I have a USB flash drive which was working properly for months, but today, when inserted into a workstation, it is being opened in read-only mode, whereby I can read and execute files on it, but not add anything to it or modify a document from it.

Tried to format it but got a surprise as this operation failed as well due to the read-only mode.

The flash drive does not have any physical switch to change it to read-only mode and back to writeable-mode.

How can I solve this issue?


8 Months
Discussion Span
Last Post by Reverend Jim

Since you are open to formatting, look up the old HP USB FORMAT TOOL (google it!) and try that. I'll skip any advice about running as admin, formatting on Linux and head to the obvious. These things have limited life spans. Here a 16GB stick is now under 4 bucks at the grocery store. Only those that can't wrap their head around the life span or cheapness spend more than a hour trying to save it.


What rproffitt said. Also, this is an indication that either the file system is munged, or the disc has too many bad sectors. Back up the data and get a new thumb drive, as advised.


Thanks guys, eventually bought a new one, but managed to format the old one as well using the HP tool mentioned by rproffitt, keeping it as a spare one for temporary transfers


I'm a little late to the party but I have found that when all else fails, I can often "rescue" the media with diskpart.exe via the clean subcommand. This is a command line tool that comes with Windows and which is run in a shell as Administrator. If you use it, be very careful you have selected the correct disk.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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