USB Flash drive has read only access and trying to remove it

Deerek11
Deerek11 used Ask the Experts™
on
Hello everyone Merry Christmas... I got a read-only flash drive 60GB Fat 32 that I am trying to write too. I have tried to go into Disk Managment tool with no luck to format or anything to the drive, so I tried to DiskPart and cleared the attributes and that didn't work. Then I downloaded a freeware app to access the drive to wipe the drive or remove partition with no luck. Any suggestions.... Seems like a simple problem but has me stuck
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

Commented:
a) If the device was sold read-only there's nothing that can be done by a consumer.  The R/O attribute is built into the device's hardware or firmware.  This is often the situation with free USB drives containing advertising.

b) If the device should be read-write but is now read-only there's nothing that can be done by a consumer.  Flash devices become read-only when their read error count reaches a certain level or when sectors in the bad block replacement pool fall below minimum.  This is done in the drive's firmware to protect the data when the drive starts to fail.  Recover the data and, if the drive is still within warranty, return it to the manufacturer for replacement.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
i would try it with diskpart commands as shown here :  https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001617.htm
you can also use safelyremove https://safelyremove.com/index.htm
nociSoftware Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Als verify the filesystem used on the USB stick. If it is a read only format (ISO, (cd-rom, dvd images) , or some of the "flash" filesystems meant for embedded devices )  writing just makes no sense. Then use a prartition tool (fdisk, gfisk etc. ) to wipe the data.

This can also work then (on a linux system):   dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx  count=1 bs=2048
(wiping the bootblock) also /dev/sdx needs to be replaced with the correct device for the USB stick... becarefull, you can wipe your harddisk this way too....
(harddisk most probably is /dev/sda  but be sure to check.
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Author

Commented:
The drive is fairly new within two months and not much has been writing to the drive or deleted. Also I have tried the Diskpart command line fix with no luck. I have also tried Fdisk and a few free ware apps to wipe the drive with no luck. Also I am doing all of this remotely if I had the drive here I could pop it in a Linux, or Mac OS  operating system and see if I could any luck with those options
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
it looks like it is bad then - do you have any warranty on it?  use it then
btw - could you ever write anything to it ?
it is fairly possible the drive ran out of working sectors and switched to read-only mode. if i am correct, this should be visible in SMART attributes of the drive

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