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USB External Hard Drives Become Write Protected In Windows 7

Q: USB External Hard Drives Become Write Protected In Windows 7

Hello, and as always thank you to anyone willing to help. I've a dual boot configuration, XP Professional and Windows 7, where the 2 partitions/OS's are independent by use of a third-party (non-Windows) boot manager. My problem is that any external hard drive I use while booted into my Win 7 OS becomes write protected within a few minutes of installation; however, the same drive is fully usable--ie, not write protected--if used while booted into my XP Pro OS. I'm slowly losing my mind. I've checked the registry entry involving "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies" and it's as it should be. I've used the command prompt to check volume/disk attributes for the external drives and all of them are readonly clear. Honestly, as far as I know I've tried everything that over ten (10) hours of Googling could find me. Any ideas anyone? Literally, running Windows 7, within minutes of plugging in an otherwise not write protected USB external hard drive it becomes write protected. Every time. Thanks again for any help.

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A: USB External Hard Drives Become Write Protected In Windows 7

I guess the question is this: What defines write-protection in Windows 7?The first thing that comes to mind for me is BitLocker. However, this service should only turn on when you tell it to. It should not happen automatically.It probably boils down to Permission issues...Try this:Inside My Computer, right-click your external hard drive and click Properties. Under the Security tab, look at the permissions. Click Advanced. Under the Owner tab, if your name is not the owner (it probably won't be), click Edit and make yourself the owner. "OK/Apply" out of all these windows, then open Properties again. Under Security again, click Edit. Give yourself Full Control. Apply, OK, etc...Check now to see if have the same problem. I hope that it works.Could you post the exact error message you get? I've never seen one, so I'm curious....

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Hi, everybody i have aproblem with windows 7 ultimate X64, at first everything worked fine but now when i boot up some of my hard drives ( not all ) are write protected and i can only remove the write protection with diskpart.When i boot up again the drives are write protected again,it is very frustrating anybody have a cure for this, as i said it was running perfectly at first.

A:Why are my hard drives write protected

Try Taking ownership of your full HD or try reinstalling windows or try disk check

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have installed an external hard drive on my system but did not note in the beginning it was write protected nor would I have opted for same if I had so noted. Now I cannot view most of the files because it says I do not have permission to do so. Am not PC literate enough to know how to remove the write protection and so gain access to folders.

Can someone outline a list of what I must do to remove this write protection? Have searched all over but failed to find any way to do so on my own. Much thanks if someone can guide me to the spot where I can achieve same.

A:Solved: Write protected external hard drive

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I have two external hard drives connected to my PC, one a LaCie and one a Pleiades. I never had any problem reading and writing to and from these drives with earlier versions of Windows, or indeed when they are connected to other computers, but Windows 7 will not let me write to them or modify them in any way, though I can still read files on them.

If I try to, e.g., create a new folder or copy a file onto the external disk, I get the message "You need to confirm this operation". If I then click on "Continue", the same message is repeated ad nauseam. I am not given any opportunity to confirm. I am the administrator and indeed only user of this computer, and this has become enough of a major problem that I am seriously considering dumping Windows 7 and going back to an earlier version.

Any help or suggestion would be very welcome.

A:Cannot write to external hard drives

Welcome to the forums Akominatus!

New one to me that's for sure. Have you tried running a sfc/scannow to find and possibly repair any corrupted system files? Heres a link to a tutorial on how to do that if you haven't before. Just click on the link.

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

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I have a non-admin user who needs to write to different external hard drives all the time. Yes, I can give the user security rights on the external hard drive individually. However, the user will need me to do this everytime unless I give the user admin rights. This is not an option.

So far I have tried the following and have failed:

-removed the user from everyone group (assuming the user was inheriting a right that was preventing him from writing the external hard drive)
-added the user to the power users group
-added the user to secpol.msc > local policies > User Rights Assignments > Take ownership of files or other objects (i believe this would work for interal files but not external files such as external hard drives)

any suggestion is much appreciated.


A:local non-admin account cannot write to several external hard drives

In as a few words possilbe, the users needs the ability to take ownership of files/folders on an external hard drive in order to write to it

First I gave the user ability to 'Take ownership of Files/folders' by doing the following:

start > run > secpol.msc > local policies > user rights assignment > 'Take ownership of files or other objects'

*add the user

. . . not done yet because this only gives the user the ability to 'Take ownership of files or other objects' . . . it doesn't give the user the ability to write to the external drive

*also, since there are ton of steps involved in taking ownership I wanted to make it simple for the user to do this . . . so I installed a registry hack found online to give the user 'Take ownership' option in the right-click > properties menu

*installed the registry hack to give the user the ability to take ownership of 'files and folder' --

. . . explained to user to create folder, then take ownership through the new option added in the prperties menu, then write files/folders to the external hard drive in the newly created folder

Done. This takes admin out of the equation and allows me to maintain strict IT policy of not giving the user admin rights.

