The Disk Is Write-Protected error for Removable Disks

We all use removable disks in Windows. Well, sometimes, you may came across such errors with these removable disks, that may make you believe that  the disk has malfunctioned and can’t be used at all. Today, in this article, we’ll discuss on such scenario I recently faced with a USB Drive. Actually, whenever I plug that drive and perform any operation with this drive results in following error:

The disk is write-protected. Remove the write-protection or use another disk.

The Disk Is Write-Protected

Obviously, the Try again button shown in above error box does nothing significant to fix the hitch. Due to this, you might feel that the disk is not usable and you should throw it to dustbin. But wait! If you’re really going to do so, why not try something to make this disk again this writable. Here are the two fixes you can try to make your USB drive working again:

The Disk Is Write-Protected

FIX 1

1. Create a system restore point first and then press Windows Key + R combination, type put regedit in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

 Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper has stopped working while installing Office 2013

2. In the left pane, navigate here:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control

The-Disk-Is-Write-Protected-2

3. In the left pane of this location, right click Control key and select New -> Key. Name the new sub-key so created as StorageDevicePolicies. Now come to the right pane of this sub-key i.e. StorageDevicePolicies, right click and select New -> DWORD Value. Name the newly created DWORD as WriteProtect. In some cases, you might find that this DWORD under the sub-key already exists and the DWORD has a Value set to 1. Double click on the DWORD to modify its Value data:

The-Disk-Is-Write-Protected-3

4. In the above shown box, change the Value data to 0 from 1. Click OK. Close the Registry Editor and check if the issue is resolved, else try FIX 2 mentioned below.

FIX 2

1. Open administrative Command Prompt.

2. Type these commands one by one and press Enter key after each:

diskpart

list disk

select disk # (# is the number of USB drive with which you’re getting error and is plugged in, see screenshot below)

attributes disk clear readonly

The-Disk-Is-Write-Protected-1

You may now close Command Prompt and re-plug the USB drive and check if the issue is resolved. If the disk is still showing same error, there could be a possibility that the chip-set of this drive is broken.

If this does not help you, you may want to see this post, which gives additional tips on how to remove the Write Protection on a Disk. If your data on the drive is of paramount importance, you may need to consult a data recovery professional.

Check this if you need to Write protect USB flash drives in Windows 10/8/7.

Hope this helps!

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.

81 Comments

  1. dudoy

    there is no HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl in my windows 8…

  2. dudoy

    dskpart is not also working for me.. pls help me.. thank you so much

  3. aaaaaa

    disk attributes cannot clear successfully

  4. troubleshooter313

    Type in Run window regedit and click OK
    After registry editor Open Goes to the

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorage Device Policies

    In the Right Pane Double Click on Write Protect and Type in Value 1
    Write Protection is Added

    For Remove Write Protection
    Double Click on Write Protect and Type in Value 0
    write protection will be Removed

    Or Simply Download the Application Called USB Write Protector
    For Enable and Disable USB Port its worked for me.

    from http://softlinklabs.com/2013/02/usb-write-protector.html

  5. Salman

    FIX 2 solved my issue thanks

  6. Pawel Dawid Syrek

    troubleshooter313 YOU STUPID FUCK! If I knew where you live I would come and smash your head! You should go to jail for spreading software containing malware and spyware! Guys don’t download USB Write Protector it’s simply something else in addition you will install loads of shit which will make your computer vulnerable to virus attacks/hack attacks, and will slow down your computer!

  7. PatSG

    Is this a case where the download link is unclean, as opposed to the software itself being malware ?

    USB WriteProtector (latest version: 1.2.0.0, 192 KB) is reviewed at Softpedia etc. It seems that this is a harmless portable utility to “enable or disable the write protection for all USB devices”.

