Solved! How to fix a write protected USB thumb drive

Today I got a USB 4GB flash disk from a colleague requesting for my help to delete some files in it.

Unfortunately, the files couldn’t be deleted because the thumb drive is write protected.

With permission from my colleague, I was allowed to format the thumb drive just to recover the disk space and to make it usable again. However, the format process failed with the error stating that the disk is write protected.

And so I began trying to remove the write protection problem by trying the following methods:

  • Edited the registry
  • Using diskpart to remove the read only
  • Formatting using Windows or Linux machine
  • Removed read only permissions from drive properties
  • Third party tools like HP USB Disk format tool
  • Setting advanced sharing to have permissions with full control

Basically all the above methods failed to work and took a total of 4 hours to troubleshoot.

In the end, this write protected USB solution worked for me and I hope it will solve your problem too. But be warned, this method will delete and format the content of your USB, so ensure to copy your files to somewhere safe before trying this. This is assuming you can even see and access your files.

  1. Step 1: Find the VID and PID of your USB disk using Chip Genius v4 (400kb). Once downloaded, unzip and run ChipGenius_v4_00_0022.exe

Get_VID_and_PID

  • Step 2: Go to Flashboot to search for your USB’s VID and PID.

Based on the result, you can verify what’s your usb’s memory chip. For the screenshot above, it’s the following SC908SN/AU6989SN [E512] -F/W D82B. Also see if there are any available Utils. If not, proceed to next step.

  • Step 3:With the Chip details, Google for something like [Chip Number] + Tool, so for e.g. AU6989 Tool

Flashdrive-repair

Click on the link which contains your chip details with Flash Drive Repair.

  • Step 4: In the page, there will be instructions on how to install and fix your USB. Be warned that there are way too many ads on this page which might confuse you on which link to click on. The correct download links look like this.

Download_Link

  • Step 5: Once downloaded, you can proceed to launch the tool which should detect your thumb drive.

Assuming you have downloaded the correct tool to flash your corrupted usb disk, this method should fix and render your disk usable again.

Alcor Flash Drive Repair Write Protected

Once my disk was detected, I clicked on Start for the tool to begin fixing and formatting my thumb drive.

When completed, my usb disk works normally again.

Hope this helps anyone encountering the same problem.

About the author

Bob Lee

Hi! My name is Bob Lee and I’m a web developer / technical writer who specializes in developing and reviewing web applications. As an entrepreneur, blogger, developer, and tech enthusiast, I have been in this field for more than 10 years, and have been loving every minute of it.

6 Comments

  • Hi Bob,
    I would like to thank you for your advice and now i can use my Sandisk ULtra 32gb.
    Your solution is the best and working fine for my case.

    Regards,

  • THANKS first of all.i really want to thank u to show a good way.now my 32gb pendrive works greatly.thanks a lot .u saved my 32gb pendrive.

  • Thanks Bob for this solution. Right now I am using my office laptop with no admin rights thus I will not able to install any new software. So cleaning my pendrive is still an open task for me :(. However before I try it as soon as i get a machine with full access, I wanted to check with you in case if you are aware why and how this problem “Disk is write-protected” happened in first place ??!

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