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Somehow, my flash drives, SanDisk Micro Cruzer-1GB,and my USB external ard drive got writeprotected on my main computer. Any time I try to copy something into it, I receive a pop-up,"Error 19-The media is write protected." No problem copying out from it the files that are already on it. On other computers, the flash drives works properly. How do I remove the write protection? Using XP Pro/SP2.
Cannot format the flash drives, even in Safe mode, or using Disk management, or command mode. However, they work properly on other computers. Am reasonably sure problem was caused by one of the apps for safety on USB drives, but I thought I checked them all out prior to uninstalling them. I am wondering if formatting the computer and reinstalling Windows will do it? Thank you.

A:Flash Drives, write protected

What are the specs of the main computer? You could try an XP repair, if you are running XP

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Hi everyone,
For the past few days I am facing an issue that my pc restarts by itself after a while without showing any kind of message neither does it shows any message while rebooting regarding the CPU Overheating moreover the temp did not go beyond 58-59 C.
I scanned by pc with latest anti-virus including the boot sector and even i checked the startup option through msconfig, and i did not find out anything wrong there.
Since the time I am facing this issue i am facing one more issue that whenever i attach a removable drive like flash drive and memory card through card reader to my pc it says the disk is write protected remove write protection from it.
So, finally I decided to format the c: drive on which my os was loaded and after the same the issue of write protection to usb drives is gone but the restaring issue still persists
Please help and send some suggestions asap

Thanks & Regards
Peeyush Sharma

A:PC Restaring by itself without any message and usb drives getting write protected

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I just did a very stupid thing.... =/

My external HD was write protected for some odd reason, but when I checked the security settings, everything had write allowed. So I try to do a reset by unchecking write and then checking it again, but now I cannot check write again because I do not have permission to write (accidentally unchecked write for SYSTEM D=). Is there a registry fix for this or a way around this? I am running Vista 64-bits.

A:WD external write protected

Is it for all USB devices ?

Try by cheking this one on regedit

KEYNAME "SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies"
VALUENAME "WriteProtect"


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So, I had a virus, it was the Windows XP Recovery fake program one, and it had made it so all of my stuff was hidden. Everything on the C:\ drive was "gone", but was actually still there. I have an external drive for all my media. It was plugged in when I got infected. I have a paranoia with infecting the external drive, so I always unplug it immediately when I see problems. Anyway, I cleaned out most, if not all, of the virus. 90% of my stuff was back to normal. So I plugged in my external, USB, Seagate 1TB GoFlex Desktop HDD. I can see almost everything in the root of the drive fine. Keyword: almost. I could tell something was wrong because my dropbox folder is in the root of my external, and the green/blue badge wasn't there.

So, I went into the folder and there was nothing there. I check the rest of the drive, and everything is hidden. I enable show hidden folders and I can see everything now, and I right click on a hidden folder, properties, and uncheck the Make Hidden box. Hit apply.

"An error occured applying attributes to the file: The media is write protected." Now, I've tried all that I can think of. I tried looking in the drive properties for a "read only" box to uncheck, I tried a cmd command for making all files not hidden, and it doesn't work. There is no physical switch for write protection. What else can I do to make it so I can write to these files/this drive? I need this drive guys...

Thanks for the help

A:External HDD is Write Protected?

Not sure this will let you get to external HDD, but would assume it does: My link

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I use Windows Vista, and I have two external harddrives (1 is a Western Digital 160gb portable HDD, the other is a 500gb Seagate Barracuda in USB enclosure). Well, my friend was hoping that I would share my downloaded media with her (mostly anime, movies and music) that I archive on both HDDs. So she plans to bring her laptop (whose operating system I no nothing about, though I'd bet my arm that its Win XP or Vista) while I bring my HDDs, and we share like monkeys and bananas. However, she's not really that tech-savvy, and she herself admits that she probably has enough viruses, spyware, adware, trojans... (ie. malware) to start her own zoo. I really don't want to risk my archive HDDs, and even if no data corruptions takes place, doing a complete scan my HDDs afterwards with my PC would take a while and would be a pain.

So my question is as thus: Is there a way to lock my HDDs (they're NTFS) so that even if plug them into her disease-ridden notebook and copy my files from me to her, there will be no data traffic from her pc to my drives? Basically making the entire Drives Super Read-Only?

Third party utilities are ok. Thanks.

A:How to make an external HDD read-only/write-protected?


Well, my friend was hoping that I would share my downloaded media with her (mostly anime, movies and music) that I archive on both HDDsClick to expand...

Where have you downloaded these from?


