their special tool (located at : http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar) to do a low level format. Of course this means you loose your data, however it recovered the drive back to working condition. The tech said that this tool only works on Patriot drives so you will likely have to contact PNY for their tool(s).
  6. Hi, i have the same problem. mine is toshiba 32gb. i have tried all options from many sites n cant solve the problem. even the low level format couldn't help. please advice on a way further.
  7. I just come across the same issue of write protection on my Kingston 64GB USB FLASH Drive. Tried all solution(Formatting,Regedit,Diskpart ,CMD Unhide Commands, USB Formatting Tools and ALLLA BLAA ) and non of the mentioned worked for me. Tried Patriot formatting tool for kingston USB and it worked for me. Just you have to use "Restore" Button instead "Format".
    http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar

    Please Backup of your data before using it as all of your data wiped out and unable to recover later.

    Thanks Tomshardware.com for providing such a place for finding solution. :bounce:

    Arsalan khan
  8. This is my lifesaver. Silicon Power Low level format.

    Worked like a charm on my Silicon Power 32gb USB3.0 and Memorex 8gb USB3.0 Flash Drive.
    I got this from this site:
    http://www.myusbtools.com/2013/06/silicon-power-low-level-formatter-v3700.html
    Download link"
    http://bit.ly/16NYlla

    Good luck!
  9. arskhan said:
    I just come across the same issue of write protection on my Kingston 64GB USB FLASH Drive. Tried all solution(Formatting,Regedit,Diskpart ,CMD Unhide Commands, USB Formatting Tools and ALLLA BLAA ) and non of the mentioned worked for me. Tried Patriot formatting tool for kingston USB and it worked for me. Just you have to use "Restore" Button instead "Format".
    http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar

    Please Backup of your data before using it as all of your data wiped out and unable to recover later.

    Thanks Tomshardware.com for providing such a place for finding solution. :bounce:

    Arsalan khan



    Yesssssssss! Thank you.....after 4 hours of tutorials this worked!!
  10. sunshine7980 said:
    After you ran your usb drive through the recovery program, what did you do to fix the write protection thing? You mentioned you didn't actually recover any data, were you able to delete it?

    brooksaaron said:
    Hi all,

    I had the exact same problems with the exact same potential solutions that never worked for me. I found a utility tonight that fixed my 32GB PNY usb drive. It's called RecoverTool_V2.00.28_L0920.

    I had probably read at least 40 forums with the same problems and this was finally the fix. It allowed me to disable write protection and format the PNY drive and start over. I did lose all data but I didn't need it. I just wanted to use it. Good luck!



    The recovery tool he mentioned is for PNY drives 64GB and lower. It also repairs the write protection problem that originally caused the problem. It's located at: http://www.pny.com.tw/index.php?cls=2&mode=download
    It's found in the Services tab under: USB Flash Driver Format Tool (Ufix-II).

    It wasn't easy getting PNY to release the tool from in-house. I had to swear at a few people. They had a 32GB tool that could fix it but it would break the capacity on 64GB models. There are also other available recovery/LLF tools on their site.
  11. The recovery program is for Windows only. It does NOT work on a Mac. I need a MAC solution, not a Windows solution. No one I know uses Windows.
  12. Cary Chauvet said:
    The recovery program is for Windows only. It does NOT work on a Mac. I need a MAC solution, not a Windows solution. No one I know uses Windows.


    Windows solution. No one I know uses Windows.
    Short answer: Go to a library, university, or cafe with Windows machines and do it from there. Else look up "run Windows on Mac", run a virtual Windows on your MAC then format it.

