Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am trying to modify the HDD that windows 7 is running on using WinHex. But after i edit a few bytes of the physical HDD, i cannot save the changes as it says my HDD is write protected and locked.

Is there anyway to actually edit a HDD in windows while windows is running? Please help

share|improve this question
I've tried numerous disk editors and they all give me the same error about the HDD being write protected, so this isn't just a winhex issue. – notdefeated8 Jun 25 '11 at 10:31

Open a command box and type in the following commands individually, and hit enter after each one.

list disk
select disk 0 (or whatever disk you are trying to change)
attributes disk clear readonly (this command is not available on XP)

That should do it for you.

share|improve this answer
And indeed it does thanks. – rism Aug 6 '13 at 23:43

Even chkdsk can not access a running c: drive. You need to boot from another disk/CD/USB Stick.

Other drives should work, as long as there is not a file open on the drive.

share|improve this answer
so basically its impossible? – notdefeated8 Jun 25 '11 at 11:00
No. I just used WinHex to clone a disk and it marked it write-protected as well. This is due to WinHex being used as a forensics tools. See KCotreau answer for a solution. – rism Aug 6 '13 at 23:45

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.