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May be a bios problem

recently tried windows media center - which fired up by installing something which turned out to be on my ext sata drive.

now drive is write protected.

can't unlock it

will not accept any changes to security to drive - because it is write protected.

my login has administrator privilege
one suggestion has been to use partition program to reset write protection but not destroy data

it seems that the bios may have a glitch which may have locked it up


A:write protected external sata drive

It sounds like you pressed the wrong button when booting your computer which changed the properties of the drive.

There's a few solutions I've found on the web:
Reset CMOS to optimal settings.
Open Regedit and navigate to:
If there is a WriteProtect key (REG_DWORD) then
1 = Write Protect On
0 = Write Protect Off
1. Go to the disk properties page.
2. Select the 'Hardware' tab.
3. In the 'All disk drives' list, select the name of the external device.
4. Click the 'Properties' button.
5. Select the 'Policies' tab.
6. Under 'Write caching and Safe Removal', select 'Optimize for performance'.

Good luck

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Hey guys, my friend gave me his 1.5TB portable HDD (WD1111B or 1110B) because he said he didnt need it anymore but also the fact that it has gotten a problem i havent encountered before. I can in no way seem to be able to reformat this drive. It also doesnt seem to appear in My Computer but does appear in device manager when the drivers when installed.

I have so far tried the following things.

1. CMD Disk list (at one point it listed it and some poeple say run the command attributes disk clean readonly which didnt work and when i tried regular clean it diappeared from the list)
2. I tried WD reformatter but it it failed
3. When i tried easeUS parition master free edition comes up with this error message (There are some error occurred while writing partition chains on disk)
4. In Disk management it shows the disk is unknown, not initialized and when i choose to initialize with MBR (master boot record) it comes up with the media is write protected

Any ideas?

A:Cannot reformate External HDD. Media is write-protected

Hello MajorFoley!

Could you please write the model of the drive once again as what you've given is somewhat incorrect?

If when trying to Initialize the rive, it says it's write protected, the write protection has to be first removed from the device. Recently there has been a similar problem here on the forum and I gave the steps there also:

1. Open Command prompt: click Start, type command, click Command Prompt
2. Type "diskpart" and press Enter
3. Type "list volume" and press Enter
4. Type select volume #, where # is the number of the drive that's giving you the "write-protected" error
5. Type "attributes disk clear readonly" and press Enter
6. Type "exit" and press Enter

These steps should make the drive read and write enabled again. Then it can be Initialized, Partitioned and Formatted, like already explained. To see which volume you have to type in, you need to see your partitions and see what diskpart's giving as information.

This should work if the hard drive is not damaged. You could check if it has any physical damage with the WD Data Lifeguard Software:

You could also try writing zeros from top to bottom to "refresh" the drive's state and then try and Initialize it again, see if that helps.

Did anything help you?

Best of luck!


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Ultimate x64... my external drive, even though I'm the administrator, is write-protected. I've gone into the Properties > Security, click the Edit button and used that menu to select Full Access. However when I click OK an error saying
"An error occored while applying security information to:



Clicking continue goes to the next file on the external drive, with the same error for that file. And the next and so on. The drive is formatted to NTFS.

What do I do?

A:Solved: External Drive is write-protected. how to undo?

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I have a note book hard of 160GB and using it as an external storage and data transfer, i have started to get an error "windows delayed write fail" and the hard seems to be unusable. At first i thought my PC's power supply does not generate enough for the external harddisk to work, however 2 days ago i bought an acer M460 and i still face the problem. can anyone let me know a solution.

Also i apologize if the topic is already addressed as i do not have the time to go through all the posts and replies.

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Hi all,

Everytime I try to save anything I ge a error "write-protected". I try all the securty rights but no luck. I am running 7077 x64. So how to undo write-protected??


A:Any Hard Drive is Write-Protected

I had the same problem with 7077 after I had removed an account from windows. It totally stopped access to one drive.
The only way I managed to get it back was to change all of the access rights including drive owner.
it is a long process as all permissions have to be changed and inherant rights.

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Please help Unable to run windows on any mode normal or safe when running in prompt mode and ask it to run chkdsk it gives me the following the type of file is NTFS, Cannot lock current drive, Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected. Have tried hard drive on another machine same happens Have put a new Windows 7 on a another hard drive and when I try to run chkdsk on this hard drive Iget the same message as anyone had the same problem please note the hard drives are different makes and the machines have different motherboards ect have also dtied diskpart without any success at present time looking in different forume this seems a problem to a lot of trouble
thenks regards Ric

A:Unable to run chkdsk hard drive write protected

Does diskpart detail disk tell yo it is read only?