    I spent weeks just tracking down one to fix my drive and never seen one for Macs (not for PNY disks anyway). Also you should post the type of flashdrive you are trying to format. Knowing the type of flashdrive is VERY important because LFF tools are meant to work on specific drives. Go here to see if one of the available tools might work for you as well: http://www.myusbtools.com/2013/06/silicon-power-low-level-formatter-v3700.html#uds-search-results
  13. arskhan said:
    I just come across the same issue of write protection on my Kingston 64GB USB FLASH Drive. Tried all solution(Formatting,Regedit,Diskpart ,CMD Unhide Commands, USB Formatting Tools and ALLLA BLAA ) and non of the mentioned worked for me. Tried Patriot formatting tool for kingston USB and it worked for me. Just you have to use "Restore" Button instead "Format".
    http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar

    Please Backup of your data before using it as all of your data wiped out and unable to recover later.

    Thanks Tomshardware.com for providing such a place for finding solution. :bounce:

    Arsalan khan


    Thanks for the link, patriot tool worked for me after trying everything else, including the silicon power tool as it is a silicon power usb stick
  14. What's a good one?
  15. Hello, I found an accidental way to restore/reformat my PNY 16GB USB. After hours of searching an frustration, this is what worked for me:

    Before trying, make sure you backup all files to a safe place as this will delete all your files on the USB.

    Download free WinZip at http://www.winzip.com/win/en/landing/prodpagewz.html
    Then open your USB file while in the WinZip dashboard, select all files, right click 'Delete'

    You can uninstall WinZip after your delete your files if you don't want the program.

    This reformatted my flash drive. It is now working like new.
  16. sunshine7980 said:
    After you ran your usb drive through the recovery program, what did you do to fix the write protection thing? You mentioned you didn't actually recover any data, were you able to delete it?

    brooksaaron said:
    Hi all,

    I had the exact same problems with the exact same potential solutions that never worked for me. I found a utility tonight that fixed my 32GB Pserioux usb drive. It's called RecoverTool_V2.00.28_L0920.

    Thank you very much......i'm very happy now.....tank you again

    I had probably read at least 40 forums with the same problems and this was finally the fix. It allowed me to disable write protection and format the PNY drive and start over. I did lose all data but I didn't need it. I just wanted to use it. Good luck!


  17. Paul Neuman said:
    Nyakitty said:
    I have tried literally everything to get it working and literally nothing is getting it out of write protection. I'm starting to get frustrated to be honest, because I honestly don't know why it's doing this and I can't find a single person that has ever had this problem to the extent that I do.

    I've already tried the following methods to get it out of write protection:

    ****

    I am trying to fix a 16 GB PNY. The exact model can be found at http://www3.pny.com/category_buymulti.aspx?Category_ID=50

    ****


    I just had this same exact issue with a Patriot drive. I found this article fantasic (http://www.jwgoerlich.us/blogengine/post/2009/11/05/Use-Diskpart-to-Create-and-Format-Partitions.aspx) however it did not resolve the issue.

    I was told by many sites you should just return the memory. Then I contacted Patriot and they said that I should use their special tool (located at : http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar) to do a low level format. Of course this means you loose your data, however it recovered the drive back to working condition. The tech said that this tool only works on Patriot drives so you will likely have to contact PNY for their tool(s).


    There are a lot of people with this very issue over many forums and I figure bumping an old thread like this may help them find this place in a google search.

    Thanks Paul for your post because it actually fixed my imation usb. I just needed to "restore" rather than "format" for it to work. This is the reason I registered, to say thanks.

    http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar

    & it's not a dirty download either but an awesome tool I will cherish 4eva
  18. arskhan said:
    I just come across the same issue of write protection on my Kingston 64GB USB FLASH Drive. Tried all solution(Formatting,Regedit,Diskpart ,CMD Unhide Commands, USB Formatting Tools and ALLLA BLAA ) and non of the mentioned worked for me. Tried Patriot formatting tool for kingston USB and it worked for me. Just you have to use "Restore" Button instead "Format".
    http://www.patriotmemory.com/partners/usb_restore/Restore.rar

    Please Backup of your data before using it as all of your data wiped out and unable to recover later.

    Thanks Tomshardware.com for providing such a place for finding solution. :bounce:

    Arsalan khan



    After almost every try, I could fix my memorex 32gb stick with this tool, used "restore" option, many thx!
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