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How to Format a Write-protected USB Flash Drive

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How to erase and format a write-protected USB flash drive & pen drive using Regedit.exe

Click Start, type Regedit in the search box, click Regedit.exe to open the Registry editor when you see it is displayed at the top of the list. And then navigate to the following key:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

Double-click on the WriteProtect value in the right-hand pane of Regedit.exe. Change the Value data from 1 to 0 and click OK to save the change. Close Regedit and restart your computer. Connect your USB flash drive or pen drive again, and you should find the write protection is removed and the device is no longer write protected.

After that, you can now format the drive as normal by right-clicking on it in My Computer and choosing Format. “The disk is write protected” error message will no longer pop up.

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How to format a USB flash drive or pen drive after removing write protection with EaseUS partition software

If Windows still refuses to format the USB flash drive, please try a third-party partition software to manage the format job. EaseUS partition software, a powerful third-party disk partition management tool which works well to format USB flash drive or pen drive after removing write protection. Except for USB flash drive, the program also allows you to format a write-protected SD card when the write protection is removed. Here is the detailed guide.

Step 1. Connect your USB flash drive or pen drive to PC, launch EaseUS partition tool. Select and right-click the device you want to format and choose “Format partition” by right clicking the mouse.

Choose Format partition option to format a write-protected USB flash drive

Step 2. Configurate the label you want in the Partition Label box.

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Label formatted partition during write-protected USB flash drive formatting

Step 3. Select the file system type to be created from the “File System” drop-down list. (FAT/FAT32, NTFS, EXT2/EXT3). If the USB drive is larger than 4GB, you can only choose FAT32, NTFS or EXT2/EXT3; and if the partition is smaller than 4GB, you can choose FAT, FAT32, NTFS or EXT2/EXT3.

Select file system during write-protected USB flash drive formatting

Step 4. Choose the Cluster Size (512 bytes, 1, 2, 4…64KB) from drop-down list and click “OK” to apply the format operation.

Choose Cluster Size to format a write-protected USB flash drive

Note: Smaller cluster size makes less wasting of disk space. The smaller cluster size is, the bigger file allocation table (FAT) will be. The bigger the FAT is, the slower the operation system works with the disk.

Step 5. Click “Apply” to confirm to format the write-protected USB flash drive or pen drive.

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