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1 Flash Drive Features
2 Special Flash Drives
3 Problems and Troubleshooting
4 Flash drive recovery

Read Only flash drive - How To add or Remove the Write Protection

Part 1: What is Write Protection?

This is a safety mechanism that helps you to keep the contents of a disk secure. It prevents anyone from adding extra data on the part which is protected. To "write" on a disk is the process of saving data on the protected part. Technically, write protection implies that the said data cannot be changed in any way. Therefore, you cannot erase, edit, move or perform any other action on this data. In some instances, the only exception to this is the ability to read this data.

Part 2: Why Write Protect Data?

One of the most fundamental properties of data is the fact that it can be easily modified. This makes it vulnerable to manipulation and easy distortion of accuracy. Some data is incredibly valuable, and has to be protected from even the slightest of changes.

The obvious solution here is to make it untouchable - hence the write protection. This process is fool proof - since there is no point of placing measures of protection on data, if they can be bypassed or overridden further along the line.

Secondly, for people who frequent cyber-cafes or use multiple PCs to store their information, there is an option to write protect their external storage devices. The reason for this is that there are annoying viruses which self-replicate themselves into pen drives. Write protection prevents that.

The biggest upside of the process is the fact that the integrity of the information is kept intact, regardless of the number of hands that it passes through. However, it also has a downside - some data is dynamic and changes with time; hence it may render the storage device useless after it has run out of its usefulness.

Part 3: How to Write Protect a Flash Drive

The easiest way of write-protecting a flash disk is by purchasing one which comes with a switch made specifically for this reason.

read only flash drive

However, not all flash drives are created equally, hence there has to be extra measures for achieving the same goal for those which do not have the switch. Here we go...

Step1.Note the drive letter associated with your usb flash disk, like E, H, J, K, etc.

Step2. First open the Windows explorer. This is easily done by pressing Windows Key+ E.

Step3. When the explorer pops up, right click on the letter from part #1.

Step4. A menu drops down on selecting your drive. At the bottom part, you will see the part written "Properties ." Click on that dialogue box.

read only flash drive

Step5. Choose "Security", then under "User" or "Group", choose "Everyone" and then "Edit", as shown in the image.

read only flash drive

Step6. You will notice a tab labeled "Permissions." The important part for editing is labeled as "permission for everyone." Here is where you designate the disk as write protected, by checking the "deny" boxes.

read only flash drive

Step7. Click "Apply" or "OK" and it will be done.

Note that once you enforce write protection from any computer, everyone including you will be unable to modify the data.

Part 4: How to remove the write protection from a usb flash drive

Step1. Plug in the write-protected disk.

Step2. Press Windows+E and right click on the drive letter of the disk in question.

Step3. Right-click on the disk and choose "properties", then "Security."

read only flash drive

Step4. Select "Everyone" under "Group" names

Step5. Select "Edit" and go to "Permissions"

Step6.Tick all the boxes labeled as "Allow"

read only flash drive

Step7. Click "Apply" and exit. Your disk's write protection has now been removed.

Part 5: How to Format a read - only Flash Drive with write protection

This is the process of wiping out everything which is in the disk. Below are important steps to guide to format your read-only flash drive write protection

Step1. Open the registry editor. This can be done by pressing the "Windows" key and typing "regedit." An app called "regedit.exe" will request administrator permission to run; click "OK."

read only flash drive

Step2. Find the directory labelled "ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM"

Step3. Once you have navigated to the key, select "CurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies"

read only flash drive

Step4. The "Write Protect" value shows up. Right- click on this option (where it is labeled as 1).

Step5. Change the value 1 to 0, and press OK.

Step6. Apply the changes and restart the computer. Remove the flash drive from the USB port, while at it.

Step7. When the computer turns on, insert the flash drive and right click on the drive letter.

read only flash drive

Step8. Select "Format".

read only flash drive

Step9. Choose "Default allocation size" then "Start" and click "Yes" when you are given the warning (that ALL the data will be lost).

Step10. Click OK when done.

You have now successfully formatted the usb flash drive. You may save your files once again, and keep them protected.A great way of keeping your files safe would be to change their properties to hidden, since other users seldom go as far as unwitting them. The logic behind this is that people do not go looking for something that is hidden.

However, this method is not guaranteed to give the best results, since it protects only from people, and not malware.

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