“I get a prompt says Windows detected a hard disk error after my Windows 10 startup this morning. I guess it would be the problem of my newly attached external backup drive, so I decided to check hard drive for errors after some Google. However, after I typed chkdsk F: /f in CMD, only to find that the drive was write-protected. It says: The type of the file system is NTFS. Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected. I don’t remember to set up write protection. What should I do to remove write protection on my external hard drive and run CHKDSK on write protected drive successfully?”
Did you come across similar issues? Write protection problem exists on not only external hard drive, but also USB flash drive, SD card, USB hard drive, and even internal hard disk in Windows 7/8/10/11. When you run CHKDSK and get write-protected message, you did not give rise to the issue but discover it. Other behaviors like creating new folder and modifying existing data will trigger the write protection error as well. Then, how do you get hard drive write-protected?
Possible causes for write protected
Generally speaking, write-protected status can be understood as read only. That is to say, you can read files on write protected drive but you cannot add new files or make changes for existing data. Following are possible reasons that account for why your drive get write-protected.
There is a write protection tab on your hard drive. Usually, it is produced by manufacturer. Check your hard drive or disk enclosure. If yes, switch it to the Off side.
The partition file system is corrupted or damaged due to virus infection or other unknown reasons. A bad file system may cause the data cannot be accessed.
The attribute of selected drive is set as ReadOnly. The attribute may be modified unwittingly.
After knowing why you can’t run CHKDSK on write protected drive, let’s learn how to remove the write protection with different solutions.
Quick fixes to remove write protected for CHKDSK in Windows 11/10/8/7
To clear the write protection and perform CHKDSK, you may need different solutions under different situations. Some workable fixes are illustrated below.
Fix CHKDSK write protected disk in CMD
According the support of Microsoft, when you encounter the CHKDSK /f volume is write protected issue, you can try another command in CMD: chkdsk/ f / r / x. For example, chkdsk F: /f /r /x and press Enter. You can replace F with another drive letter.
However, some users report that that command does not resolve their problem. The write protection error still prompts.
If you have faced such situation, it is suggested to try other methods showing in the next part.
Remove write protection in Diskpart
This method applies to the drive that has been set as readonly. It will clear readonly attributes.
1. Type diskpart in CMD and hit Enter. Click on Yes in the pop up confirming dialogue.
2. In Diskpart, type following commands in sequence and each of them comes with an Enter.
select volume n (where n is the write-protected drive, here is 6)
attributes disk clear readonly
3. Go back to CMD and type CHKDSK F: /f, you’ll find the disk checking runs smoothly.
Modify WriteProtected key in Registry Editor
Another way to clear readonly of a drive is to modify registry. Typeregedit in Run and navigate to this path:
Right click the WriteProtected key and select Modify. Change the value from 1 to 0.
Tips: If you cannot find the StorageDevicePolicies, you can right click Control folder and then New > Key. Name it with WriteProtected and open it.
Remove write protected by completely formatting
If the write protection in CHKDSK is caused by corrupted or damaged file system, you need to format it thoroughly. When format the drive with Device Manager or Diskpart, you may receive format write protected error.
Fortunately, you can format the write protected drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is free hard drive partition manager that will help you better manage internal/external/USB hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, Pen drive, etc. To solve the CHKDSK write protected trouble in Windows 10 or Windows 11, free download and have a try.
Important: formatting will cause data loss. Think twice before you leap.
1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right click the write protected partition and select Format Partition.
2. Edit partition label, select file system and change cluster size if you wish to in the pop up window.
3. Click Apply and then Proceed after your confirmation.
Tips: Except for formatting the partition, you can Wipe Partition if there is no important data stored on that drive.
Run disk checking with third party tools
To solve “unable to CHKDSK write protected” error, you can run disk checking with another tool. Aforementioned AOMEI Partition Assistant supports performing not only partition checking but disk checking. Let’s get to know these two features. In the first place, start AOMEI Partition Assistant.
1. For partition error checking, right click the drive and go Advanced >Check Partition.
2. For disk bad sector checking, right click the disk and select Surface Test.
Tips: covered methods also apply to “CHKDSK write protected USB”, “CHKDSK NTFS write protected”, and “unable to install Windows because the partition is write protected” issues.