Formatting memory card and flash disk with write protection.

Sometimes when you connect your USB flash drive or memory card adapter card onto your computer, you encounter error messages when you try opening it such as: the drive is write protected or simply asked to format the disk in drive ‘g’ before you can use it or Windows was unable to format this disk and disgusting of all is when you are able to see the drive but the size given for formatting is incorrect! 

Also read: a guide to install windows

There are various options  you may  use to correct the situation and regain access to your disk. Incase you socketed a Usb device into the ports and the computer was unable to read it then try using another port or restart your computer to activate all hardware components and there interfaces.

Below are outlined methods beginning from the simplest; use them to clean up your disks however if your storage device is corrupt (virus infected)  then there is no guarantee of a successful formatting.

NB: you must have administrative rights to perform this operations (log in using the administrator account in your computer).

Using context menu to format

  • Insert the media into a drive or a USB port.
  • Double click my computer icon. Explorer window appears.
  • Right click on the drive to display context (shortcut) menu.
  • from the displayed menu click on format.
  • From the format dialogue box, choose either file system FAT 32 or NTFS.
  • Select the disk size.
  • click start to start formating. Confirm the action by clicking ok at a prompt.
  • click close when finished. 

Formating Using diskpart

  • Open the command prompt (cmd).  To open cmd in windows: 
  1. From start menu click on all programs.
  2. From the list click on accesories
  3. Click on cmd. 

Alternatively –> launch start menu –> in search box type cmd –> press enter key. Or–> press Win+R –> run window displayed type CMD –> press enter key or click ok command. 


    • In the cmd window type disk part then press enter key.
    • The version of diskpart shall be displayed with DISKPART> at the end. Here type list disk part then press enter key. 
    • A table showing online disks appears and below it is DISKPART>, now type select disk 1 then press enter. The number one is a reference to the disk to be selected. Cross check NOT to select the hard disk instead.
    • When DISKPART> appears again type the word clean and press enter key. 
    • In the next DISKPART> display type create partion primary and press enter key.
    • At notification of succes in partion creation and DISKPART> appears, type the word active and press enter key.
    • Now type select partion 1 and press enter key on the display of DISKPART> 
    • A line of text reporting a succes in selecting partion one shall there after be displayed then DISKPART> allowing you to type format fs=fat32 and press enter key. This shall take some good time depending with the capacity of the USB after which a succesful message shall appear and again with DISKPART> below it.
    • Now type exit and press enter key. 

    Also read: what you missed out on the power of a robot..!

    Using regestry key 

    • Launch run (press windows key+ R) 
    • Type regedit in the pop-up window
    • Navigate to the following path: hkey_local_machinesystemcurrentCon
    • Double click the key write protect in the right pane and set the value to 0 in the value box then click ok. This resets your USB however to exit registry:
    • Restart your computer and reconnect your USB disk on to your computer.

    How to clear read-only-attributes

    • Open Command Prompt with Administrative rights 
    • Type diskpart
    • Type list disk
    • Identify which one is your USB disk
    • Type SELECT DISK x where x is the number of your USB disk
    • Type attributes disk clear readonly


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      Tech Writer: I write gadget reviews and tech news

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      Posted in computer hardware, computer lessons, maintenance

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