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I had to pull a drive out of a laptop. I need to save the Owners documents but they are write protected. Can't access the folders in the new pc. The account had a password which I know. Please help

A:write protected folder in 2nd (older) hard drive

Have you tried right clicking on the folder, then clicking the general tab (if you have to) and unchecking the 'read only' box?

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I am running OS Windows XP on a Dell Dimension E521 Dual Processor.
I put all my documents on a CD-R when I thought I was going to have to a complete systems restore. Now I would like to put them back onto my harddrive. But due to them being "write-protected" they won't move. Can anyone help this dingy ole lady who just fumbles around blindly??? Thank you for your time.

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I'm making an inquiry for a friend..

She has a computer with 2 hard drives.
The problem began with a 'screen error' saying to check the monitor connection. She bought a new monitor and had the same error message.

She then began having hard drive read/write errors. Thinking she may have gotten a virus, she wiped both her hard drives and reformatted.

When she tries to reinstall XP it gets about half way through and gives her the read/write error again and will not complete installation. This is true for both of the hard drives.

So far she's tried cleaning the connections on her 4 memory sticks (while grounded) and still cannot reinstall Windows due to the read/write error.

What is your suggestion for her next step since she has no working operating system from which to run tests?

A:Hard Driver Read/Write Error on Both Hard Drives

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Hi, I have HP Pavilion Notebook that does not recognize WD External Hard Drive.  I have tried many suggestions from Microsoft; Western Digital; HP Support (out of warrantee); HP chat, etc.  When connected HD drive shows as F:// The directory name is invalid.  This HD stopped being recognized after microsoft update.  Unknow which one.  Have not used this HD recently, while other WD Ext HD works OK.  Have tried update device driver - driver is up to date and working properly, driver software is up to date.  suggestion to change USB port #, but don't know how.  Suggestions appreciated.  Please be specific as I am a basic dummy, and probably haven't explained adequately.  Thanks, Trish

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Hi, I have HP Pavilion Notebook that does not recognize WD External Hard Drive.  I have tried many suggestions from Microsoft; Western Digital; HP Support (out of warrantee); HP chat, etc.  When connected HD drive shows as F:// The directory name is invalid.  This HD stopped being recognized after microsoft update.  Unknow which one.  Have not used this HD recently, while other WD Ext HD works OK.  Have tried update device driver - driver is up to date and working properly, driver software is up to date.  suggestion to change USB port #, but don't know how.  Suggestions appreciated.  Please be specific as I am a basic dummy, and probably haven't explained adequately.  Thanks, Trish

A:Windows 10 and External Hard Drives

Connect the external hard disk to a different PC.  Doing that is troubleshooting which will let you know if the problem is with the external hard disk or the notebook. If the disk is recognized when plugged into another PD then the issue is either with the operating system or perhaps a failed USB post.

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Bought 4 PNY 16GB USB thumb drives and every time I try to format them, the computer kicks back that they are write protected. Have tried ALL the solutions listed and explained in the 10 forums here, and nothing works to disable the write protection on my machine. Tried diskpart, Command Prompt, and Computer Configuration and nothing resolves my problem. BTW, there's no switch on these USB drives.
Anybody know of a fix?
My machine is Dell Optiplex 960 w/6 Gb memory.
Thanks for reading my post and possibly helping me,

A:USB thumb flash drives are "write protected"

Hello kc4raf, and welcome to Ten Forums.

You might see if any of the options in the tutorial below may be able to help.

Disk Write Protection - Enable or Disable in Windows

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When i have my external HDD plugged in it shows up twice in file explorer and was to get rid of the redundant tab for it.

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After installing Dantz Retrospect, software that came with my Maxtor External drive, my hard drive was no longer recognized by Windows XP. I immediatly tried unistalling the software but my drive still goes unrecognized. I thought the drive was shot until I tried it on another computer which worked perfectly. A little later I bought a drive enclosure and a 320GB WD hard drive. This worked on my other computer but I encountered the same problem on this computer.

Could part of Danz still be on my system or did it change something that it did not change back? I have also experimented with uninstalling my firewire drivers (both are firewire drives) but had no success. Perhaps I did not get everything.

I should also point out that if I shutdown my computer and leave the drive on while restarting, it will be recognized but I recieve numerous errors while copying files making it impossible to use the drive on this computer.

I am not using an addon firewire card, the port is directly on my motherboard.

ATM, I have been puting files on the drive over the network as the drive works on my other computer but it would be nice if I could get a direct connection to this computer.


A:All External Hard Drives Not Recognized by Windows XP

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I thought this issue was more of a networking one, rather than Windows 10. We have a home network with an HP desktop running Win 10 Home and hard wired to a Linksys router. There are two 5TB external hard drives attached to the desktop. There also are two HP laptops running Win 10 Pro.

