Why is my flash drive write-protected and how can I format it?

08 Feb 2012
08 Feb 2012 | |

I have a 8GB Gernade Flash Drive that “became write-protected” as I was in the middle of transferring data. I have tried many solutions, but I have no idea what is wrong and it seems like this is happening to a lot of people.

Things I have already tried:
I opened Computer Management and double clicked Disk Management. I right clicked the drive and selected “Format…” Hit OK, and OK again when it warned me that formatting will erase all data on this volume. But I got the Error “the operation did not complete because the media is write-protected” I tried selecting the drive and right clicking on the partition, but “delete Partition” was not selectable and “Format…” gave me the same error.

I ran the command prompt, typed “chkdsk I: /f” but it says, “the type of the file system is FAT32. Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected.”

I also ran the command prompt and typed, “diskpart”. In the DISKPART> prompt I typed, “list volume.” selected the volume (in my case volume 2) and typed “attributes volume clear read only” It just gives me a list of the possible commands for diskpart and prompts me again with DISKPART>
(I have tried running diskpart on a windows 7 computer and I was able to type, “attributes volume” and get a list of the attributes. Readonly along with all the other options available said value :NO. When I typed “attributes volume clear readonly” it game me an error saying the operation is not supported on removable media.)

I have run regedit and created key “StorageDevicePolicies” and DWORD “WriteProtect” and set the value at 0 (it did not exsist originally)

I have tried downloading Neo9, but when I run the application it says, “USB Flash Disk not found!”
(I also tried running Neo9 on a windows 7 computer and it gave me the same error

I downloaded the HDD low level format tool. When I ran the program and selected my disk there was a message where the details should be, “Details are unavailable for this device” I run, “FORMAT THIS DEVICE” and hit okay when it warns me that all my data will be lost. While it is running it gives me hundreds of messages, “2/7/2012 3:59:28 PM Format Error Occurred at offset 37158912 19 – The media is wrte protected” Obviously the date and offset changed as it continued. The how to site with this program said it may take a few tries so I tried 5 times on a windows 7 computer and once on a Windows XP. The same result occured with both.
and odly enough the serial number listed in the low level format tool program was 000000 although I don’t know if this is relevant.

Some more information that probably isn’t relevant:
I bought a 8GB Gernade Flash Drive from and began putting music files on it. Specifically MP3′s. I got 3.6GB of music on it when it stopped, mid tranferring data, and gave me the error, “Cannot copy data: this disk is write-protected. Remove the write-protection or use another disk.” As soon as I got that error I could no longer add, or remove any files.
There is no button or switch on the flash drive.
I have tried plugging it into Windows XP, Windows 7, and even Windows Vista, but all said it was write protected.
I was using Windows XP when it suddenly became write-protected, and attempted most of my solutions on the same Windows XP computer. I tried every solution listed above on the XP and tried most of them on Windows 7 as well.
In “My Computer” the drive used to be found under “Devices with removable storage” but now it is located in “Network Drives” However, when I plug it into Windows 7 it still is located under, “Devices with Removable Storage”
I have scanned the drive and found no viruses. I know the files I put on there had no viruses. I did not download anything or even access the internet while my drive was plugged in, before it became write protected, so I do not think it is any kind of virus.
The Manufacturer gave me this website to attempt to solve the problem, which is where I began searching for solutions. None on that page helped me, nor did the links provided in the comments have any working solutions.

If anyone has any suggestions please, PLEASE, let me know! Any way to re-format it, or just completely wipe it clean and re-install the drives, or if you just have a suggestion that wasn’t listed above. Thanks for your help!