Windows 7 - usb drive write protect - unable to remove

Boomhauer Posts 1 Registration date Friday December 23, 2016 Status Member Last seen December 23, 2016 - Dec 23, 2016 at 01:09 AM
Tabeer Posts 63 Registration date Thursday December 3, 2015 Status Member Last seen December 26, 2016 - Dec 23, 2016 at 08:00 AM
Hello, everyone. I am running windows 7 updated to most current.
I have two separate usb drives which I attempted to use RUFUS with, to write an iso to. This process worked about 6 months ago but I lost that drive.

So today I was going to re-install windows 7 to a family members computer but I needed an install disk. I attempted to use RUFUS 2.9 Portable to create the drive. Both times, the file failed to write after about 3 hours so I would cancel it. These drives are no longer usable and are now marked as write protected. I have tried many many fixes out there which exist for write protected drives but none have worked.

I have edited my registry. I have tried right clicking the drive to format (says it is write protected). I have tried running USB Disk Storage Format Tool 5.3 and the one by HP , both failed. I have attempted entering diskmgmt.msc but this fails to list the drive (but it shows up in windows explorer under Computer. I really have no clue what else to try. I am going to continue to try to look for solutions but I am looking for suggestions. I have used two separate usb drives by separate manufacturers. I am guessing if I continue to use other drives, they will continue to "die" since they are now unusable.


3 responses

Ambucias Posts 47357 Registration date Monday February 1, 2010 Status Moderator Last seen February 15, 2023 11,178
Dec 23, 2016 at 04:44 AM
Click start
then run regedit
go to this directory HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Currentcontrolset\control\
if you can't find StorageDevicePolicies under control folder
then make some new one. Follow this steps:

step 1:
go to this directory HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Currentcontrolset\control\
again and right click control folder

step 2:
select new, then click key and rename the new key #1 folder into

step 3:
right click StorageDevicePolicies folder and select new DWORD(32-bit) Value
for 32-bit Operating System and select new DWORD(64-bit) Value
for 64-bit Operating System

step 4:
rename dword newer folder into WriteProtect, then double click WriteProtect
and change the value data into 0 with hexadecimal base, Then close regedit

step 5:
open my computer and refresh it 5 times without do anything to your usb, and
properly eject your flash drive

step 6:
plug in your usb again into your computer and format it using exfat instead of fat32

Now, you can use your flash drive again
R2D2_WD Posts 3606 Registration date Monday September 1, 2014 Status Member Last seen February 20, 2017   155
Dec 23, 2016 at 03:47 AM
Hi Boomhauer,

So basically, whatever drive you connect to that PC, it shows error message and it not possible to use it even on other PCs. Is this right? It is strange that the drive is listed in Computer, but is missing in Disk Management. Are you trying to install Windows on a laptop PC?
In general, it is possible that a damaged port causes trouble but in most of the cases, a USB drive damaged by a faulty port is not recognized at all. I strongly recommend you to reinstall the USB hubs and to seek updates for the USB drivers.
If you wish to try and save those drives, I would recommend you to connect them to a Linux PC and try to format them there. If you have no access to a Linux PC, download a Linux Live version. Most of them are free and no installation is required.

Hope this helps

Tabeer Posts 63 Registration date Thursday December 3, 2015 Status Member Last seen December 26, 2016 23
Dec 23, 2016 at 08:00 AM
1. Create a system restore point first and then press Windows Key + R combination, type put Regedit in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.
2. In the left pane, navigate here:


3. In the left pane of this location, right click Control key and select New -> Key. Name the new sub-key so created as StorageDevicePolicies. Now come to the right pane of this sub-key i.e. StorageDevicePolicies, right-click and select New -> DWORD Value. Name the newly created DWORD as WriteProtect. In some cases, you might find that this DWORD under the sub-key already exists and the DWORD has a Value set to 1. Double-click on the DWORD to modify its Value data:

4. change the Value data to 0 from 1. Click OK. Close the Registry Editor and check if the issue is resolved, else try FIX 2 mentioned below.