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Security/Encrypting/Windows-Portable-Applications-Portable-USB-WriteProtector.shtml

  8. Pawel Dawid Syrek

    well I saw this guy posting the same link everywhere related to this topic, he usually uses the same name troubleshooter or troubleshooter**** with some numbers… I don’t know if USB WriteProtector itself is a malware or not, but the one provided by that idiot, contained loads of crap, installed without my permission which flooded my computers with all kind of crap…

  9. It is probably the case of the developer bundling crapware. If that is the case, then one has to be careful, irrespective of where he/she downloads it from.

  10. PatSG

    @Pawel — Thanks for the alert to TWC readers. By googling, I can guess which source you were probably referring to. Users might wish to take note of the following as a precaution.

    1) This “troubleshooter” person seems to be behind “Softlink Labs”, whose current IP address is shared by 407,157 other sites. The domain was created in mid 2014, & appears to be based either in India or Sri Lanka. Its Facebook page “Softlink Tricks” was created in Jul 2013.

    The website provides “USB Write Protector” (.exe file, 647 KB, 22 Feb 2013), “Troubleshooter’s BIOS Cracker” (.exe file, 647 KB, 23 Mar 2012) & so on for free public download.

    Note: This “USB Write Protector” was formerly publicized as “Softlink Write Protection Remover”, which is still available for download at various sites. Beware of new pseudonyms arising in the future.

    By inspection, it appears that the various files — regardless of filename & link — as provided at the “Softlink Labs” website are each 647 KB in size, signed by the confirmed-unsafe “Install Path Ltd”, & share the exact same MH5 hash (37b785510dd69908277a352e2f53fb70).

    As such, “Softlink Labs” & “troubleshooter” already smell like a lot of trouble. By unethically hijacking the name of a perfectly legitimate & safe software (see 2 below), it appears that Softlink Labs is engaged in propagating swindle-masquerade-malware.

    2) The above is not to be confused with the below software, which is legitimate, safe & works as it claims. I have tested it myself. This utility is available at reputable sites like Softpedia, as well as from the developer’s webpage (with detailed changelog).

    • Software: USB WriteProtector (latest version 1.2.0.0)
    • Purpose: Enable & disable write protection for connected USB devices
    • Developer: Werner Rumpeltesz
    • Type: Portable, no installation needed
    • Download Size & Extension: 194 KB, .rar
    • Extracted File: UsbWriteProtect.exe, 440 KB

    • Released: 30 May 2011, with 8 additional languages added between Jun 2011 & Feb 2014; To save space, unwanted languages can be deleted from the “Language” sub-folder.

    • Copyright: © 2006-2011 Werner Rumpeltesz
    http://www.gaijin.at/en/dlusbwp.php

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/PORTABLE-SOFTWARE/Security/Encrypting/Windows-Portable-Applications-Portable-USB-WriteProtector.shtml

  11. Pawel Dawid Syrek

    Thank you for the info, and apologies for my anger, but this happened in least expected moment, the good think is that I’m aware of how to remove all the malware and spyware, but some people can have a hard time doing it so. Being a witness when a people who knows nothing about malware/spyware and other wares came to ask me for help. Thanks a lot for a thorough research! In addition I managed to remove write protection on my usb by going to registry settings and following this tip:

    Open Start Menu >> Run, then type regedit and press Enter, this will open the registry editor.

    Navigate to the following path:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies

    Double click the WriteProtect key in the right pane and set the value to 0

    (myself changed it to 1 NOT 0) and it worked, I am not sure if I would change to 0 would do the same… at first it showed me VALUE 4 not sure why.

    In the Value Data Box and press OK button

    Exit Registry, restart your computer and then again re-connect your USB pen drive on your computer.

  12. PatSG

    @Pawel — No worries … if you hadn’t gotten annoyed at “troubleshooter” trying to stir trouble at TWC, I wouldn’t have known that he/she & “Softlink Labs” are trying to spread malware that uses the name of a legitimate software.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlStorageDevicePolicies

    The above registry key does not exist in my system, & I have not encountered USB write-protection errors. It seems that by default this registry key does not exist in Win 7 or Win 8.

