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How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive

If your pen drive is write-protected, you may not have the ability to modify files or format your drive due to restrictions associated with permissions and sharing. You can format a write-protected pen drive in Windows using either the Registry Editor or Command Prompt, or by using Disk Utility in Mac OS X.

Using the Registry Editor (Windows)

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

1. Click on “Start” and search for a program called “Regedit.exe. This program is installed on all Windows computers with Windows XP and later.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

2. Double-click on the program to launch Registry Editor in Windows.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

3. Navigate to the following location in Registry Editor: Computer \ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

4. Navigate to the following location in the SYSTEM folder: CurrentControlSet \ Control \ StorageDevicePolicies

  • If there is no folder called “StorageDevicePolicies,” right-click anywhere in the right pane of Registry Editor, point to “New,” and click on “Key.”
  • Type a name for the key, double-click on the folder, then right-click anywhere in the right pane of Registry Editor.
  • Point to “New” and select “DWORD Value,” then proceed with step #5.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

5. Double-click on the value to the right of “WriteProtect” under the “Data” column.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

6. Change “1” to “0” in the “Value data” field, then click on “OK.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

7. Close the Registry Editor window, and restart your computer.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

8. Insert the write-protected pen drive into an open USB slot on your computer.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

9. Open a new session of Windows Explorer, and right-click on your pen drive in the left sidebar.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

10. Click on “Format,” and select your formatting preferences, such as allocation size and format type.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

11. Click on “Start. Windows will format your pen drive and remove the write-protection.

 

Using Diskpart in Command Prompt (Windows)

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

1. Insert your write-protected pen drive into an open USB slot on your Windows computer.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

2. Click on “Start” and type “cmd.exe” into the search field.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

3. Double-click on Command Prompt to launch the program.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

4. Type “diskpart,” then press Enter on your keyboard.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

5. Type “list disk,” then press Enter.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

6. Type “select disk x” — with x being the number of your pen drive as listed in Command Prompt — then press Enter. If unsure which number is associated with your pen drive, refer to the disk size listed. For example, if your pen drive is 2 GB, select the disk number next to the drive with 2 GB specified as the disk size.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

7. Type “attributes disk clear readonly,” then press Enter.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

8. Type “clean,” then press Enter.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

9. Type “create partition primary,” then press Enter.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

10. Type “format fs=fat32,” then press Enter. Alternately, you can replace “fat32” with “ntfs” if you plan on only using your pen drive with Windows devices.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

11. Type “exit,” then press Enter. Your pen drive will now be formatted, and will no longer be write-protected.

 

Using Disk Utility (Mac OS X)

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

1. Insert the write-protected pen drive into an open USB slot on your Mac computer.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

2. Open the Applications folder and click on “Utilities.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

3. Double-click on “Disk Utility. The application will open and display on-screen.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

4. Click on your pen drive in the left pane of Disk Utility.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

5. Click on the “Erase” tab, then specify the format type. If you want your pen drive made compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, select either “MS-DOS File System“ or “exFAT” as the format type.

 

Knowledge How (How to Format a Write–Protected Pen Drive)

6. Click on “Erase” at the bottom of the Disk Utility window. Your computer will reformat the write-protected pen drive and change the sharing and permissions status to “read and write.”

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