Why won’t Windows reformat my LG 4GB flash drive?
Question by Tom Kogwuonye /

I have an LG USB flash and I bought it new and have not used it at all. I have tried formatting using all the software I came up with both from a previous question here at makeuseof, other blogs and forums and still not able to. I have used HP formatting software, Easeus Partition and other means still did not work. If I use the HP formatting, it says the device is media protected and if I used windows it says unable to format. What do I do? I am just frustrated. I have done the registry path of changing the values after creating a key in the windows registry still no solution. Please HELP!!!

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Answers (66)
  • Justin Pot

    If you can, try formatting using an Ubuntu live CD. I use Ubuntu to fix flash drives Windows can’t read all the time.

    You can download Ubuntu at Ubuntu.com, and check this manual out if you get lost: http://www.makeuseof.com/pages/download-50-cool-uses-for-live-cds

    Hope you solve your problem.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I do not understand you

    • Justin Pot

      Sorry: Ubuntu is a different operating system than Windows, and you can boot it from a CD or flash drive. I’ve managed to format flash drives with it that Windows couldn’t figure out. I recommend you try booting Ubuntu on your computer and using the Disk Utility it offers to format the drive.

      Your flash drive might be dead, though. How old is it?

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      It is new.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      Now if I try to format it says device is write protected. This happened after doing a low level format. Please advice.

  • Justin Fortin

    If you can’t get it to format in windows, try loading up ubuntu (or any linux) and do it through there. That almost always works for me.

  • ha14

    did you tried on MAC or Linux?

    try a command prompt
    format x: /FS:FAT32 Here x is a drive letter.

    or at command prompt under administrative rights
    Diskpart
    list disk
    Select disk number (your usb key)
    detail disk
    Select disk number (your usb key)
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition number (your usb key)
    active
    format fs=fat32 (or you can choose fs=NTFS)
    assign
    exit

    or at command prompt
    chkdsk /f X: (x your usb letter)

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I opened the cmd type diskpart then a uac came up and I clicked yes and then and I could not type of the cmd again

    • ha14

      if it is UAC problem you can disable it to solve diskpart problem, when done re-enable UAC
      http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/enable-or-disable-uac-from-the-windows-vista-command-line/

      perhaps the following article can help to solve the diskpart problem
      http://www.sevenforums.com/general-discussion/240342-how-administrator-if-i-had-standard-user-2.html

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      It says the device is write protect. How do I remove? I have tried using the registry but no success

    • ha14

      1. Start > search bar -> CMD and press enter
      2. diskpart
      3. list disk
      4. select disk # (# is the number of the USB key)
      5. attributes disk clear readonly

      Start -> Run… -> gpedit.msc -> OK
      Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Removable Storage Access
      disable all of the “Deny read access/write access” options;

      Removable Disks: Deny execute access
      Removable Disks: Deny read access
      Removable Disks: Deny write access

      Double-click each one and select the ‘Disabled’ radio button. you can revert to former state if you wish later!

      a) Right-click on usb drive and select properties in the explorer windows.
      b) In the properties window, select the security tab.
      c) Select the ‘user’ under user name and click on ‘Edit’.
      d) Check if you have Write permissions. If you don’t, check the option “Full” for full permissions or “Write” for write permissions.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      no success

    • ha14

      do again the diskpart thinggy then enter “attributes disk clear readonly” and then type “attributes volume clear readonly”

      or Change the drive letter of usb pen drive
      http://www.howtogeek.com/96298/assign-a-static-drive-letter-to-a-usb-drive-in-windows-7/
      unplug usb disk, then plug again. Click my computer and see if your usb flash disk is with the new drive letter that you assigned. Then format it with windows or another like HP format tool.

      if you have windows cd, first insert usb key and then boot on windows cd, then act like you will install windows but on usb key and choose format usb key.

      USB Disks Access Manager
      http://www.wenovo.com/freeware/usb-disks-access-manager-freeware.php
      toggle between read only and Read & Write Access for few times and see you can unlock your USB key write protected.

      Formatter
      http://irevit.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/what-revit-wants-repurposing-autodesk.html

      there is this utilityUFix Rar? if you would like to try, it is chinese web page just click on the green button to download. Before using it open task manager If the pc freezes during the process terminate the software from there..

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      For the cmd part, if I type diskpart, and then list disk or list volume it will tell me list volume or disk is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file. Then for the changing of the drive letter, when I click on the disk management, it will show connecting to virtual disk service and it will stop at loading disk information without completing the loading to view al drives. Then I tried the USB DISK ACCESS MANAGER and I toggled as you instructed but right now, windows says there is no disk attach again which was not the issue before. The issue before was to change the write proctection and now it is not recongnized again. Even when I download the ultilityUFix Rar, it says no device found.

      What to do?

    • ha14

      Write protected can be for several reasons and can be generic message because window does not know what is wrong with the USB key.

      go to device manager and look for a yellow sign and most important if it is your usb key, right click on it and choose uninstall.

