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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Disable write protection in usb pen drive

This is one of those most searched for things on the net that there did not seem to be a solution for. One of my USB pen drives locked up during a file transfer and write protect was somehow enabled. There was no physical write protect switch.This was not too bad as I was able to recover all the files from the drive but I was reluctant to throw away the thing away so it was either fix it or put it in the furnace at work and completely destroy it. I scoured the net and was given no hope what so ever. All the tips I found related to enabling write on disabled USB ports rather than drives or suggested reformatting the drive, which did not work as the drive was write protected. I even tried other operating systems and a hacked version of a very early DOS with no success. Eventually I hit upon a dirty solution...

First I removed the drive from its plastic case and plugged it in to a short USB extension lead (so I could turn it over) and plugged it in to my laptop.

Then I booted in to safe mode command prompt only.

I accessed the directory with the E:> Dir command and it gave me a list of the files on the disk.

Using the Del command I got the message Unable to Delete *** Disk is write protected.

I tried E:> Format E: and got Unable to format E: Disk is write protected.

Finally I keep reading the directory and every time the PC accessed the USB drive I ran a small screw driver over the tiny pins of the chip in the USB drive.

Eventually I got the message that the PC could no longer read the drive. I had corrupted the data.

I tried E:> Format E and this time the drive formatted without any problem.

I did however get a message that...There are open objects do you wish to close them?   I hit Y and enter and the format started.

The drive is now back in use and I did not have to throw it away with all my sensitive data on. Okay it is a kill or cure method but it worked for me.

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