If you’re stuck with a USB drive or SD card that can’t be formatted and to which you can’t copy any files, here are a few methods you can try to remove write protection and erase or format it.Some SD cards and USB sticks have write protection switches. When enabled they prevent files from being deleted, or any new files being written to the device. It also stops you from accidentally formatting the card or stick.
Occasionally, you’ll find that an SD card or USB flash drive will refuse to format and Windows will tell you that it is write protected, even though there is no switch, or the switch is set correctly to allow the device to be written to.
Typically, you can read the files which are already stored on the drive, but you can’t delete them (they sometimes seem to delete ok, but the next time you check, there they are again!).
Here are a couple of ways you can try to format the drive and remove the write protection.
Using Registry Editor:
- Open Start Menu
- Run, type regedit and press Enter, this will open the registry editor.
- Navigate to the following path:
P.S. If you can’t find the key StorageDevicePolicies , go to step 6.
- Double click the key Write Protect in the right pane and set the value to 0 In the Value Data Box and press OK button
- Exit Registry and reboot your pcIf you can’t find the key StorageDevicePolicies in step (3) you have to create it manually.
- Right-click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrrentControlSet\Control\ and select New -> Key.
- Enter the name StorageDevicePolicies.
- Click on the new registry key StorageDevicePolicies and on the right pan right-click, select New > DWORD and give it the name WriteProtect.
- Double click on it and set its value to 0.
- Restart your system and check it.
Using Diskpart (command prompt):
- Start > search bar -> CMD and press enter
- Type diskpart
- Type list disk
- Type select disk # (# is the number of the USB DRIVE you’ve plugged in )
- Type attributes disk clear readonly
- Type “exit” to exit the diskpart