Disable data writing on your USB drive to protect it from viruses

by Rohit Khurana on June 1, 2008

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Trouble:

Majority of the virus problem which we receive from the readers are those cases which infect the system through pen drives. According to our records about 40 percent of the total computer systems got virus or trojan infection through pen drives and USB portable devices like iPOd, Mp3 players etc.

 

Yesterday, I found a cool utility called Thumbscrew : USB Write Blocker , you can use this utility to disable writing to your USB drive. You can read full review about the utility here

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Let’s see how can you use this utility to protect your drive from viruses


Fix:

Thumbscrew is small handy utility which you can take any where on your pen drive use it to protect your pen drive from viruses on other computer systems by disabling Writing on that system. You can download thumbscrew here.

 

Follow the procedure below to protect your pen drive from viruses

 

1. In order to protect your pen drive from viruses you need to create a blank file named autorun.inf through notepad and place it in the root directory.

 

2. When you insert pen drive on any virus infected computer system it will throw a message that some thing is trying to copy and replace a file located in the root directory of your USB device and that is nothing but a virus.

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So don’t allow the virus to replace the file on your drive.

 

3. Open your pen drive and double click the thumbscrew.exe to start it , it will get loaded into your system tray.

 

Select the option as shown in the images below

 

Disable USB Writing ( as shown in the image below)

disable-usb-writing

Enable USB Writing ( as shown in the image below )

enable-usb-writing

 

Caution:

Make sure to enable USB writing before you remove your pen drive from the computer as this small utility plays with the registry which affects the computer not your pen drive on which you have inserted your pen drive.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Shantanu Goel June 2, 2008 at 1:40 am

That is so cool. I’m always worried about giving my usb drive to someone for just this reason..Thanks for the info, Rohit.

Steve Yu June 2, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Thanks for the mention. 😀

Pallab June 6, 2008 at 6:09 am

NIce. I didnt know about this utility.

hisham August 5, 2008 at 1:06 am

i have a dell case without a power supply it is a tower case i fixed a power supplu but not the original one the turn on i installed windows but now when i turn the case on it starts for a while and shutdown plz help me

Sange November 27, 2008 at 9:45 am

my pen drive shows an error report as ” the disk cannot be written because it is write protected. please remove the write protection” and neither i can write on it nor i can delete the data from it.
can you please tell what the problem is?

K.Aravind Kumar(BE ECE) February 23, 2009 at 8:53 am

my pen drive shows an error report as ” the disk cannot be written because it is write protected. please remove the write protection” and neither i can write on it nor i can delete the data from it.
can you please tell what the problem is?

renu June 23, 2009 at 2:30 am

USB drive has malfunctioned and the printer does not work properly.

badogamanav@yahoo.com August 20, 2009 at 8:32 am

Dear Sir,

when i tried to open my usb flash drive, it gives a message ” drive is not formatted , do you want to format it now”
but if i clik it shows “windows was unable to complete this format” when i close the window another msg came up “the disk drive can not be formatted”. I noticed one more changes I can’t see the capacity of my drive in formating window.

I will appreciate if you send me the solution on my email

deep April 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm

my pen drive is no show data but memory show in data
& but i copy the files,photos,songs not show in pen drive [..]

Shruthi April 27, 2010 at 11:06 am

Dear Sir,

From few days whenever i tried to open my pen drive, it gives a message ” drive is not formatted , do you want to format it now”
But i need the data which is stored in the pen drive. its an important data.
Kindly requested to suggest for the best solution.

Tim Grummell September 8, 2010 at 2:29 am

Hi there

when i tried to open my usb flash drive, it gives a message ” drive is not formatted , do you want to format it now”
but if i clik it shows “windows was unable to complete this format” when i close the window another msg came up “the disk drive can not be formatted”. I noticed one more changes I can’t see the capacity of my drive in formating window.

Muhammed Zulfiqar November 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

I have a problem with my Kingston 8GB & 16GB USB. After copying some data it shows folder is empty. Its just copy 1 GB data, more then 1 GB data lost.
Pl if you have any solution about this pl help me out.

Brian November 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Dear Sir,

when i tried to open my usb flash drive, it gives a message ” drive is not formatted , do you want to format it now”
but if i clik it shows “windows was unable to complete this format” when i close the window another msg came up “the disk drive can not be formatted”. I noticed one more changes I can’t see the capacity of my drive in formating window.

