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SanDisk Cruzer USB Thumb Drive 8GB "Write Protected"


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#1 Tumbo

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:33 AM

Hello:

I have a SanDisk Cruzer USB thumb drive and it will not let me delete files, format the disk, or do anything without an error message about being write protected. I've tried numerous ways to format this drive, with no success.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance -

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#2 Nanobyte

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:02 PM

Have you installed anything like that SecureAccess software? Typically all your files would be in a "My Vault" folder. Otherwise, do the files have a read-only attribute?

#3 Tumbo

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

Thanks for the reply...

--no SecureAccess or any other software...nor read only attribute.

There are only 2 files on the disk, it was working fine....

#4 Nanobyte

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:57 PM

Steps per a number of online posts; this from Tom's Hardware:

1. Shutdown your computer or laptop
2. Insert USB Memory Stick into your laptop or Computer
3. Turn on computer 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.

Needless to say you have to get the drive letter correct which is not necessarily G:! I could not take my PC offline to reboot so I could not try it. The "C:\windows\system32>G:" is not very clear. I assume that "C:\windows\system32>" is what first appears and then you type "G:" to change the prompt to G:\>. That is then followed by entering "format G:". Anyway, whatever works.

PS To be absolutely sure you have the correct drive letter, at the G:\> prompt, type dir and you should see a listing of the two files (or folder if that is where they are).

Edited by Nanobyte, 28 January 2013 - 11:11 PM.


#5 Tumbo

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:59 PM

Thank you for the instructions. I tried, but no luck: "Cannot format. This volume is write protected."

--Any other ideas?

#6 Nanobyte

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:09 PM

There are a number of possible remedies if you google "write protected thumb drive how to remove". Join the many people trying to get their drives back. One interesting remedy was to use a flash drive tester in destructive mode. One of the items on this link.

Edit: I took a look in the Sandisk forum. My impression from there is that the drives are at fault. They can come like yours straight out of the box. The Sandisk Guru swears it's user error but there are 15 pages of complaints just on one thread.

Edited by Nanobyte, 29 January 2013 - 09:47 PM.


#7 Tumbo

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:24 PM

Yes, I too have been one of the many people trying to get a drive back, googling and trying different methods....

I tried both of the flash drive testers, no luck....

#8 Tumbo

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 12:02 AM

I did see this post:
http://thehotfix.net/forums/index.php?/topic/29806-how-do-i-remove-write-protection-on-a-usb-flash-drive/

Under poster "Phoenix"

"your best bet would be to erase the partition structure of the device and start again, best way to do it is this

Right Click My Computer
Select Manage
Select Disk Management

When it loads you'll see the different HDD''s, CD Drives and Flash Drives you have plugged in, find the 8GB Flash Drive you want to manipulate and Right Click on the area to the left of the device name in the bottom pane, you should see Delete Partition, do that until nothing is left, once done you can right click and create a partition, choose whether you want it to be FAT32 or NTFS then let it format the drive."


I couldn't figure out where to "right click on the area to the left of the device name in the bottom pane" ????

#9 Nanobyte

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:50 PM

In Disk Management you select a partition by right-clicking it then "Delete Partition". You could try to format the partition first, which it will probably reject.

To be honest I don't think that is going to help but it's no effort to try. Repeating my opinion from reading the Sandisk forum, it seems to be a poor quality device. This write protection is active on some brand new drives, never been used. These days, 8GB drives are dirt cheap. I wouldn't even waste my time other than trying a few things. Perhaps for high speed 32GB and above.

Something I have not seen tried is to use a utility like Unlocker (or Malwarebytes' File Assassin) to try and release/delete the files.

#10 Tumbo

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 05:35 PM

I agree with you on just letting it go due to cost. I fiddled around with it on and off enough, but I think I'll just move on. Ironically, I've had an Optima Attache' 8GB USB drive that has lasted for years and years with constant use, and is still going strong....

Thanks for your help -

#11 Migration_Tech

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 01:20 PM

When you insert your drive, you may be prompted to scan the drive. Windows never found an issue with the drive, so I did not think anything of this scan prompt. You should take note when you see this scan drive prompt.

 

To get these files removed, you will need to use the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject media”, located in the System Tray. I had to close out of all Windows Explorer windows before it would allow me to Eject My Sandisk. Older Sandisk Flash drives may get an error when you improperly ejected it. This error message may not have cleared for years.

 

 

Safely removing older Sandisk drives gets rid of the prompt as well.

 

 



#12 Tumbo

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 03:24 PM

Migration_Tech:

 

Thanks for the tip.  I tried what you suggested, but the drive still remains write protected and unusable...






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