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Cannot format USB stick / write protected

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting Software - Questions and Help!' started by Raul90, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Raul90

    Raul90 Active Member

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    Hi,

    I have this problem with my usb stick. All of a sudden when I inserted it into the desktop it the pc asked to format it. Well I did not because it contained files that I need. This was often the case with this stick so I declined it. I later went on to the 'My Computer' and there I could not access the stick contents. I ejected it, logged-off and inserted it again. There it was again the pc asked to reformat it. I ejected it again.

    Now after making sure I had the backup of those files at the office I obliged to the pc. After a few seconds it said 'Windows was unable to complete the format...'.

    This was the same when I ejected it and inserted it to the laptop>formatted it. It says, 'Windows was unable to complete the format...'

    So I tried wiping the drive with MiniTool Partition Wizard Home then Create partition>Fat32. The process finished but when I went to 'My Computer' and clicked the stick, it asked to format it again.

    So I went to cmd>CHKDSK :X /F (x for the usb stick drive letter). It said that it cannot perform the operation --something like that -- and that the file system is RAW.

    I went to Disk Management and tried to delete the partition to make it 'unallocated'. Afterwards "format". It again said, 'Windows was unable to complete the format...'.

    I then used HDD Low Level Format Tool ver4.25 but it said that the disk is "write protected". Used HP USB Disk Format Tool but it said 'Failed to format the device'.

    Is there a way to format it to FAT32 effectively?

    Is there a force removal of write protect? I do not use write protection on this stick or any/all of my usb sticks. I am dumbfounded as to why it is "write protected".

    I'd like as much as possible to salvage this usb stick and not buy a new one. Maybe use it for Ready-Boost or bootable usb. I had previously used this for Ready-Boost on a P4 pc (formatted it in exFat) and it was okay.

    This is both on Windows 7 x32 and Windows XP SP3. Scans by KIS 2012 / Eset NOD32 / Malwarebytes were okay. This is a generic usb stick CDRKing 16gb. No support from the dealer.

    Images below are taken from the XP partition. The same was observed in Win 7. The last was EPM Pro after I wiped the parition and formatted it (showing error) in Win 7. Please help me :(


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

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    Had this happen to me before, can't really remember what I did but I think I did try using a different operating system to try and format it, or use something like Hirens Boot CD.
     
  3. jasonX

    jasonX Regular Member

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    Had the same problem before and it was as if it happened just like that. Damn stick went berserk and I had to spend a lot of time in the internet looking for remedies to no avail. I had tried it in n XP but have not tried in Linux as I need to recover a system image and to just try it. I just replaced the usb stick. Hirens....I do not have Hirens Boot CD. Can you give a download link for it?
     
  4. Jack

    Jack Administrator MalwareTips Staff

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    Did you guys tried this solution?

    Please backup all your DATA and Follow the steps:

    How to remove a write protection from your USB memory Stick if there is no Write protection ON or OFF button on stick then
    1. Shutdown your computer or laptop
    2. Insert USB Memory Stick into your laptop or Computer
    3. Turn on laptop and then immediately start pressing (F8) key then Advanced Boot Options screen will come up
    4. Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    5. After loading files if your USB Memory Stick drive letter is (G) for example then write as
    6. C:\windows\system32>G: and press enter
    7. G:\>format G: and press enter
    8. If ask you (Y/N) then press (Y) and press enter
    9. Now a full format will start which remove write protection from USB Memory Stick.
    Note:
    Before removing USB from your computer, Always remove it safely by going into to my computer then right click on USB and click eject.
     
  5. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

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    Another reason why this could of happened is that you have pulled it out while the computer is shutting down.
     
  6. samit

    samit Active Member

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    i have also same issue with my 4gb usb drive....i can't copy more than 1.5gb to my usb drive it gives me error device is write protected....i did disk checking found no issues and also tried to format but it give me no error.....i also tried above method as mentioned by Jack but it didn't work.....
     
  7. Raul90

    Raul90 Active Member

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    Hi Jack,

    Thanks there. I'll check it out when I get home.


    Hi McLovin,

    Often when using this stick I cannot eject it via the system tray, I'd have to log-off and then unplug it there. On that scenario is there a way for not having to go to logging-off just to eject a stick?

    I also have a ready-boost donggle plugged-in(Imation 8gb -- formatted inn exFat and solely for ready-boost) and when I try to eject that, the system says, it being used --something like that. So I leave it there plugged all the time.

    @samit/jasonX,

    I saw some links but I have tried it and nothing worked either. If I can format this stick then I may be able to use it again but as mentioned had not found a solution yet so I opted to post here. Maybe you can check these out as your usb stick manufacturer may have some fixes as Transcend (they have a Jetflash online recovery tool) / Apacer(Apacer Formatting Utility). Mine is a CDRking cheapo so tsk..will never buy another.

    HERE

    HERE_2

    HERE_3
     
  8. McLovin

    McLovin Well-Known Member

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    As for Ready Boost yes, it is supposed to be in at all time. If you can't eject your USB it would be either there is still a program that is using it, or you are copying something or your AV is scanning something from it. If you would like to eject it, you would have to pull it out once the computer is completely shut down.
     
  9. Raul90

    Raul90 Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    I did what Jack and it seemed to be fine but after reboot and insertion of the usb stick, Windows said, "Please insert a disk in Removable disk (J): " I tried to reformat it via the right-click menu but it also said the same thing. Seems the stick went whack on me....Tried in the laptop but it was the same. Hmm time to throw this one away perhaps....I'll try again later as I have to go to work now. Will bring this one to the office and test it there.

    @McLovin,

    I leave it inserted always now but I seems to be an issue when I try to check 'Disk management ' in the Control Panel. It will not show the contents. See image attached. If I remove the Ready-Boost stick it shows the contents.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Thanks all :)
     
  10. tapoo

    tapoo Active Member

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    try to format it with some linux distro, i faced quite same type of problem once, after format from linux it worked normally, it was my friend's-friends' usb drive, so i now have no idea, if it working after that, after format i returned it next day :)
     
  11. Raul90

    Raul90 Active Member

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    Hello guys,

    I am in the office and the messages from Windows is the same. It asks for a disk for the removable drive. This was tested ion 5 different pc units and 2 laptops. Well I guess it's official that I need to throw this one away and buy a new one.

    Thanks for all the help guys. I have printed this and will be in my reference.

    ;)
     
  12. Raul90

    Raul90 Active Member

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    Okay. Just a follow-up on this. I junked the stick and got a new Kingston 8gb stick DT100 G2(no available 16gb at the store at the moment). Now I seem to see that there is a delay when I plug it into the system. Fist time I plug it, it said, installing device driver/successful. Then upon reboot to the 2nd partition it was not recognized as KINGSTON as partition A but Removable drive F: and it was asking to format it. All of a sudden Eset Nod32 AV gave a pop-up to scan the removable drive. I let it and clicked cancel to the windows pop-up of "I have to reformat the drive before I could use it something.." . After the scan of Eset there it was recognized as KINGSTON. Same was for the XP partition, recognized as Removable F: but after Avira IS 2012 scan it remained Removable F:.

    Might someone explain this phenomenon to me. I am in fear that if this goes again I might have to purchase another stick.

    Is there something I can do so when I insert the stick it will be read outrightly so Windows will not tell me to format it again.

    Or is there something I can do the the partitions so when I insert the stick it will not be asked to be formatted.

    Thanks again :)
     

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