      What i wanted to say in diskpart is the following
      1. Start > search bar -> CMD and press enter
      2. diskpart
      3. list disk
      4. select disk # (# is the number of the USB key)
      5. attributes disk clear readonly
      6. attributes volume clear readonly

      you can try the last two commands 5 and 6 several time, sometime it can help.

      you can try couple of time low level format and see the new result.

      if the problem is from hardware of USB then windows cannot help.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      Nothing happened

    • Alan Wade

      I’m sorry I dont understand what you mean by “nothing happened”.

      Did the link not open up?
      Did you read through their FAQ and search for the answer to your problem?

      Maybe its time to go back to the shop with it and ask them to test the functionality of the device. It could be that you have been sold a duff unit.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I read the FAQs and did not see any related problem or solution.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I tried formatting and it keeps saying the device is write protected.

  • Âdil Farôôq

    May be it have some mechnical switch a small scroll button on the side of the usb.
    if found trying moving it up or down.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      There is no mechanical switch.

    • Âdil Farôôq

      Can you exactly tell me the model number of usb??

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      LG

    • Âdil Farôôq

      Download the Apacer Formatting Utility,
      http://www.apacer.com/en/support/downloads/HS2.0_Utility_LFormat.zip

      Unzip this utility to a folder on your hard disk. Keep your flash drive plugged in, and double click on the Start.bat file in the folder where you unzipped the above utility. This will start formatting your flash drive, wait till the formatting completes and the LED on your pen drive stops blinking. Remove your pen drive after than and plug it in again.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      it says disk not found

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      It keeps saying the device is write protected.

    • Âdil Farôôq

      well the only solution left is try installing operating system on your usb flash drive and then format it. may be that work for you i have searched a lot and seen many people having same issue but there is no solution seems to work.
      You said you bought it new and have not used it then try to replace it from where you bought.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I should install win 7 on a 4g LG usb flash drive?

    • Âdil Farôôq

      As you said drive is 4GB so Win 7 OS not installs (Space not enough) try ubuntu OS or its variations.

  • susendeep dutta

    Tried mUSBfixer –

    mhotspot.com/musbfixer/

    neo9 tool –

    http://www.box.net/shared/9hgp81ndgs

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I downloaded it and it says No usb flash disk found.

    • susendeep dutta

      I think that you forgot to try using neo9 tool.It works almost every time.

  • Richard Smith

    Can you post a folder directory listing?

    You could try this:
    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/330/HP_USB_Stick_Formatting_Tool.html

    then try this:
    http://download.cnet.com/USB-Flash-Drive-Tester/3000-2086_4-10810585.html

    It may have some software on it to maintain its factory default formatting, such as UP3.
    See:
    http://www.lg.com/global/usb-flash-drives/usb_flash_drives_FAQ.jsp

    Also, make sure that you’re reformatting it as FAT32.

    Otherwise, the drive may be bad and need replacement.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      What do you mean by folder directory listing?

    • Richard Smith

      Is there anything on the drive already?

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      Nothing on the drive. It is new.

    • Richard Smith

      If nothing else will work, then you may have to contact the manufacturer (LG), or it may just be defective.

    • Richard Smith

      Is there a model number on the device somewhere? If so, could you post it here?

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      Description: [F:]USB Mass Storage Device(Generic USB Flash Disk)
      Device Type: Mass Storage Device

      Protocal Version: USB 2.00
      Current Speed: High Speed
      Max Current: 100mA

      USB Device ID: VID = 058F PID = 1234

      Device Vendor: Alcor Micro
      Device Name: Mass Storage Device
      Device Revision: 0001

      Manufacturer: Generic
      Product Model: USB Flash Disk
      Product Revision: 7.76

      Chip Vendor: Alcor Micro
      Chip Part-Number: SC708(FC8708)/AU6987/AU6990 – F/W EC23

      Tools on web: http://dl.mydigit.net/special/up/alcor.html

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      Description: [F:]USB Mass Storage Device(Generic Flash Disk)
      Device Type: Mass Storage Device

      Protocal Version: USB 2.00
      Current Speed: High Speed
      Max Current: 100mA

      USB Device ID: VID = 0011 PID = 7788
      Serial Number: 82F74346

      Device Vendor: Generic
      Device Name: Mass Storage
      Device Revision: 0103

      Manufacturer: Generic
      Product Model: Flash Disk
      Product Revision: 8.00

      Chip Vendor: Alcor(??)
      Chip Part-Number: FC8308
      Reference Product: ??:?U????????

      Tools on web: http://bbs.mydigit.cn/read.php?tid=148892

    • Alex

      ??
      Why are these 2 different?
      You reFirmware the flash drive?

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      FORGET THE FIRST. IT IS THE SECOND ONE.

    • Alex

      ok. you reflash with default settigs. nou your flash drive can be format?

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I have used the HP USB stick formatting tool and it tells me the device is media protected.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      When doing the test, is it READ OR WRITE?

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      This is the log after doing a READ test for it using the usb tester.

