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    Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows

    Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows

    How to Enable or Disable Write Protection for a Disk Drive in Windows
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    2015-01-14
    Designer Media Ltd

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    How to Enable or Disable Write Protection for a Disk Drive in Windows

    information   Information
    Write protection (read-only) on a disk prevents the contents on the disk from being changed.

    There are many reasons for how a disk is write protected.

    This tutorial will show you different ways to enable or disable write protection for a hard drive, memory card, or USB drive for all users in Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to be able to do the steps below.

    Note   Note
    You will not be able to write protect the Windows drive.


    CONTENTS:
    • Option One: Enable or Disable Write Protection for USB Drive or Memory Card with Physical Switch
    • Option Two: Enable or Disable Write Access for All Removable Disks in Group Policy
    • Option Three: Enable or Disable Write Protection for Disk using Diskpart Command




    EXAMPLE: "The disk is write-protected." error message
    NOTE: This is the usual error message a user will get when trying to format or write (ex: copy) something to a write-protected disk.
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    Name:  This_disk_is_write-protected.jpg
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    EXAMPLE: Error 0x8000FFFF: Catastrophic failure
    NOTE: This is an error message a user will get when trying to create a new folder on a write protected disk in Windows 10.
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    Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows OPTION ONE Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows
    Enable or Disable Write Protection for USB Drive or Memory Card with Physical Switch

    Note   Note
    Some USB flash drives and memory cards have a physical switch that allows you to lock or unlock write-protection for it. The location of a switch (if available) on a USB flash drive will vary.

    If locked, this will override any other option below, and the device will be write protected on all PCs you connect it to until unlocked.


    1. Examine the USB flash drive or memory card for a switch like below. If available, you can move the switch to the locked or unlocked position to enable or disable write protection for the device.

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    Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows OPTION TWO Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows
    Enable or Disable Write Access for All Removable Disks in Group Policy

    Note   Note
    This option is only applied when removable disks are connected to the PC that the policy is set on.

    Local Group Policy Editor is only available in the Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions.






    Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows OPTION THREE Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows
    Enable or Disable Write Protection for Disk using Diskpart Command

    Note   Note
    This option is only applied when removable disks are connected to the PC that the policy is set on.


    1. Open an elevated command prompt.

    2. In the elevated command prompt, type diskpart, and press Enter. (see screenshots below)

    3. In the elevated command prompt, type list disk, and press Enter. Make note of the disk # (ex: disk 1) for the disk you want to enable or disable write protection for.

    4. In the elevated command prompt, type the command below, and press Enter.

    select disk #

    Note   Note
    Substitute # in the command above with the actual disk # from step 3.

    For example: select disk 1


    5. Do step 6 or step 7 below for what you would like to do.


    6. To Enable Write Protection for the Disk

    A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below, press Enter, and go to step 8 below.

    attributes disk set readonly

    Click image for larger version. 

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    7. To Disable Write Protection for the Disk
    NOTE: This is the default setting.

    A) In the elevated command prompt, copy and paste the command below, press Enter, and go to step 8 below.

    attributes disk clear readonly

    Click image for larger version. 

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    8. When successfully finished, you can close the elevated command prompt if you like.


    That's it,
    Shawn
  1.    2015-01-14 #1

    OK
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Jun 2014
    United States
    Posts : 132
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
       2015-01-14 #2

    Very nice addition to the Tutorials David and Shawn!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Jan 2016
    Posts : 12
    Windows 10
       2016-05-08 #3

    I followed this procedure with my windows 10 installation usb. Disk part claimed success but I still cannot format it.

    To clarify I wish to format it so I can install the latest version of windows on the usb using the media creation tool, so I don't have to install so many updates if I ever have to reinstall windows again.

    If what I am attempting to do is simply not possible, by all means let me know.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,444
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2016-05-08 #4

    Hello Saracen,

    Are you getting any error messages when you try?

    Is this a USB from a retail box of Windows 10, or a USB that you have previously formatted to make a Windows 10 installation USB on? If so, then it may be permanently locked to prevent tampering with.

    If this is not a USB from a retail box of Windows 10, then you might see if running a "clean" command on the USB to make it unallocated to allow you to use afterwards.

    Disk - Clean and Clean All with Diskpart Command - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Jan 2016
    Posts : 12
    Windows 10
       2016-05-08 #5

    It is indeed a retail box version, I've tried the clean function using diskpart and it gave me an error.

    No go on this one I guess.

    Thanks anyhow
    Last edited by Saracen Rush; 2016-05-08 at 12:41. Reason: To Update
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,444
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2016-05-08 #6

    You could try to do a clean command on the USB, but I believe it's hardware locked to not be able to modify it.

    If you have another USB flash drive, you could use it. They're cheap these days.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Jul 2016
    Posts : 1
    Windows 10
       2016-07-13 #7

    does not work:

    Copyright (C) 1999-2013 Microsoft Corporation.
    On computer: XXXXXLP002


    DISKPART> list disk


    Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
    -------- ------------- ------- ------- --- ---
    Disk 0 Online 931 GB 842 MB *
    Disk 1 Online 29 GB 0 B
    Disk 2 No Media 0 B 0 B
    Disk 3 Online 1862 GB 0 B


    DISKPART> select disk 1


    Disk 1 is now the selected disk.


    DISKPART> attributes disk
    Current Read-only State : Yes
    Read-only : No
    Boot Disk : No
    Pagefile Disk : No
    Hibernation File Disk : No
    Crashdump Disk : No
    Clustered Disk : No


    DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly


    Disk attributes cleared successfully.


    DISKPART> attributes disk
    Current Read-only State : Yes
    Read-only : No
    Boot Disk : No
    Pagefile Disk : No
    Hibernation File Disk : No
    Crashdump Disk : No
    Clustered Disk : No


    DISKPART>
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 17,444
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 15014
       2016-07-14 #8

    Hello,

    Please provide more information about the disk along with a screenshot showing it in Disk Management.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Aug 2015
    Posts : 1
    Windows 10 64bit
       2016-09-04 #9

    "attributes disk clear readonly" this command worked for me, thanks a lot
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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