USB Drive Now Write Protected - how to fix?



  • I looked for this subject, but didn't find any threads. So apologies if I missed it.
    After downloading 2.4.3 USB Mem Stick installer and upgrading my pfSense box, I want to reuse the USB Drive for Windows again.
    SD Card Formatter crashes and HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool says its "Write Protected"
    This never occured before with previous USB Mem Stick Installers.
    How do I un-write protect it so I can format it back to Fat32?
    Thanks!


  • Netgate Administrator

    That should not happen. If it doesn't have a physical read-write switch it may have failed to read only. Some flash devices do that to allow you to read off data when their write cycles are exhausted.

    Otherwise try writing zeros across it to remove any formatting/partitioning.

    https://doc.pfsense.org/index.php/Writing_Disk_Images#Cleaning_The_Target_Disk_.28optional.2C_but_recommended.29

    Steve



  • Windows is stupid and treats any foreign type of partitions as unwritable an undeletable on an USB memory stick, at least in the disk management GUI. Do the complete clear as instructed above.



  • Thank you both!:
    I finally got it reformatted using HP USB Disk Formater by selecting each partition until I found one that would allow it to be formatted. Then all whole USB stick was cleared and total capacity came back as a single fat32 partition.
    Never had this happen with Raspbian images, so was really confused.



  • I destroy one of my Cruzer Fit after trying installing pfsense to it several times, all within less than one day. Looks like the memory cell that holds the partition table wear out. Now I cannot change the partition in this flash drive. It essentially becomes read-only, stuck in the freebsd-ufs structure.


  • Netgate Administrator

    When you write the image to a USB stick it uses 1 write cycle for each bit within the image size. Unless your drive is already 99% dead it should make practically no difference.
    I have seen some odd behaviour with those Sandisk devices that appear as two drives by default though. I avoid them where possible.

    Steve


 

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