    Perhaps the above key (with “WriteProtect” somehow set to 4) was created in your system as a result of some previous unknown corruption or USB-software installation. Glad to know that you have resolved your USB issue w/o the need for 3rd-party software.

  13. tobby

    non is working for me. i can’t delete files from my flash drive or send files into it. is there not a software kindof one can use. Thanks

  14. ronakpadwal

    Thanks genuine solution to my problem, fixed!

  15. I’ve tried a few ways but second way worked for me. Thanks a lot.

  16. Nippy

    there is no HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl in my windows 8.1 what will I do? Thanks.

  17. Nippy

    I dont have fix 2 🙁

  18. priscila

    any works for me 🙁

  19. Zdenko

    Nice article but nothing worked to many users!

    Even when you tried to format your USB Key it didn’t allow you saying “the disk is write protected”!
    I have had the same problem and I RESOLVED IT ! The problem is very dilated, you know for it, but may be also manufakturers of yours USB keys knows for it? I have 4GB USB Key Transcend and I found a Tool “Restore/Format” write protected USB Key on their site. With it I succefully formated my Key. i suggest you to look in the site of your manufacturer for the tool or ask them for help.

    WARNING: Make sure that you back up all the files and information from your USB drive to your computer. All data will be lost once the USB drive is formatted.
    Very glad if I help you, yours Zdenko (73 years)

  20. szyhawk

    The second fix – the ‘diskpart’ fix – was successful!! I have been trying to fix this issue with my WD Passport for ages. I have tried the regedit method and anything else i could find… Finally!

    Thank you so much!

  21. ^^ Glad it helped! Thanks for feedback 🙂

  22. Maxamad Muqtaar Maxamad Niinii

    how to solve The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error

  23. :(

    Tried the diskpart method, got “DiskPart failed to clear disk attributes.” Any ideas?

  24. ^^ Seems like the disk is damaged. Suggest you to contact manufacturer or professional data recovery services to retrieve data or get hardware fixed.

  25. asazes

    there is no EXFAT on the file type.
    when i format my usb.

    it keeps saying
    ” the disk is write protected “

  26. Divyesh

    this trick is not working. please tell me another option…..

  27. Soeng Piseth

    this method not work for my window XP

  28. Elken Theo

    my system said, you need permission to copy files to pendrive, help me out!!

  29. Bill Brown

    Hi,

    Use the Diskpart command in step 2.
    This may help.

    1. Is your Windows account an administrative account?
    windows+r
    lusrmgr.msc
    Open Groups
    Open Administrators
    If your user account is listed, then you are an admin.

    2. Did you open an administrative command prompt.
    windows+r
    cmd
    Ctrl + Shift + Enter
    Then run steps from 2. above.
    If that fails, change every time is says “disk”, after “diskpart”, to “volume”.

  30. qasim

    thanks man you have done a great job

  31. Treah Revol

    you must make the last folder

  32. Treah Revol

    I tried both but none worked

  33. waseem

    hello dear .me not showing storeag device policies, plez tell me what can i do

  34. Z.Evolution

    Thank u so much, I need it. Goodluck

  35. ^^ Glad it helped 🙂

  36. Alex Leyva

    FIX 1 didn’t work for me so i tried FIX 2 and everything goes smoothly until the last step.

    After i enter “attributes disk clear readonly” i get

    “Microsoft DiskPart version 6.0.6000
    VOLUME – Manipulate volume attributes”

  37. Young Khemist

    create it ur self
    by right clicking on “control” and selecting “new key”
    right click on the right pane and select “new DWORD key”
    and rename it “WriteProtect”

  38. sohaib jamal

    Sir i cant find “storagedevices polices” in windows 7 ultimate…. please help me…
    give me an alternate way …
    plzzzzzz
    plzzzzz

  39. Jagan Arvind Yadav

    i have an usb which is write protected and its showing in hard disk drives options.not in removable devicethan how to remove it.