      00:00:26.18 – ——————————– New test process started ——————————–
      00:00:26.35 – Started “Reading test data” for drive I: 4039MB, “Generic, Flash Disk, 8.00, “, 512b
      01:11:39.03 – ! Read fatal (3/3) error at LBN = 8273792 — The semaphore timeout period has expired. (121.)
      01:11:39.03 – Completed “Reading test data” for drive I: 4039MB, “Generic, Flash Disk, 8.00, “, 512b
      01:11:39.03 – Tested total 4039.999MB in 1:11:03 with 0.970MB/s
      01:11:39.03 – Total read errors: Fatal=1, Recoverable=0

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I wanted to so a write test on it but it said no file exist.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      I also did a low level format with HDD LOW LEVEL FORMAT TOOL and this is what I got:

      02-Aug-12 17:07:29 * * * * * WARNING!!! * * * * *
      02-Aug-12 17:07:29 DURING THE LOW LEVEL FORMAT PROCESS
      02-Aug-12 17:07:29 ALL DATA WILL BE FULLY and IRREVERSIBLY ERASED!
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 =================================================
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 HDD Low Level Format Tool 4.25; http://hddguru.com
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Low level format: [3] Generic Flash Disk 8.00 [4236.24 MB]
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Device capacity: 8,273,920 sectors
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Locking device…
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Formatting…
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 0: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 65,536: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 131,072: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 196,608: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 262,144: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 327,680: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 393,216: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 458,752: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 524,288: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 589,824: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 655,360: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 720,896: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 786,432: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 851,968: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 917,504: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 983,040: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 1,048,576: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:47 Format Error occurred at offset 1,114,112: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 1,179,648: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 1,245,184: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 1,376,256: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 1,507,328: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 1,638,400: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 1,769,472: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 1,900,544: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 2,031,616: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 2,162,688: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 2,293,760: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 2,424,832: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 2,555,904: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 2,818,048: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 3,080,192: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 3,342,336: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 3,604,480: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 3,866,624: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 4,128,768: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 4,390,912: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 4,653,056: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 4,915,200: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 5,177,344: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:48 Format Error occurred at offset 5,701,632: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 6,225,920: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 6,750,208: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 7,274,496: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 7,798,784: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 8,323,072: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 8,847,360: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 9,371,648: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Format Error occurred at offset 9,895,936: 19 – The media is write protected
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Average speed: 4.6 MB/s
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Low-level format is complete.
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49
      02-Aug-12 17:07:49 Remember to create new partitions.

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      It say device is write protected. I have go to the registry to change the values still same result

  • Alex

    It has no mechanical switch?
    If not, then probably controller set flash to “write protection” mode . In this case, must exactly determine the controller type and format USB-flash specialized utility.
    If the enclosure hardly to open then softwarely can detect utility such as ChipGenius.
    Or tell me the VID / PID

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      It has no switch. How do I determine the controller type? What is VID/PID?

    • Alex

      Best tool for usb-controllers identification? imho – ChipGenius.
      upload https://www.box.com/s/42f6d3557cdc62751175
      i need info
      excuse my english

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      Description: [F:]USB Mass Storage Device(Generic USB Flash Disk)
      Device Type: Mass Storage Device

      Protocal Version: USB 2.00
      Current Speed: High Speed
      Max Current: 100mA

      USB Device ID: VID = 058F PID = 1234

      Device Vendor: Alcor Micro
      Device Name: Mass Storage Device
      Device Revision: 0001

      Manufacturer: Generic
      Product Model: USB Flash Disk
      Product Revision: 7.76

      Chip Vendor: Alcor Micro
      Chip Part-Number: SC708(FC8708)/AU6987/AU6990 – F/W EC23

    • Alex

      OK thank you!!!
      This Alcor no doubt
      http://flashboot.ru/index.php?name=Files&op=cat&id=7
      But
      I know of utilities are a little difficult, I’m afraid I can?t explain the subtleties in English …
      Right now.
      i Look for a simple solution.

    • Alex

      At one time, Transcend made flash on chips Alcor (now Silicon Motion and Innostor), and they have a simple service OnlineRecoveyi
      Since your LG has no own ID, maybe can work
      direct link http://flashboot.ru/files/public/Alcor/Alcor_Transcend_JetFlash_OnLineRecovery.rar

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      What does the first link you gave do?

      AlcorMP AU698x 120,210 + MD

    • datel datel

      OK, passed. What is the flash status now, you can format it?

    • Alex

      I’m not offer for you a specific program, simply showed the section where they are Alcor utilities. Did you Transcend OnlineRecovry, and how your LG now, protected or not?

    • Alex

      I can’t open the site and no program, but, judging by what you reflash your flash drive, the AlcorMP AU698x 120,210 + MD fits.
      The program can change the appearance / PID, serial number, manufacturer name are displayed. model and capacity (fake), LED operation mode, write protection, and much more

    • Tom Kogwuonye

      Still can’t format. Keep saying the device is write protected.

    • Alex

      flashboot site is down :(
      please share your AlcorMP AU698x 120,210 + MD to anyplace
      i must see what is it
      and try transcend OnlineRecovery (it not dangerous despite alcorMPTool)

    • Alex

      flashboot site is down :(
      please share your AlcorMP AU698x 120,210 + MD to anyplace
      i must see what is it
      and try transcend OnlineRecovery (it not dangerous despite alcorMPTool)

    • Alex

      Instead of “despite” should read “unlike”