USB Full Write-Protected Conundrum

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USB Full Write-Protected Conundrum

Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:49 am

I have an older 8GB Corsair USB 2.0 flash drive that unexpectedly became full write protected while back. No matter how I attempt to format it tells me one way or another that it is not possible because the disk is write protected.

The drive was used to create a bootable Windows 7 installation image using MS's .iso to USB tool. After that I left the image on there, and randomly used it for other stuff too. Then one day (at least a few months ago), it became full write protected - and I've just had it sitting in the corner since then.

But now I'd like to use it, and am annoyed I can't format it...

I have tried the following steps, in most cases on multiple systems.

(1) Adding the HKLM/.../WriteProtected registry key
(2) Attempted changing security permissions (that are already set to Everyone-full control) I tried changing the owner/permissions, but was not allowed.
(3) Windows Diskpart - attributes disk clear readonly (says it is successful, but is not)
(4) cmd format command, fails, volume write protected
(5) gparted format, fails for full write protection
(6) and obviously a simple right click/format fails, too
(7) a few random usb format applications that promised they would work, but didn't...

Anyway, anyone have any ideas, or should i just throw this in the trash?
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Re: USB Full Write-Protected Conundrum

Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:54 am

I believe I read somewhere that some flash drives will write protect themselves if they believe the flash chips are wearing out, to prevent corruption of existing data.

I'd copy off any data you need, and chuck it in the trash (or smash it with a hammer if any of the data is potentially sensitive).

8GB thumb drives are entering the realm of "$5 impulse buy item in a bin at the checkout counter of your local office supply store"... you've already expended more effort than the device is worth.
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Re: USB Full Write-Protected Conundrum

Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:10 am

just brew it! wrote:I believe I read somewhere that some flash drives will write protect themselves if they believe the flash chips are wearing out, to prevent corruption of existing data.

I'd copy off any data you need, and chuck it in the trash (or smash it with a hammer if any of the data is potentially sensitive).

8GB thumb drives are entering the realm of "$5 impulse buy item in a bin at the checkout counter of your local office supply store"... you've already expended more effort than the device is worth.



Thanks for the info, that's interesting, makes sense. And yeah I know they are cheap now, but it wasn't about the cost of replacing it - it was just the matter of not understanding why the he...ck I couldn't format the thing.
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Re: USB Full Write-Protected Conundrum

Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:22 am

HorseIicious wrote:Thanks for the info, that's interesting, makes sense. And yeah I know they are cheap now, but it wasn't about the cost of replacing it - it was just the matter of not understanding why the he...ck I couldn't format the thing.

Yeah, I would've likely done the same thing. Then kicked myself afterwards, going "Duh, you just spent nearly an hour trying to fix a broken piece of hardware you could've replaced for under $10!" :lol:
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Re: USB Full Write-Protected Conundrum

Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:44 pm

hehe... I get the same kind of thing with Friends and Family trying to get me to fix 80-500GB hard drives. you are at the under $50 mark... replace it.

How much is your time worth?
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Re: USB Full Write-Protected Conundrum

Postposted on Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:54 pm

Arvald wrote:hehe... I get the same kind of thing with Friends and Family trying to get me to fix 80-500GB hard drives. you are at the under $50 mark... replace it.

How much is your time worth?

That's just people who don't understand how the tech industry works. "I paid $250 for this 12 years ago, and it still looks as good as new!" Just because it doesn't have rust spots and isn't leaking vital fluids doesn't mean it hasn't depreciated just as badly (actually probably worse!) as that 12-year-old Chevy in your driveway.
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