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External 2TB Sata USB drive suddenly is "read only"

Posted on 2011-03-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hardware:  2TB Seagate GoFlex External USB Sata
Software:  Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
Issue:  For reasons unknown, the 2TB drive became “read only”.  After trying numerous solutions, including registry entries, resizing, mbr fix, still “read only”.  After formatting, the drive became fully functional.  Then, once again became “read only”.
Pulled the drive out of it’s case (which plugs into a power cradle), and formatted it again using another power/usb connection.  The drive became fully functional.  Once it was hooked back up to it’s case and cradle, back to square one.  But, outside the cradle’s connections, it was fine.
Finally pulled it again, and installed it in my Dell desktop.  No problems.  It replaced a 500GB drive that I installed into the GoFlex case with the power cradle.  No problems.  I’m guessing it’s a hardware issue with the cradle attachment, or something to do with the drives size.  Any idea’s .  BTW, the Web is full of people having similar problems with their external drive.  T.I.A.
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Question by:jtabakman
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by:dlethe
ID: 35097438
One can programmatically make the HDD read-only, but that functionality is not well known to the public and I doubt there are too many applications (and certainly no viruses) that would set it this way.   Even if it was programmed to be read-only, formatting the drive would not change the state.

So I don't see how the disk itself was truly set to be read-only.  So this leaves some windows nonsense or application / antivirus software, or hardware.   Download a shareware "binary editor" that lets you read/write actual disk sectors.   Next time this happens kick of the program, find a sector at the end of the disk drive that is all zeros, and arbitrarily change one of the zeros to something else.  (document it).  Save it, then restart the program and see if it changed.  This will potentially tell you if it is hardware or a windows software problem.
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by:noxcho
ID: 35107098
Have you checked your user ownership rights on this drive?
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jtabakman earned 0 total points
ID: 35119761
Thank you very much for the timely response.  As I stated, once I swapped out the drives, everything was normal, and has stayed that way.  I'll leave it at that, but I want to say again that I'm certainly not alone regarding this issue.
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by:jtabakman
ID: 35154576
Sorted it out myself.
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