How to Format a Write-Protected Pen Drive?

A write-protected pen drive means that you cannot add and remove any file from the USB drive. If you try it, an error message will pop up on the screen saying, “The disk is write protected.” In this scenario, you cannot even rename or delete a file from the USB drive. There is only one option left to make the pen drive reusable. Formatting the write protected pen drive is an effective way to resolve the error. There are various software products which are easy to download and access. But, you can use an antivirus or the inbuilt Command Prompt utility to check for malware. Let us see how to format a write-protected Pen Drive.

Formatting using the Command Prompt

  1. Attach your pen drive with the computer.
  2. In Start menu, type cmd.
  3. Click cmd in the search results to open Command Prompt.
  4. Now type diskpart in the command prompt and press Enter.
  5. Type list disk command and again press Enter.
  6. Now, type select disk 1 or select disk 2 and hit Enter.
  7. Type attributes disk clear readonly.
  8. Now, press Enter.
  9. Type Clean in command prompt.
  10. Again press Enter.
  11. Type create partition primary and press Enter.
  12. Type format fs=fat32  or format fs=ntfs and press Enter
  13. Now type exit and press Enter to close the command prompt.

Formatting using Registry Editor

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open Run
  2. Now type regedit in the program and press enter.
  4. Go to SYSTEM in the left panel.
  5. Scroll down to CurrentControlSet and move to Control.
  6. Now, click StorageDevicePolicies.
  7. If you don’t find the option, then right-click anywhere on the right pane.
  8. Select New and click Key.
  9. Now, type a name and double-click the folder.
  10. Again right-click anywhere in the right pane and go to New.
  11. Now, select DWORD
  12. Double click on the value under Data column.
  13. Change the value from 1 to 0 and click Ok.
  14. Now Exit the window and close Registry
  15. Now, go to my computer and right click on the USB drive.
  16. Select Format from the menu.
  17. Now, click Start to begin the formatting.

The process might be long, but it is a workaround which people have followed and claimed to be workable. Formatting a write-protected pen drive will no longer prevent you from using your device again.

Karen Minton is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, Karen has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as

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