Yesterday I was transfering some data from a USB stick (64GB Spaceloop, by CnMemory, it says on the outside), and everything worked fine. I reset the laptop after installing VolMouse (a great program to control the volume via the mouse wheel - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/volumouse.html
), and when the laptop booted I discovered that the USB stick wouldn't let me delete any files from it. Nor would it allow rename, it just acts like it's purely read only.
I tried it in my desktop PC, which also saw it as totally read only. And on my Android tablet, using a program called Explorer, it does seem to allow deleting and renaming on the USB stick, but not really, as if I then put the USB stick back into my desktop, or unplug it from the tablet (after performing seemingly successful renames or deletes) and put it back into the table, then it turns out that nothing has been deleted or renamed. And the data on the USB stick is not corrupted, it has video files on it that still play, and archive files that are still perfect (according to 7zip's brilliant batch Test function).
Fair enough, the stick is probably just dying, they're cheap enough to replace so I'm not too bothered. But two things do bother me:
1) Why does the Android program show the rename or delete operations as being successful? If I use it to rename a folder, then the folder shows as being renamed, and when I select it (still on Explorer, in the tablet, of course) then I can open the folder (via it's new name) and it goes into the folder, despite the folder's name NOT being the new name (i.e. if I rename 'ebooks' to '2' then Explorer shows it as being named '2', and no folder named 'ebooks' is listed any more, and I can now go into the folder 'ebooks', even though no such folder really exists, since it's still called 'ebooks'). Not a major problem, but it's a stupid flaw, either in Android, the tablet, or most like, in Explorer.
2) Much more annoying is that it turns out that Windows has the ability, apparently, to make a USB stick (and USB drive, I assume?) write-only. I didn't know that, nor did anyone I asked. If Windows has this ability, then (a) why not publicise it, and (
why not put a ****ing option on the control panel or somewhere to turn it on and off? I'm using Windows 7 on my laptop and desktop, so maybe a user friendly option does exist in later versions of Windows, but if so then no one mentions it on the web pages I've searched.
Instead, I only found out about this 'feature' when googling on the off chance that this wasn't simply a case of my USB stick's hardware failing. Turns out, Windows causing a USB stick to become read-only isn't too uncommon (though to be fair, it's never happened to me before), and there are lots of users with the problems, though no doubt many of them actually have failing USB sticks instead. There are three sorts of solutions that I could find:
1) Edit the Windows registry (though I don't see how this could affect something that must be stored on the USB stick, I mean, since when I plug the USB stick into the laptop/desktop/Android table they all treat it like it's read only, so surely the read only flag is on the USB stick itself?)
2) Use a Windows based command line program called "Diskpart"
3) Download and use various third party programs that claim to make the USB write-able again.
None of the above worked for me, and if the USB stick is indeed physically failing than OK. But I'd like to be able to confirm that it is a genuine hardware fault, and not that Windows has somehow caused a working USB stick to be flagged as read only. I didn't even know that a USB stick did have a "Treat this drive as if it's read only" flag, so does anyone know of any program that will scan a USB stick and tell you the status of such a flag, and preferably also allow you to change the status of the flag? And if this feature does exist, when why doesn't Microsoft have it somewhere in Windows Control Pane?
And if, like me, you didn't know it was possible to set a USB stick to read only, then simply google it, and you'll find lots of people who suddenly found their USB stick acting like this, many of whom were able to fix it with the methods mentioned above.
Note: Of course I'm not talking about files or folders being set to Read Only, I'm familiar with that, I mean the whole USB stick not allowing delete, or rename, or new files being copied to it, and when you write click on a file, you don't even get the RENAME or DELETE options in the list of options. It's a standard 64GB USB stick, normal USB connector, NTFS format, a few years old. I've been using various USB sticks for years, both the laptop and desktop are Windows 7, I've tried other USB sticks in them since and I can rename, delete, and put new files on them no problem, but this one USB stick is still acting like it's read only.
Edit: The USB stick is a 64GB Spaceloop, by CnMemory, not by ChMemory (I initially put a 'h' instead of an 'n', sorry)
Edited by Kerr Avon, 08 November 2017 - 11:46 AM.