I will appreciate if you send me the solution on my email

Dhurjati Duta December 2, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Bought a new pen drive. copied some files on it. but when plugged in the next time, the folder is not showing in the pen drive. The size of the files are also not correctly displayed. What could be the problem?

prasanna February 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm

when i insert my pen drive, it says that the device is unknown how to solve this problem

hariom singh March 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

i am having a problem with my pen drive this shows a error named “format disk” whether my pen drive is ok and having important deta inside of it . detecting well in pc and working well with an other system. plz solve my problem

Ranjith March 25, 2011 at 7:58 am

when i insert my pendrive it is showing 2 drives.one is like removable disk and another is like cd drive.it is not getting formatted ,when i suppose to do it is showing that” system is unable format” and not even copying to it.plsssss some one help me

Eric adam April 4, 2011 at 12:45 am

Dear sir i have problem with my sandisk 8 gb ,it have my documents in it but does not show them on any computer, but i recently added some data to it which i could see and access. Its show 3gb occupied space in it but does not appears on computer. P.S. what to do . . . Thank you :)

Aleja Uy July 16, 2011 at 11:34 pm

hello,

i have a problem with my atom imation flask disk. when i insert it, a mesage like “you need to format the disk in drive I: before you can use it. do you want to format it?” but it can’t be formatted and a message “the disk is write-protected”. my atom flask disk does not have any buttons or write-protect/read-only checkbox on its properties. i also cant see the capacity of it in my computer anymore. i also tried the disk management technique and the registry edit technique but still not working. please help and email the answer.

John July 18, 2011 at 11:28 am

Same Problem
when i tried to open my usb flash drive, it gives a message ” drive is not formatted , do you want to format it now”
but if i clik it shows “windows was unable to complete this format” when i close the window another msg came up “the disk drive can not be formatted”. I noticed one more changes I can’t see the capacity of my drive in formating window.

I will appreciate if you send me the solution on my email

nithya July 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

when ever i install my pen drive it s showing lik “One of the USB devices attached to this computer has malfunctioned, and Windows does not recognize it. For assistance in solving this problem, click this message” . the same message will be displaying in my friends PCs also.. wat s the reason. Does it work here after?

Winnie Chan July 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Dear Sir,

when i tried to open my usb flash drive, it gives a message ” drive is not formatted , do you want to format it now”
but if i clik it shows “windows was unable to complete this format” when i close the window another msg came up “the disk drive can not be formatted”. I noticed one more changes I can’t see the capacity of my drive in formating window.

I will appreciate if you send me the solution on my email

MANJUNATHA.R August 4, 2011 at 8:33 pm

when i tried to open my usb flash drive, it gives a message ” drive is not formatted , do you want to format it now”
but if i clik it shows “windows was unable to complete this format” when i close the window another msg came up “the disk drive can not be formatted”. I noticed one more changes I can’t see the capacity of my drive in formating window.

I will appreciate if you send me the solution on my email

anil September 11, 2011 at 11:19 am

computer shows that my one of usb is malfunctioned how to correct it tell me

mohit September 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm

my hp 4gb pendrive is detected on my pc but when i plug it into my dvd player is not detected. I tried my friends pendrive into my dvd player and it is deted always, what to do. please help me out here.

abid September 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

my Kingston 16gb pen drive is not working.when i plugged it into my PC is detected but it shows zero memory and when i tried to open it gives a message that to insert a disk. i also tried in other PC’s but the result is same.Sir please help me to solve it,i will be remain grateful to you.

aashu March 7, 2012 at 11:45 am

my pen drive shows an error report as ” the disk cannot be written because it is write protected. please remove the write protection” and neither i can write on it nor i can delete the data from it.
can you please tell what the problem is?

Faysal Ahmed March 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

I have a problem with my pen drive. When I connect the device on my computer it is shown in the my computer but when I try to open it it shows a dialouge “Format the Disc”. But when I try to format it it shows “Windows was unable to format the disc”. Can someone help me out of this??
I will be really thankful to him/her if someone can fix the problem

Dheeraj April 13, 2012 at 9:16 am

when i insert my pen drive, it says that the device is unknown how to solve this problem.and display msg regarding malfunction . plz help me to ok my pen drive

Anthony April 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Hi there.I copied some movies to my datatraveler with no hassles.I removed it but when I wanted to watched the content on the drive again,I was unable to open it.Is there any way I can test ot see if the drive is faulty.

Please advise.

Anthony

mownash June 23, 2012 at 8:19 am

dear sir

my pendrive shows “the disk is write protected”when i copy my files……………..

PLEASE GIVE ME THE SOLUTION

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