How to Remove a USB Flash Drive Disk Partition That Is Write Protected

Written by jonah quant
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How to Remove a USB Flash Drive Disk Partition That Is Write Protected
You can remove a write-protected partition from a portable drive. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

USB flash drives (also known as "pen drives") are divided into partitions. Each partition is independently formatted before storing data by creating a filesystem. Depending on the configuration of the drive and of the operating system, a computer accessing the flash drive may be able to perform only reads from one of the partitions. You can remove a write-protected partition to reclaim the storage it occupies.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Log in to the computer as Administrator.

  2. 2

    Check for a write-protect switch on the flash drive. They typically look like an externally-accessible slider on the body of the drive. If you find it, slide it to the unlocked position.

  3. 3

    Connect the drive to the computer by plugging it into an open USB port.

  4. 4

    Click "Start," then "Control Panel," "System and Maintenance" and "Administrative Tools." Double-click "Computer Management." Navigate to "Storage" and then to "Disk Management." Select the flash drive by clicking on its entry on the lower half of the Disk Management window.

  5. 5

    Locate the partition you want to remove on the map of the space on the drive (depicted in the upper half of the Disk Management window.) Right-click on that partition, then select "Delete Partition." Click "Yes" to confirm your choice. At that point, the partition is completely erased from the flash drive.

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