In the past, we were able to access the hard drives connected to the desktop from our laptops, but after a recent Win 10 update, the laptops can no longer "see" the hard drives. All the computers are in the same workgroup and connected to the same network. The hard drives have been set to shared with all read and write permissions.

I have searched online and at Microsoft but can't find any simple explanation of how to restore access to the the hard drives, which we had enjoyed for years! Any help is appreciated.

A:On Windows 10, we can no longer see external hard drives


Buggy Win10 1709 cumulative update KB 4074588 redlining, bluescreening, borking USB

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Not all three of them appear under my computer. Here they are

The one is the middle is a 4TB hard drive, the one of the left 4TB as well, one on the right a 3TB, the left and right ones show the middle one doesn't. They're all USB 3.0, I think. They should work in USB 2.0 right? Here's a screenshot of device manager

I see the duplicate under disk drives, I thought deleting all three and plugging them back in (power and USB port) would work, it hasn't. They do all show under device manager/hardware and sound/devices and printers, but I can't see all under my computer.

I did try switching USB ports quite a bit, didn't do anything.

A:Windows can't recognize all 3 of my external hard drives

If you see all of the drives in Device Manager, go to Start/Search and type diskmgmt.msc, right click the diskmgmt results and Run As Administrator. In the Elevated Disk Management window you should see all of your drives there. Is the third drive showing as Unallocated Space? Or does it show the last drive without a drive letter? You can create a drive letter for the drive, unless it is Unallocated Space.

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I had an Iomega 80gb from my XP computer and an AData 500gb from my windows 7 laptop plugged in my windows 7 desktop and they worked just fine. One day I went to retrieve some data from both of them, only to find, that the same error messages popped up for both of them. The first one for both said I need to format it. The second message says the the drive is not accessible, but to make sure the right drivers are loaded and that the drive is not corrupted. Furthermore, I tried the drives on other computers and the same messages are given.
I did reformat the AData drive and lost everything, which is not that bad because it was backup for my backup. However the older Iomega drive has stuff on it that I would like to recover. Does anyone have any answers

A:External hard drives not working in Windows 7

Hi and welcome to TSF you could try the methods here Recover Data Like a Forensics Expert Using an Ubuntu Live CD - How-To Geek

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I've got a REALLY annoying one here.I've got 2 extra 1TB Seagate drive:


I use these to make backups of my 3 hard drives (1 x SSD, 1 hybrid, and 1 SATA).

I brought this new machine back in April, and it was working fine up until then. However, after trying to install some software (which didn't wanna install in the end anyway, due to it being rubbish!), I can now no longer see these drives on my PC

The weird part too - is that my Win7 laptop has exactly the same issue ... but my brothers Vista laptop, and Win7 PC see them just fine!

To start with I was thinking the drive had gone faulty (as it wasn't working on both my machines), but after testing it on my brothers stuff it prooved they are both working fine

The USB's I'm using to connect it to are fine (They work for USB sticks and other USB kit) ... so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what it could be?

The even weirder thing - is that my brothers 500gb external drive (can't remember what make that was, but its not Seagate) works just fine!

Anyone got any suggestions? Its driving me up the wall as I can't do my daily backups (I'm a software developer, so having a current backup of my PC incase of a fatal mess up with my system is vital for me)

TIA for any suggestion


A:Windows 7 - external hard drives stopped being found?

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My computer all of a sudden stopped showing any usb external drives in file explorer. It shows up under "safely eject hardware" and allows me to eject it. And when I go to device manager it shows up as one of the disk drives and when I run troubleshoot it says it's working fine. But it just won't show up in file explorer. I've tried a number of different usb memory drives in all of the usb ports. Please help!! Thank you!!

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i am going home for winter break and i wanted to take over some videos i had on my hard drive, but the problem is that it is an internal hard drive, and i want to be able to transfer the data to a laptop. Is there a way that you can turn an internal hard drive into an external hard drive? Or is there a piece of hardware that will alow me to do this?

A:Turn internal hard drives into external hard drives

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If "Deny write access to removable drives not protected by BitLocker" is enabled, how can Antivirus delete/clean infected USB drive that is not encrpyted?
Seems that antivirus only can detect, but cant action.
Any advise?

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Last week I purchased two factory refurbished Seagate 500 MB external hard drives with USB connections, but powered by AC adapters. They are being used (or would be if they worked) on an HP laptop and desktop both running Windows 7 64 bit with all updates and fixes installed.

Out of the box, neither was recognized by Windows. If I disconnect and reconnect, they sometimes work for a few seconds before I receive error code 43. I have attempted to troubleshoot the problem by switching computers, changing USB ports, deleting and reinstalling USB ports, updating drivers and a couple of other things I can't remember. I downloaded a troubleshooter from Seagate, but it will not work because the drive is not recognized by Windows. All USB ports on both computers function normally with other USB devices.

