We use removable storage devices on the computer whenever we need to copy data to another computer or to use the data for a presentation However, you may have come across the error message: ‘the disk is write protected’, when trying to copy the data on the removable disk. It can be very frustrating to see this prompt after finishing all the necessary work with only the copying action remaining. Even if you fiddle with the ‘try again’ option, it won’t make any difference as it will simply display the write protected error message again.
What should you do when you see the prompt “the disk is write protected”?
When you come across the error message, “this disk is write protected”, you can remove the write protection by following the methods highlighted next. First, you’ll need to check whether the USB disk has any mechanical protection feature and disable it. If there is none, proceed to perform the following tips.
Ø As the first step, you need to create a restore point for the system. After that, click the Windows key on the keyboard + R. The “Run” dialog box will pop up. Type the input ‘regedit’ in the dialog box and hit Enter. This will open the 'Registry Editor' for further action.
Ø On the left pane of the ‘Registry Editor’, select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and right click on it.
Ø Select 'New' > select 'key' and create a new sub-key with the name “StorageDevicePolicies”. Now, right click on the “StorageDevicePolices” and select 'New' > DWORD Value. Give the value name as 'WriteProtect' Set the value to '0' (zero). If it already has a value, change that to 0. By double clicking on DWORD, you can modify the value to 0.
Ø After setting the DWORD value to 0, click OK and close the Registry Editor.
Ø Depending on the OS you are using, 32 or 64 bit OS, you’ll need to open the DWORD 32 or 64 to make the changes.
Ø Open “My Computer”, refresh it 5 times without doing anything to your USB, and then properly eject the USB.
Ø Plug back your USB and format it using expat instead. You now should be able to copy on the disk.
Normally, this method is easy to execute and fix the error. In case this method does not succeed in solving the problem, then you can try the second method given below.
Ø In the second method, you’ll need to open Command Prompt and enter
Ø list disk
Ø select disk # (The # mark denotes the number of the USB drive that is giving the error)
Ø After selecting the disk # type “attributes disk clear readonly” and run the command.
Ø Now close Command Prompt and plug-in the USB drive.
Ø If it is still giving the same error, then the USB drive might have some irreparable damages.
The methods highlighted above are the best and simplest when you want to disable the write protection of a removable disk. If after performing both of these methods you continue getting the message that the disk is write protected, then you need to consult a professional data recovery expert, who can reconfigure the USB.