How to change a read-only memory card

Written by lavonda abney
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How to change a read-only memory card
Fix USB write-protection using Regedit. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

External flash memory cards are very convenient and versatile for storing and transferring files from one computer to another. Sometimes, however, flash memory cards can have their own problems. Solving these problems are sometimes a bit difficult, but worth the effort. A flash memory card showing write-protection can be fixed in Regedit using Windows XP. The first thing to always check, however, is the memory card's write-protection tab. The write-protection tab is sometimes accidentally switched on or may be broken.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Windows XP
  • Flash memory card

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Connect the write-protected memory card to the USB port on the PC.

  2. 2

    Open Windows XP and navigate to "Start/Run." Type "Regedit" in the run window and click "OK."

  3. 3

    Click "File" from the menu and select "Export." Select "Desktop" and click "Save." This will backup the current registry to the desktop in case it needs to be restored later.

  4. 4

    Go to the Registry window and navigate to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies."

  5. 5

    Right-click the "Write Protect" file and select "Modify." Set the "Value Data" to "0" and click "OK."

  6. 6

    Navigate to "ControlSet001/Control/StorageDevicePolicies." Right-click "WriteProtect" and select "Modify." Set "Value Data" to "0" and click "OK."

  7. 7

    Navigate to "ControlSet002/Control/StorageDevicePolicies." Right-click "WriteProtect" and select "Modify." Set "Value Data" to "0" and click "OK."

  8. 8

    Close the Registry editor and reboot the computer.

Tips and warnings

  • Caution is advised when changing registry files. If the wrong files are changed, the entire system could be jeopardised. Always make a backup of the registry as shown in Step 3 so that it can be restored easily if a problem occurs.

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