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Write Protected USB Pen Drive

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  • Write Protected USB Pen Drive

    I have a 32GB USB 3.0 pen drive that has just recently become Write Protected. It has NO write protect switch and I have added the appropriate entry into the Registry to try and dissuade it from being write protected. I would list the number of different things I have tried to fix this but I would probably exceed the number of characters allowed in a post however here are a few that I remember from the past 3 days (close to 20 hours searching and trying the option).

    Forgot to mention the format state of the drive shows up as RAW whereas it was previously NTFS. Also tried converting from RAW to NTFS and FAT32 plus had a go at a couple of methods (2 days ago and can't remember what they were now) in a MacBook running OSX 10.10. It is a generic drive with a Phison controller and a Toshiba [MLC].

    (ALL attempts were done using elevated Administrator privileges)

    MBRFix (neat little app and it's free)
    ChipGenuis (where most of the links for this app lead to sites selling toilet roll holders, bathroom taps, casino sites and multiple other scamming stuff) Tried flashing the firmware using the ChipGenuis info but the firmware using FlashGenuis but couldn't write to the drive.
    EaseUS Partition Manager (funnily enough their data recovery program allowed me to potentially recover the unneeded files)
    Safe Mode Command Prompt boot and try to format from there
    LowLevel Format using different apps and it was REAL Low Level Format like on MFM and RLL drives (not the namby pamby stuff they call Low Level today. Brings back memories of those high speed Stepper HDDs; noisey bastards )
    HP Format tools
    Tomshardware - I think I tried all the options listed on their site and they do have quite a few! (scroll down to the bottom of the page in the link)

    Going to whip up a new Hiren's Bootable USB full of Shareware and free programs (with Peter Nordahl's excellent and updated password tool, and to try some Linux suggestions)

    Please do not go and spend time on this. I am just hoping someone can suggest something off the top of their head (please don't mention hair ) that I haven't come across or tried. Apologies for the short list but there really were a lot in Tomshardware and I tried multiple combinations. I am only trying because it is a 32GB drive and it is good for storing laptop WIM images on plus it also give me something to do (I appear to have watch all the pr0n on the Internet; sooooo many repeats ).

    If I don't get any successful suggestions then I might waste some money on postage and see if I can sneak it back under warranty.

    Thanks for reading and PLEASE do NOT do any research for this. Only ideas that may occur to you as you read this. Click image for larger version

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    Joined: 23rd December 2003
    Departed: 23rd December 2015

  • #2
    Did you see this utility:
    I've not used it so don't know if it is bundled with crapware, spyware etc
    A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy


    • #3
      Thanks Mark, I had not seen that utility. I can tell you that is isn't filled with crapware etc and even though it will recover 1GB worth of data/files, it will not attempt to convert from RAW to FAT32 without an activation key. I see no point in paying AUD$65 or a AUD$22 USB gadget. Think I will spend $1.50 and send it back under warranty. Thought it might have been handy to find out how to get rid of the Read Only aspect of my problem.
      Joined: 23rd December 2003
      Departed: 23rd December 2015


      • #4
        $65! Holy Cow! That's the equivalent of ransomware....

        You already seem to have covered everything I read about it. In particular, using partitioning tools to reset the drive attributes.
        Last edited by Blood; 6th June 2015, 06:28.
        A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy


        • #5
          What are consumer rights like in Australia, Chris? Over here, the retailer is responsible for faults initially and although they will try to pass the buck back to the manufacturer, if you keep pushing, they generally do all the legwork for you.
          Tom Jones
          MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
          PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
          IT Trainer / Consultant
          Ossian Ltd

          ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **


          • #6
            @ Blood, the Aussie dollar has dropped quite a bit so everything has gone up.
            @ Ossian, it's a lot of hassle over something so small but I am going to push it. The online retail site gives a 1 year warranty but charges more for extended ones. Fortunately I purchased the drive about 8 months ago. From all the testing with all the various utilities I have done it appears the MBR is borked, or at least the sector the MBR is in and is locked to Read Only. Hope I can get it replaced coz it was destined to receive quite a good WIM file for a laptop Recovery. Don't really want to give the plonker, I mean beloved great nephew one of my good USBs.
            Joined: 23rd December 2003
            Departed: 23rd December 2015