How to only write protect a single partition on USB flash drive

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  1.    #11

    Mr Bee said: View Post
    Which do you want to protect. Windows or FAT32.
    If windows it's likely only the disk can be done!
    Not sure why you distinguish between Windows and FAT32 ... you should instead be distinguishing btwn NTFS and FAT32 since those are the 2 partitions of my USB pen. Doesn't matter so much for me which one to set as read-only ... as long as one can be done ...

    For the ppl who're gonna ask me - why would you have a fat and ntfs partition. Reasons:
    1. When scanning from public/office scanners, many of those usually can't write to ntfs so if you want to scan your stuff and want it saved to your usb pen u better have it set so that the fat32 partition comes first in the LBA sector sequence (and not the ntfs one) so that it is seen and recognized by the scanner, thus scanner can write your stuff to it and u're a happy bunny.
    2. The 4gb barrier that fat32 puts necessitates that we need to have an ntfs partition close by.
    3. As mentioned in 1. having set the fat32 partition as first in the LBA sector sequence (and not the ntfs one) you're now able to do cool things such as - paste extracted bootable images of whatever you may want into the fat32 root directory - e.g. Windows Installation (for rescue purposes), bootable live Linux distros (as I have with Mint), or just about anything that is bootable. Simply reboot and hit your F-whatever key and it'll boot into your stuff.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #12

    lx07 said: View Post
    IIRC, Windows 7 will only see first partition though. Have you tested your USB on 7 and it can see second partition?
    Windows seeing multiple USB partitions is new to Windows 10 (but see windows xp - USB sticks and multiple partitions - Super User for hacks on earlier versions).
    In any case anything you set (to be read only) can be undone unless you have a hardware switch (like on SD card) which applies to whole drive.
    Perhaps encryption (bitlocker, encrypted 7z/zip file or veracrypt container) would be a solution.
    Thank you for the reply.

    Well aware of that limitation of 7 and well aware that it has been overcome in 10. However - a way to overcome it in 7 is to use the same 3rd party tool, which I used in order to partition the USB in 2 bits in the first place - namely, the app BOOTICE by Pauly. That same app allows you to set as Active whichever one of the 2 (or more) partitions that you may have
    Already went with encryption and that is what I have on the NTFS partition, the FAT one I keep unencrypted for the purposes I listed in my previous post :) However, encryption is not a great option as once you decrypt your partition and start working on it your 'guard' is basically off. So 'smart' anti-virus apps go ahead and real-time scan your usb and without asking delete stuff ... false positives. That's the whole point anyway - that I have the NTFS where I work (regardless of whether or not it is encrypted), while the FAT32 is set (on demand) as read-only so that my database is there and smart anti-vir do not touch it.

    Already tried an encrypted 7z file. It's a good idea but the issue is that I'm still on my way to discovering how to have a 10-20gb databese into a 7z encrypted file and yet being able to add and/or delete files from that archive without the whole archive having to be recreated. In other words - you cannot just add or remove a file from the archive without the whole archive having to be sorta redone and that takes LONG on a 10-20gb database.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

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