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How to Format A Write-Protected USB Flash Drive/Pen Drive

Updated on Dec 28, 2018 by Tracy King to Partition Master

Summary:
USB flash drive/pen drive is write-protected and refuses to format with "The disk is write protected" error message? Here is a simple way you can try to remove the write protection and format the USB flash drive or pen drive with no hassle.

Cannot format your USB pen drive because it is write-protected? Get "The disk is write protected" error message while trying to format the flash drive, pen drive or SD card? Some removable storage devices like USB flash drives or pen drive have write protection which is designed to help users prevent unexpected data loss by refusing to delete or format. If you’re stuck with a write-protected USB drive that can’t be formatted with "The disk is write protected" error, please don’t worry! Here is a simple way you can try to remove the write protection and format the USB flash drive and pen drive with no hassle. 

1. Remove write protection on USB flash drive/pen drive using Regedit.exe

  1. 1. Click "Start", type: Regedit in the search box, click "Regedit.exe" to open the Registry editor when you see it is displayed at the top of the list.
  2. 2. Then navigate to the following key: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies
  3. 3. Double-click on the "WriteProtect" value in the right-hand pane of Regedit.exe.
  4. 4. Change the "Value" data from "1" to "0" and click "OK" to save the change.
  5. 5. Close Regedit and restart your computer. Connect your USB flash drive or pen drive again, and you should find the write protection is removed and the device is no longer write protected.

After that, you can recover data from SD card with powerful data recovery software and format the drive as normal by following Method 2.

2. Format a USB flash drive or pen drive after removing write protection with EaseUS partition software

EaseUS partition software, a powerful third-party disk partition management tool which works well to format USB flash drive or pen drive after removing write protection. Besides USB flash drive, the program also allows you to format a write-protected SD card when the write protection is removed. Here is the detailed guide.

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 Windows 10 is supported

 

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4