Forum Thread

How to clear/remove partition on usb drive?

mikenmike0001 2,817 276 November 12, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Hello,

I went to a convention last weekend and there was a company that was giving out flash drives. I thought it would be nice to give to the kids so I took a lot of them. I plugged them in when I got home and found out they were 1GB flash drives, but here's the thing.

It autoloads as 2 separate drive letters and it's split to where one partition of the usb drive is 800mb and one is filled with marketing stuff that's 200 mb.

I tried to format the whole usb drive so that I can just get one autoload window under one letter drive with the total combined free space, but I was unable to format it. The marketing stuff that's 200 mb, is "delete protected", so I'm left with essentially an 800 mb usb drive that can't be used to boot up software because the priority boot up sequence goes to the marketing stuff.

Here's a snapshot of what I see on my computer:

<a target='_blank' title='ImageShack - Image And Video Hosting' href='http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/27/usbdriveprotection.png/'><img src='http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/7014/usbdriveprotection.png' border='0'/></a>

Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>

[imageshack.us]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us [imageshack.us]
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-ima...ction.png/



So how do I get rid of the protected content and unpartition this thing? What software can be bought or used freely to do this? I have a lot of these usb drives that I would love to send to my kids for school, but I don't want them to have a hard time using them because of this.



Thanks,

Mike

22 Comments

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#2
Does the drive show up as a single drive in "Disk Management"? If it shows up as a single drive, you should be able to reformat there.
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#3
Any chance there is a physical switch on the usb drive somewhere? I'm not talking about a big, obvious button that says "TO UN-WRITE PROTECT, SWITCH HERE". More like an extremely subtle pinhole along a seam where you could put the end of a paperclip in and hit a tiny toggle button. Just a thought.
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#4
[imageshack.us]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us [imageshack.us]

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-ima...tion2.png/

[IMG=http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/451/usbdriveprotection2.png][/IMG] [imageshack.us]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us [imageshack.us]

<a target='_blank' title='ImageShack - Image And Video Hosting' href='http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/207/usbdriveprotection2.png/'><img src='http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/451/usbdriveprotection2.png' border='0'/></a>

Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>



As you can see, it's drive F and G that it's split up and I am on Windows 7, so there's no fdisk program. I can't figure out how to get rid of the file protected content and the split drives to merge into one.

There's no switch on the usb drive that I see from inspection.
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#5
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
[imageshack.us]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us [imageshack.us]

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-ima...tion2.png/

[IMG=http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/451/usbdriveprotection2.png][/IMG] [imageshack.us]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us [imageshack.us]

<a target='_blank' title='ImageShack - Image And Video Hosting' href='http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/207/usbdriveprotection2.png/'><img src='http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/451/usbdriveprotection2.png' border='0'/></a>

Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>



As you can see, it's drive F and G that it's split up and I am on Windows 7, so there's no fdisk program. I can't figure out how to get rid of the file protected content and the split drives to merge into one.

There's no switch on the usb drive that I see from inspection.
According to that rather unusual looking disk management console, that device has two physical drives and you can't make it into one.
Check the properties of the portion that you can't manipulate to see if it has been set to read only.
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#6
Well, from the picture I showed in my last reply, the Drive G which is one of the two partitions on the usb flash drive, is read only. There's where all their marketing content is that I can't delete and join together the two drive letters. Can anyone figure out a way to do this?
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#7
http://www.partition-tool.com/
Load up the free version and it delete what you want and repartition what you want.
It worked for me on some stubborn USB drives.
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#8
Hello,

I tried that partition tool and I can't figure out how to get it to work to solve this problem. I tried to format the two drives and I get a write protected message. How do I remove the write protection?

[imageshack.us]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us [imageshack.us]

[IMG=http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/411/usbdriveprotection4.png][/IMG] [imageshack.us]

Uploaded with ImageShack.us [imageshack.us]

<a target='_blank' title='ImageShack - Image And Video Hosting' href='http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/690/usbdriveprotection4.png/'><img src='http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/411/usbdriveprotection4.png' border='0'/></a>

Uploaded with <a target='_blank' href='http://imageshack.us'>ImageShack.us</a>
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#9
Ok I'll try to keep this simple based on what all screenshots were provided. Have you tried to simply load this up in DOS and turn off the read only attribute for the partition?

It's a FAT16 formatted partition so you should be able to load it up in DOS and use the

Quote :
attrib +A -R G: /S /D
That should remove turn on the Archive attribute, remove the Read-Only attribute for the F drive for all folders and files within those folders.

Since it's FAT16, NTFS file folders and permissions should not apply as it is not supported under a FAT16 file system.
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#10
It shows up as two separate drives in Disk Management, so no simple partition/format tool will be able to resolve the issue.

You'll need a special tool. But I'm afraid I can't help there.

On a related note, I had a Sandisk USB drive with U3. U3 divided the flash drive into separate "physical" drives, and cannot be removed by repartitioning or reformatting. Sandisk offers a special tool to remove the U3 stuff, and just have a standard, simple flash drive. According to Wikipedia, there is now a third-party tool for manipulating the U3 stuff. But I doubt those U3 tools would work for you, since U3 created a virtual CD drive, while your read-only virtual drive isn't a "CD" drive.
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#11
Are you able to see what brand USB drive it is?
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#12
As above, having the make/model number of the drive would help. You might have to use usbview to see it. (it's another small utility that lets you look at your usb devices. Try this version: http://download.cnet.com/USBDevie...14190.html it looks a bit complicated on the output, but I'm sure you'll find the drive in there )
Else try to remove the u3 partition first: Try this: http://u3.sandisk.com/launchpadremoval.htm
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Last edited by faheyd November 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM
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#13
Quote from menace33 View Post :
Ok I'll try to keep this simple based on what all screenshots were provided. Have you tried to simply load this up in DOS and turn off the read only attribute for the partition?

It's a FAT16 formatted partition so you should be able to load it up in DOS and use the



That should remove turn on the Archive attribute, remove the Read-Only attribute for the F drive for all folders and files within those folders.

Since it's FAT16, NTFS file folders and permissions should not apply as it is not supported under a FAT16 file system.
This sounds interesting., How do I go about doing that under windows 7?

There's no brand or model number for this. This was given as a freebie at a conference I attended and around the flash drive is just the company contact information. I don't know how else to figure out who actually made it and its model number.

This isn't a sandisk flash drive so using U3 removal tool I don't think will apply here.
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#14
In Device manager -> the drive is probably listed under USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE -> right click on it and choose properties -> Details tab and pull the vendor ID and device id and google those model numbers.
Ref.
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-...device-id/

Gparted live CD/USB stick might help with partition. Win7 only gives restrictions/limitations IMO it's useless for this hack.
Ref.
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Of course if the physical drive thing is hard coded on this device, not much you can do except locating the original company and see if they have the tools specifically for this drive.
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#15
Quote from mikenmike0001 View Post :
This sounds interesting., How do I go about doing that under windows 7?
Go to Start - Search, type in cmd and click Enter.

That should bring up the DOS prompt. Then type in that command listed previously and see if it works or what is spits out as an error. If you can get it away from read-only then you can use any partition tool to now modify and remove it...theoretically.
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