I would appreciate help with this because Seagate tells me the drives are out of warranty and the seller says Seagate must handle all returns.

This is my system info: Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium , Service Pack 1, 64 bit
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 945 Processor, AMD64 Family 16 Model 4 Stepping 3
Processor Count: 4
RAM: 8183 Mb
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 5450 , 512 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 941976 MB, Free - 487625 MB; D: Total - 11593 MB, Free - 1679 MB;
Motherboard: FOXCONN, ALOE, 1.01,
Antivirus: Microsoft Security Essentials, Updated and Enabled

A:Solved: Windows 7 error code 43 - external hard drives

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I've got a REALLY annoying one here.I've got 2 extra 1TB Seagate drive:

Seagate 1 TB External hard drive - 480 Mbps - 7200 rpm

I use these to make backups of my 3 hard drives (1 x SSD, 1 hybrid, and 1 SATA).

I brought this new machine back in April, and it was working fine up until then. However, after trying to install some software (which didn't wanna install in the end anyway, due to it being rubbish!), I can now no longer see these drives on my PC

The weird part too - is that my Win7 laptop has exactly the same issue ... but my brothers Vista laptop, and Win7 PC see them just fine!

To start with I was thinking the drive had gone faulty (as it wasn't working on both my machines), but after testing it on my brothers stuff it prooved they are both working fine

The USB's I'm using to connect it to are fine (They work for USB sticks and other USB kit) ... so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what it could be?

The even weirder thing - is that my brothers 500gb external drive (can't remember what make that was, but its not Seagate) works just fine!

Anyone got any suggestions? Its driving me up the wall as I can't do my daily backups (I'm a software developer, so having a current backup of my PC incase of a fatal **** up with my system is vital for me)

TIA for any suggestion :)


A:[SOLVED] Windows 7 - external hard drives stopped being found?


Originally Posted by youradds

after trying to install some software (which didn't wanna install in the end anyway, due to it being rubbish!), I can now no longer see these drives on my PC

Hi -

See if system restore can help - choose a restore point prior to the software installs -
START | type rstrui

Regards. . .



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I get the error message that "cannot write to the reports file" when I change any settings in McAfee 4.5.1....what's the problem???

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Yesterday I discovered my computer will no longer read my flash drives, external hard drives or SD cards.  If I plug in any of them, they don’t even show up in Disk Management.  In Device Manager they will show up, but will have a yellow flag and under Properties it says the driver for this device is not installed even though they’ve been used before on the computer.  Clicking “Update Driver” doesn’t help because it searches and says there are no drivers for this device.  If I go to the “Events” tab, it gives the  date and “Device configured (null)”.
I restarted my computer today, hoping it might correct this problem, but when restarting I ended up with a message about an inaccessible boot drive.  After going into a loop several times where it told me about the inaccessible boot drive and then restarted again, I finally ended up with a screen that gave me more options for troubleshooting such as doing a system restore point.  I had the computer perform a system restore and finally it took me to the welcome screen and then desktop.  Anyway, rebooting did not correct the problem about my computer not reading my flash drives, external hard drives or SD card.  Any ideas?  Maybe the problems I’m having are related to a recent Windows update (computer seemed to be working fine before the update), but don’t know for sure. 
My computer is an HP deskto... Read more

A:Computer no longer reads flash drives, external hard drives.

What you want to do is to go to the HP wesite's support page, find your computer and you should be able to download the current drivers. Here is a link to the page. https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers

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I have an ageing Dell laptop running Windows XP. As it has a fairly small (40GB) internal IDE hard-drive that is pretty full I use a couple of external drives for non-essential stuff like music, videos etc. A few days ago I switched on one the external drives and nothing happened! I usually access my external drives by going into My Computer and clicking on it there but the icon simply didn't appear. At first I thought it was a problem with the drive itself, but when I tried another drive the same thing happened. So far, I've tried 2 mains-powered external drives, 2 portable drives and several USB flash-drives and I can't access any of them.

I have since tested most of my external memory devices on a relative's laptop/notebook and they work just fine, so it seems to be a problem with the USB ports and/or Window XP missing drivers? If I go into Device Manager the connected HDDs appear okay and it states that everything is working normally. Also, I have checked XP's Disc Management program and they show up in there too, but as unformatted drives, hence why the no-show in My Computer. When I plug in a USB flash-drive it does show up in My Computer, but when I try to access it I get a message saying the drive isn't formatted. But, as I have already mentioned, I have tested the drives on another computer and they all still work fine. Help!
The funny thing is, my wireless mouse, that uses a USB dongle, is still functioning perfectly, as is my ... Read more

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Hello everybody!