  40. Matthias B

    First, check if you ‘unlocked’ your external drive. On a lot of sd cards nowadays there’s a little lock-button. Having it locked creates the same error and can’t be fixed with the solutions above

  41. Bobby

    Fix 1 solved the problem. Thank you very much..

  42. ^^ Glad we could help! 🙂

  43. Clinton Laker

    Thanks a lot.. it worked.. i just search the “writeprotect” Value and found it in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMControlSet001ControlStorageDevicePolicies….and i follow your instruction…

  44. ??????? ????? ?????

    this one works.
    it’s very helpful
    thank you.

  45. SATISH MOVVA

    Thanks a lot!! Fix 2 worked for me 🙂

  46. Aridus

    Worked for me. Thanks!

  47. fying

    Both are Not Working to me…In fact, The Flashdrive is not detected after trying this.

  48. Muhammad Faraz Khan

    dude i can’t formet my CArd these method i had tried know what can i do ..

  49. Bernardo

    Hello Good Morning Sir.

  50. Bernardo

    i try to remove write protected on my usb but i can’t? how can i remove it.

  51. jcy

    replying for the benefit of others: right click on the command prompt icon and choose “run as administrator”

  52. Gogar Shravani Yaduvanshi

    there is no write-protection is shown, but still it is write protected.

  53. Chirag Chetan

    I had a bootable usb with ubuntu 12.04 in it. and now i am not able to format it. tried both the above steps but none seems to be working. I have windows 7 ultimate. Fix 1 doesnt have storage policies option and fix 2 not working. any help would be appreciated. Even tried low level formatting software.

  54. Jonathan Baldrey

    done both the steps….still doesn’t help..!!

  55. Simon Hayes

    doesn’t work for me tryed everything they said but nothing working doing my head in trying to delect everything off my 500gb usb stick so i can use it on my ps4

  56. Dilshan Hettiarachchi

    i tried through all this method to unlock my USB device. I was just able to remove the wire protection temperately . the pen will unprotected at the begging when it connect to the computer bus after some time it will protected automatically. I format my drive several times in windows computer and also in linaX but it will repeat the same error again and again . help me to fix this.

  57. Sajid Mansoor

    Thanks (fix 2 worked for me)

  58. Ragauskas Audrius

    No take efect

  59. Ragauskas Audrius

    Is no take efect ….

  60. Tarun Baghel

    i am try all step that you sad but it wont work what should i do now tell me

  61. Harsh Vishwakarma

    both of these methods are not working

  62. Lou

    So… Fix 2. For some reason, the disk won’t work at all. It was working before I pulled it from my tablet to try and transfer a file to it on my Win10 desktop. Now that I’ve run through these steps to fix the problem (neither worked btw), the disk seems to be completely unwriteable no matter where I plug it into.

    Do you have a step by step to undo these so called “fixes”?

  63. Vinlander Lokison

    i went to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControl and there is no StorageDevicePolicies folder (win10)

  64. Andrew Christou

    Thanks this really helped when i added the new registry policy and then used the command line to remove the readonly state.

  65. CrazyKP

    Still I Cant change the Write Protect from My USB. Even though I have tried both the methods!!!!!

  66. Red Aardvark

    At least in Windows 10, the command needed in Fix 2 is Select Disk=# That is, an equals sign is required.

  67. select disk #” also works.

  68. Jomnin

    HELP!

    Neither both Did not worked in my case. PLease

  69. Zeno Vitalis

    thanks ,solution is very successfully

  70. swathi sambram

    how to remove write protection from disk windows 8 ….i tried making the value to 0 in the run regedit plz help me i m nt able to use any pendrive
    solutions.

  71. Abhimanyu doifode

    my write protect value also 0.. plz help me ho should i do this

  72. HARSH VADODARIA

    there is no option in storage device policy.any idea?

  73. Mphatso Mwale

    Well it worked for me. Real useful. 5 star

  74. fred

    there is no way to do this in widows 10 pro

  75. fred

    no storage devices policies

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