By Emily / Last Updated October 15, 2019

Hot issues about write protected drives

User Case 1. When I format my USB any time, it shows “The disk is write protected”. I also tried to format it in Disk management, right click it and select format. But my USB is not format. When formatting is close to complete 100%, again the message “The operation did not complete because the media is write protected”. How can I format my USB? Please help me! —from forum

Disk Write Protected

User Case 2. Hi there, I have a problem with my SD CARD. I can't reformat it on my WIN 10 computer, I can't also add something to it or remove it! I always get this error "Windows was unable to complete the format". How to fix it? —from tomsguide

Windows Was Unable To Complete Format

Have you ever met such annoying issue? Cannot format drives successfully in Windows because it is write protected? Next, we will illustrate the reasons and how to format it without any hassle.

Possible reasons

Usually, when pendrives, USB flash drives, or SD cards become write protected, you cannot delete files from SD card, or make other modifications. As for the reasons behind this issue, refer to the list below.

  • Your pendrive is damaged by virus infection, hacker or malware.

  • The file system of partition on the drive is corrupted.

  • You set the read-only mode unconsciously.

  • Your pendrive has physical damages or been dead.

Successfully format write protected disk via Command Prompt in Windows 10/8/7

Since the disk is under write protection, you cannot format it through traditional methods. Otherwise, you will meet the error message described in the User Case. Instead, you need to first remove write protect from disk, then you can format it as usual. Below we will show you how to format write protected pendrive in cmd.

This method works in a traditional way: clear read only attribute first and then format.

Step 1. Click on Search box and input cmd, select command Prompt (Admin).

Step 2. Type diskpart and hit Enter.

Step 3. Type list disk and hit Enter. Here, you’ll be able to see a list of storage media connected to your computer.

Step 4. Type select disk and pressEnter. Example, select disk 2 in my case. Make sure you enter the number correctly.

Step 5. Type attributes disk clear readonly and press Enter:this command will clear the write protection attribute from the selected disk.

Remove Write Protection CMD

Now, the pendrive is no longer write protected. Then you can format it as normal. If you want to format it using cmd, please continue typing the commands as below and remember to press Enter after each.

1. clean

2. create partition primary

3. format fs=ntfs

4. exit

Format Write Protect CMD

Easily format write-protected disk via a professional write protected pen drive format tool

If you think it is too complicated/time-consuming to first disable write protection from pendrive before formatting it like you do via Command Prompt, you can try a 3rd party write protected pen drive format tool. Here we strongly recommend free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which could format the write protected in an easier way. Besides, this versatile disk manager is also able to help easily format corrupted SD card, format large hard drive to FAT32, format partition to Ext4, resize partition, delete partitions,copy partition, etc.

Follow the steps to directly format write protection pen drive.

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant on your computer, run the program.

Step 2. Select your pen drive, right click it and choose “Format Partition”.

Format exFAT Partition

Step 3. Choose a desired file system (here we choose FAT32) and click “OK”.

Format exFAT To FAT32

Step 4. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” > “Proceed” to execute the changes, then the write protection pen drive will be formatted successfully.


Final words

Now, you are sure to know how to format write protected pendrive in cmd. Obviously, AOMEI Partition Assistant provides an easier way to format write protected drive in windows 7/8/10. Just three steps, the formatting process will be finished.

Also, you can upgrade to AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro to enjoy more amazing functions. It allows you to clone Windows partition, migrate Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista partition between MBR and GPT disks, as well as recover lost partitions.