First I want to thank all of you who maintain this great site with useful solutions of many windows problems. I tried to search some suggestions for this one too but did`t find anything, so decided to beg for your help. Please excuse my poor English.
I`m using Dell Inspiron 6400 notebook with windows vista home premium and 120gb hard disk. A week ago it happened that the memory on my C: drive suddenly went to 0 bytes without downloading or copying anything at all on C: at that moment, with no connection to internet. I was sure to have at least 4gb before starting to copy some files from C: to an external 250gb hard drive and the memory got eaten during this process. After copying I cleaned about 2 gb which decreased mysteriously to about 400mb after few minutes. I ran ccleaner but didn`t get more than 50mb of temporary files.
I searched around the web about this, and the most common reason for loosing space I found was the shadow storage and the restore point service. I tried to fix it but did`t work for me because since I had the memory space gone to 0 bytes, all the restore points was automatically deleted. After cleaning up some more space I set up a restore point manually, but naturally the shadow storage didn`t exceed 300mb.
Then I used a little program called TreeSize witch allowed me to see the space used by all the folders in C: and I found something really strange. In the windows directory there was a hidden folder named F that contained info... Read more

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New dv6-7000 laptop (Win7 64-bit) has a problem I can't seem to solve:  When using any SDHC memory card you cannot write or erase files to the card.  You can read the files just fine, but you get a "Write Protected" error when trying to write or erase.   The card is, of course, not write protected, and can be written to in several other laptop/desktop SD drives that I've tried.   And I've tried different brands/sizes of SDHC cards.  Smaller capacity regular SD cards work just fine.   I tried removing this device and rebooting to reinstall the hardware, but no help. The Realtek SD Driver shows as version 6.1.7600.16385 in Device Manager properties, dated 6/20/06.  HP's support site shows a newer driver version 6.1.7601.29005 dated 2/24/12.  When I download and run sp56166.exe to update the driver, it seems to go through the update process successfully. But the driver still shows as the older version in Device Manager.  And, of course, the problem still exists.  Any ideas would be much appreciated!  Hard to believe that a new dv6 laptop can't properly write or erase files from High Capacity SDHC memory cards.   Thank you!

A:dv6-7000 can't write to SDHC cards ("write protected" error)

I understand high capacity SD cards return the message they are write protected in your system.


I take it the write protect switch is in the off/disable position on the card since they work in other systems.


What is the product number?

NOTE: Do NOT provide the serial number.


What brand and model is the SDHC card?



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I am running Windows XP SP3 right now on a Lenovo 7650-ELU and experiencing some odd problems. For some reason, the laptop I have will not recognize USB Flash Drives that I put into it or External Hard Drives. I know that the USB ports work correctly, because I have plugged in optical mouses and keyboards that work. I searched the forums and didn't see anything like this.

It's odd how when I first insert them, it makes the sound and shows the icon in the taskbar that would allow me to safely remove the device, but nothing else. So far, I have gone into the device manager and uninstalled all the USB ports and restarted hoping this would solve my problem, but it continues to do the same thing.

If anyone has some helpful advise, please post. I appreciate all the help.


A:USB Ports Don't Recognize Flash Drives or External Hard Drives

Has it ever worked before?

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I volunteer for a Charity in the main role of IT admin. Part of what I want to do is ensure the Laptops, External Drives and Memory sticks are encrypted, but I am worried if I (try to) encrypt a drive with files already on, they will get messed up. I am not an expert, so would appreciate any advice and guidance anyone can give. Any favourite products? We are a charity so want to pay little or nothing for this. The intention is to ensure any personal information we hold is secure if it falls into the wrong hands. I am clearly looking at making sure no-one uses Laptops/Ext drives/memory sticks that do not belong to the charity when working (self included), but am a little uncertain where to start with this and do not want to make things worse. Any input gratefully received. Probably a simple question for lots of you, but not for me!!

A:Encryption of hard drives, external drives and Memory sticks

All the encryption programs I know of support encrypting drives with data. BitLocker and Vercrypt(TrueCrypt port) absolutely do. BitLocker absolutely requires the use of strong Windows passwords as it only protects the drive if its removed or accessed via another boot device. VeraCrypt has the added benefit of having a pre-boot password so you cannot even boot to the operating system without entering the password. You should still of course have strong passwords and automatic locking of the system after a set time of inactivity.

You may also want to re-evaluate the need for USB drives and sticks, not only are they bad for data security but also easy to lose, have stolen, or just fail. Central storage and VPN access may be preferred to a giant pile of external devices that some places end up relying on.

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Read ALL of this please before commenting a possible fix.

