How to erase a write-protected USB drive or SD card

lexar-8gb-pro-standard-sd-memory-cardWe all know that SD cards have much role to play in our life and undoubtedly they have made our life pretty much easier. However, sometimes we get stuck in the middle of working with SD cards and get panicked easily. This is because, often we end up getting a message regarding the inability to write, format, modify or erase the stored data present on the SD card.

But with a little awareness and know how, the situation can be handled smoothly.

Below here, we are providing few of the tactics to deal with the situation and remove the write protection from the SD card. Additionally we can find ways to erase the write-protected USB drive or SD card data.

Ways to erase a Write Protected USB drive or SD card.

Some SD cards or USB flash drive have write protection switch on them. If the switch is enabled, then you will not be allowed any kind of deletion or modification on that USB drive or SD card.

However, you may encounter many situation where many of the SD cards may not allow any kind of format or erase inspite of having no as such function of write protection switch. In that case you may use the methods given below.

However, in all cases it may not work if the card is corrupt or damaged beyond repair. In such cases you can rely on a SD card Recovery Software.

Method 1

Simply go to your Start menu and run Regedit.exe from your Computer (Windows XP onwards). You will find Registry Editor here.

Now go to the following address


  • Just Double-click on the WriteProtect value in Regedit.exe pane.
  • Change the Value from 1 to 0 and click OK.
  • Close Regedit and restart your computer again.
  • Connect your USB drive again, and you will find your device is no longer write protected.
  • You can go ahead normally with the format process now.

Method 2

  • Sometimes, you get to explore that the above method was not for you. In that case,
  • Right-click on the registry editor and select New -> Key
  • Now double-click on the new key (folder) and after right-click, choose New -> DWORD.
  • You should name it New as “WriteProtect” and set its value to 0.
  • Click OK, exit Regedit and reboot your computer.

Method 3

Removing write-protection from command Prompt

  • Type cmd.exe in the Start menu and login as an administrator. In Windows XP, click Start then Run, and type cmd.exe in the box.
  • Type diskpart and press enter
  • Type list disk to see all drivers attached
  • Type select disk x (where x is the drive letter of the write protected USB flash drive)

After the required drive is selected, you can type the following commands to remove the write protection.
“attributes disk clear readonly”
“create partition primary”
“format fs=fat32”

Note: You can replace fat32 for ntfs, only to use the drive with Windows computers.

Once the process is complete type Exit.

Guest article written by: Sumona is a technical blogger and writer. She has over 2 year experience in Photo Recovery technology. On her free time she writes about technical tips and tutorials.

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