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How to remove Write Protection from an External Device in Windows 8

Description: This technical article shows how to remove write protection through the command prompt on an external drive in Windows 8. Sometimes an external drive (e.g. USB flash drive or external hard drive) can have write protection on it, preventing any modifications to it. To remove the write protection:

  1. Hold down the Windows key and press the letter X.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin). If it prompts for permission to open the program, select Yes.
    Windows 8 Quick Access Menu, Command Prompt Admin
  3. In the line where something can be typed, type DISKPART and press Enter.
    Windows 8 Command Prompt (Admin)
  4. In the new line that says DISKPART type LIST DISK and press Enter.
    Windows 8 Command Prompt (Admin), Diskpart
  5. In the next line type Attributes disk clear read-only and press Enter.
    Windows 8 Command Prompt (Admin), Diskpart
  6. The drive should now be cleared of write protection and freely used. If it is not there may be a hardware issue that should be seen by a qualified technician for further assistance.