First off, this is a 32gb Sandisk Cruzer flash drive and it's USB 2.0, my OS is Windows 7 Ultimate 64x SP1

Things I've tried:

Using regedit to set the WriteProtect Value to 0:

I've tried formatting it through the GUI:

I've tried formatting it in CMD and I get no further than selecting the disk because it cuts me off at cleaning it:

I've also erased and rewrote the registry entry for the WriteProtect key, and I tried it with a 32bit D-WORD as well as a 64bit D-WORD. I have tried every recommended option for fixing this problem, to no avail. Some said to also put it in an Xbox, but when I do, both 360, and Xbox One, both say that nothing can be done until write protection is removed.

A lot of people tell me to "Flip the write-protect switch on the side." but they don't understand that it's a FLASH DRIVE and not a MicroSD card reader. My flash drive has no flips, no switches, no nothing. I have also scanned it with the highest rated anti-virus for the year 2015, which is BitDefender Total Security 2015. No viruses, no issues. I have done EVERYTHING I have found online even remotely related to this problem, to no avail.

A:Windows 7 | Write-Protected | Tried Everything

Quote: Originally Posted by NSA

A lot of people tell me to "Flip the write-protect switch on the side." but they don't understand that it's a FLASH DRIVE and not a MicroSD card reader. My flash drive has no flips, no switches, no nothing....

Some flash drives do have a switch. I treasure the very old one that I have with a write protect switch. I have to use something very small (like a pin) to actuate the switch. But you would probably know it if your flash drive had a switch like this somewhere.

You might try formatting it via Linux.
As an aside, you should post images to this forum via these steps:
Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

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I have a new computer plus a couple of other computers and I have some external hard drives and flash drives. what is the best way to check these devices to make sure they are clean, will just connecting them and viewing them or running AV and other security checks propose a risk to the computer that is checking?
Thanks for any advise!

A:External Hard drives and flash drives security


You can consider the use of the Panda Vaccine on your computer and USB Drives:
Download Panda USB and AutoRun Vaccine - MajorGeeks

This tool provides a two way security by vaccinating both computer and/or USB drives.
It work on NTFS, FAT, FAT32 formatted drives.
However, vaccinating a USB drive cannot be undone without formatting the USB disk, using a hex editor, or a File Manager in a Linux distribution..

Next, make sure that your Antivirus can scan USB drives. Some do not have this option.

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I set up a new computer. Windows 7 Pro 64x
Everything was fine but then I connected a flash drive to it and I get:

Location Not Available
H:\ is not accessible. Access is denied

If I go into the properties to the ?security? tab, it says ?you do not have permission to view or edit this object?s permission settings?

If I go into the ?owner? tab of Advanced Security Settings, current owner says ?Unable to display current owner?
This is on every flash drive and portable hard drive on all 4 usb ports.
I am logged in as the administrator and there is not even another user account on the computer
I?ve run sfc /scannow

I?m absolutely stumped. I?ve never had this happen on any computer where I couldn?t use an external device.

This is not my computer so I?ll have to do whatever remotely.

Thank you for the help.

A:All Flash Drives & External Hard Drives NOT ACCESSIBLE?

Sometimes when I plug in a USB Thumb/Flash drive I get a message about "this device can perform faster if plugged into a USB 2 port" so I shut the computer down and pull the power cord and USB devices from the back of it. After waiting a bit I put everything back and all is good.

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My Windows 10 Home laptop will recognize all of my flash drives but won't recognize any of my external hard drives. They all use to show up but now they aren't. The hard drives show up in disk manager but won't show up in file explorer. I hooked them up to other laptops & they all show up. I've tried uninstalling drivers & reinstalling them but It hasn't worked. Any ideas?

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My McAfee virusscan detected the [email protected] virus. I'm unable to do anything with it (delete, clean, quarantine). I get disk is write-protected error. I try to browse to the directory it's in and I can't see it. I've changed folder settings to show hidden and system files. I'm running XP and still can't see the folder it shows up in. I've run viruscan in normal and safe mode. Still can't do anything with it. I've included my Hijackthis log.

A:[email protected] and disk is write-protected error

You are using an old version of Hijack This. You are also running HJT from your Temporary Internet Files folder. It will not function properly from there and it cannot create and restore backups from there. You need to create a new folder in My Documents and name it Hijack This. Now Click here to download Hijack This again. Download it and click "Save". Save it to the Hijack This folder you just created. That way it can create and restore backups if needed. HJT will store the backups in the same location that it is run from.

Click on Hijackthis.exe to launch the program. Click on the Do a system scan and save a logfile button. It will scan and then ask you to save the log. Click "Save" to save the log file and then the log will open in notepad.

Click on "Edit > Select All" then click on "Edit > Copy" then Paste the log back here in a reply.

DO NOT have Hijack This fix anything yet. Most of what it finds will be harmless or even required.

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