4 methods to remove write protection from a flash drive
Write protection is a mechanism that prevents us from accidentally erasing the contents of any storage unit through either a physical or logical system. On early data carriers, such as video or audio tapes, 3.5-inch floppy disks, or even some SD cards, this write protection system was physically activated by a tab that had to be broken or moved. to run such protection.
However, in the case of products that use logical or computer systems to carry out said protection, the process is not so easy. Among other things, because to execute said deprotection we are going to need a computer and follow a series of procedures with which to be able to access the pendrive and manage its files correctly. So, let’s go through the practice and see what methods we can use to remove write protection from a flash drive.
First method: Edit the registry
This option is easy to execute, although it is important that we verify that we are playing only the key that we should play, otherwise we can cause damage to the system. We start by inserting the pendrive into any port on our computer and running the Windows registry editor, typing regedit in the search box that appears in the Start menu or using the combination of the Windows key and R on computers with the same versions or later than 8.1 of this operating system.
Next we will have to search for the key “ storagedevicepolicies ”, for which we open the search, write it and wait, since the registry is quite large. Once found, you only have to modify the value of the WriteProtect key to 0, to deactivate this protection. Once the value has been modified, it is enough to restart the computer to have access to the writing of the pendrive.
At this point you may not find the key we are discussing. Don’t worry, it’s normal. What we will do then is add it manually. To do this we will move through the registry tree to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE-SYSTEM-CurrentControlSet-Control. Once in the control folder we will right click on it and choose New and Password. In the created folder we will put the name StorageDevicePolicies and then we will add a key called WriteProtect inside it . The key must be in hexadecimal format and its value must be 0, as we said before. Once the process is complete, our flash drive should work without restrictions.
Second method: From the command window
This method has the advantage of not requiring more than a couple of commands and not having to tinker with the registry, but it has the drawback that it deletes the data that exists on the flash drive. So, before proceeding, it is essential to back up all this data. Once this security measure has been taken, it will be time to place the pendrive in the USB port and access the Windows command line. This is started by typing CMD in the search box that appears in the Start menu or the combination of the Windows key and R that we have already mentioned.
Once the command window is open, we will type diskpart and press enter to access the disk management tool. This tool opens in a new window, in the same style as the command line. In this window we will first write List Disk and then Select disk X , where X corresponds to the number next to the pendrive that we want to unprotect. It is important not to make the wrong drive because, as we said before, the next step will erase all its content. This step is to write the attributes disk clear readonly command . We wait a few seconds and the product will be ready to be used conveniently.
Third method: Formatting from the command line
Continuing with the command-based methods, we also have the option of executing a conventional format before Windows starts, with which we “skip” this write protection and we can use the pendrive in normal conditions. To proceed with this type of boot, we must connect the device to our PC that is off and press the F8 key before Windows starts, to access its boot menu.
In this menu we will have to choose the “safe mode with command prompt”, since the idea is to prevent Windows from starting in conventional mode, in order to access this option. Once the computer has started, the command line will appear, similar to the old MS-Dos. Next we must change to the unit in which the pendrive is located by writing its letter next to a colon and the enter key . If it is drive E, for example, it would be enough to put E: to access it.
Since we are going to format the drive, we should have backed up its contents by now. If everything is in order, all we have to do is write the command format E: (assuming it is drive E) on the command line and press the Y key to confirm the process. In a few seconds we will have the flash drive formatted and ready to go.
Fourth method: Low-level formatting
If all the methods that we have discussed so far have not worked for you, it is time to move on to drastic solutions. Specifically, we are talking about the possibility of performing a low-level format of the drive, in order to leave it as it was when you took it out of its packaging. The problem is that this process completely eliminates any data contained in it and, in addition, prevents its future recovery. So again it’s key to back up your content before you start.
To proceed with the format we will have to resort to specific applications such as HDD Low Level Format Tool, free and with good opinions among users. The process of using it is as simple as selecting the corresponding drive, confirming and starting the formatting process. It should be borne in mind that it is a slow process, especially the larger the unit, since this format eliminates absolutely all the contents of the flash drive. So be patient and let the tool work.