What to do when you have a Write-protected USB Drive? The drive won’t even allow you to reformat it, and there’s no apparent switch for enabling or disabling write protection. Here’s how to format your write-protected USB Pen drive and start using it again.
Is The USB Drive Write Protected Or Corrupted?
Before proceeding, take the time to make sure that the drive is genuinely write-protected. A couple of other issues could be coming into play here.
Your PC’s USB port is defective or blown entirely. Fixing a damaged USB port can be tricky but not impossible.
The flash drive is corrupt. Whether you’re using a full USB flash stick or USB SD card adapter, problems with the device can occur. These steps will help you fix a corrupted flash drive.
How to successfully format write protected hard drive?
When your disk is write-protected, you will not be able to modify files, add files to your drive or delete files from it because of the restrictions associated with permissions and sharing. What’s worse, the disk cannot be formatted with the “The disk is write-protected” error.
Here we will present how to format write-protect disk in Windows using the Registry Editor, Command Prompt, as well as a professional disk formatting tool. Three methods are available.
Before proceeding to the following methods, you can check out whether your disk (especially the USB drive) has a physical write-protection switch on its exterior, it might be in the wrong locked position. If this is the case, try toggling the switch to see if you can successfully format the drive then.
Method 1. Using the Registry Editor to format the write-protected disk
If your hard drive becomes write-protected because of the wrong registry value, you can try this method.
1. Press Wind + R to open the Run dialogue. Type Regedit and click “OK” to open the Registry Editor.
2. Expand the entries on the left-hand pane to navigate to the following path: “Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies”
3. Double click WriteProtect and Change the value data from 1 to 0. Then, click OK.
If there are no ”StorageDevicePolicies” under Control, you can right-click “Control” and go to “New”->” Key”. Then name it with ”StorageDevicePolicies”.
Then, at the right-hand pane, right-click white space and go to ”New”->” DWORD (32-bit) value” (If your computer is the 64-bit version, choose QWORD (64-bit) Value). Name it with ”Write Protect”.
Finally, double-click the newly created DWORD and change its value from 1 to 0. Click ”OK” to apply the change. Till now, the write protection attribute is removed from the disk, and then you can open File Explorer, right-click the disk, select “Format…”, and follow the hints to format it successfully.
Method 2. Format write-protected disk via free partition manager
This method is proper for the situation where your hard drive is write-protected due to file system corruption. The free partition manager-AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a powerful hard drive formatting tool.
It can perform many formatting tasks that Windows native tools cannot finish. For example, it can format 2TB hard drive to FAT32, format RAW or corrupted hard drive, as well as convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data/formatting, and vice versa.
Now you can free download the software and take the below steps to format write protected hard drive in Windows 10/8/7.
1. Right-click the disk that is write-protected and select “Format Partition”.
2. Choose your desired file system (ex: NTFS), and you can also set your other disk format preferences, such as partition label and cluster size.
3. Back to the main interface, click “Apply”->” Proceed” to start formatting the disk.
Method 3. Format write-protected hard drive using CMD
When the hard drive is set into write protection mode manually in Command Prompt, you can use CMD to remove this attribution as well.
1. Click on “Start” and type “cmd.exe” into the search field. Double-click on Command Prompt to launch the program.
2. Type the following commands and press “enter” after each one.
select disk # (ex: Disk 1): to select the disk which is write-protected.
attributes disk clear read-only: to change the disk’s properties so that it is no longer read-only.
Till now, the write protection attribution is removed from the disk. Next, you need to input some other commands like below to format the disk.
create partition primary
With those 3 different methods for various situations, next time you will be sure to format a write-protected USB Drive successfully.
In addition to formatting the hard drive, AOMEI Partition Assistant also comes with other great functions such as merging partitions, copying partitions to another hard drive, migrating OS from MBR to MBR disk, merging partitions, converting file system between FAT32 and NTFS without formatting.