CHKDSK error: volume is write protected
“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
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. 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
The attribute of selected drive is set as ReadOnly. The attribute may be
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 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
Remove write protection in Diskpart
This method applies to the drive that has been set as readonly. It will clear
1. Type diskpart in CMD and hit Enter. Click on Yes in the pop up confirming
2. In Diskpart, type following commands in sequence and each of them comes with an
3. Go back to CMD and type CHKDSK F: /f, you’ll find the disk checking runs
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, free
download and have a try.
Important: formatting will cause data loss. Think twice before you
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
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
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.