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USB Write Protected

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Put in a USB stick to delete &/or format so I can copy some other files to it but cannot do anything as it comes up write protected. There is nothing obvious to physically open or close on the stick. Any ideas. Thanks

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What make is it?

 

Have a search for USB tools for whatever USB you have.

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What OS?  Windows?  Mac?  Linux?

 

If Windows, it could be a registry error.  Search for "regedit usb WriteProtect"

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Try another computer..

If the USB stick has been heavily written to in the past it has possibly worn out..they have limited write cycle lifetime...so not so good for  use in continuous logging or  video recording applications.

  • Confused 1

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, johng said:

Try another computer..

If the USB stick has been heavily written to in the past it has possibly worn out..they have limited write cycle lifetime...so not so good for  use in continuous logging or  video recording applications.

isnt it the exact same tech as ssd ?

if so that makes it no sense whatsoever,

since an ssd is under constant overwrite while an usb only sporadically

Edited by scammed

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, tomazbodner said:

Can also try this if it's really USB stick that's write protected:

https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001617.htm

 

Thanks for this link. I had two 32GB USB sticks which were marked as write-protected after a power outage occurred on a laptop (running Ubuntu) while a torrent client was writing to the stick. Over the last 3 months, I have tried just about everything I could find to fix them, using both Linux and Windows. Using the info on that link, I was able to format one of the two 32GB USB sticks using the "Change security permissions in flash drive properties" section, thus making it usable again. Unfortunately it didn't work for the other one.

Edited by Mutt Daeng

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Had the same experience. A 128 GB SD card could suddenly only be read - this was still luck. But there is no way to write to it anymore. Tried everything that I could find on the internet. No way. In the end I bought a new one and copied all the data to it. I didn't lose any data just the SD card. Keep the old one as final archive. 

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How big are the files to copy? You may get that message if you try to copy a file > 4 GB to a stick formatted in FAT32, as they usually are. If so you'd reformat in exFAT or NTFS.

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18 hours ago, scammed said:

isnt it the exact same tech as ssd ?

if so that makes it no sense whatsoever,

https://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/write-cycle

 

Quote

Why write cycles are important

A NAND flash SSD is able to endure only a limited number of write cycles. The program/erase process causes a deterioration of the oxide layer that traps electrons in a NAND flash memory cell, and the SSD will eventually become unreliable, wear out and lose its ability to store data.

The number of write cycles, or endurance, varies based on the type of NAND flash memory cell. An SSD that stores a single data bit per cell, known as single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash, can typically support up to 100,000 write cycles. An SSD that stores two bits of data per cell, commonly referred to as multi-level cell (MLC) flash, generally sustains up to 10,000 write cycles with planar NAND and up to 35,000 write cycles with 3D NAND. The endurance of SSDs that store three bits of data per cell, called triple-level cell (TLC) flash, can be as low as 300 write cycles with planar NAND and as high as 3,000 write cycles with 3D NAND. The latest quadruple-level cell (QLC) NAND will likely support a maximum of 1,000 write cycles.

 

and

https://www.flashbay.com/blog/usb-life-expectancy

Quote

USB Flash Drives Have Finite Number of Write/Erase Cycles

The life expectancy of a USB Flash Drive can be measured by the number of write or erase cycles. USB flash drives can withstand between 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles, depending on the memory technology used.

When the limit is reached, some portion of the memory may not function properly, leading to lost of data and corruption.

 

 

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What OS are you on? 

If you are using Windows OS, first thing, reboot your machine.

Second, see if the steps below work for you:

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.Type regedit, and click OK to open the registry.
  2. Browse the following path:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control
  3. Under Control (folder) key, check to see if there's a folder called StorageDevicePolicies. Select it. There should be a WriteProtect value.
  4. Double-click on the WriteProtect value in the right-hand pane of Regedit.exe. 
  5. Change the Value data from 1 to 0 and click OK to save the change. 
  6. Close Regedit and restart your computer. 
  7. Connect your USB flash drive or pen drive again, and you should find the write protection is removed and the device is no longer write protected.

If the steps above don't work, check Group Policy to disable write protection:

 

  1. To disable write protection using Group Policy, do the following:
  2. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  3. Type gpedit.msc and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  4. Browse the following path:
  5. Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access
  6. On the right side, double-click the Removable Disks: Deny write access policy.
  7. On the top-left, select the Disabled option to activate the policy.
  8. Click Apply.
  9. Click OK.
  10. Close the Group Policy editor.
  11. Restart your computer to complete the task. 

If steps above still don't work then use another USB stick to replicate the issue. If you can't replicate the issue, then the USB stick might be a problem. In this situation, you'd better restore important data first. You can try using some data recovery tool like iBoysoft Data Recovery to see if the USB drive can be recognized: https://iboysoft.com/data-recovery/usb-drive-data-recovery.html. After that, you can run Diskpart.

 

I hope it works for you!

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