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How to write protect a USB key?

I have a pen drive which I used to carry some files from my laptop to other public computers, and these public computers are virus infected. Now I want to make my pen drive write protected so that these viruses can't infect my pen drive.

What are the solutions?

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marked as duplicate by random Jul 4 '11 at 22:15

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Its the reverse of this – soandos Jul 4 '11 at 20:07

2 Answers 2

Buy a new USB drive with a write protect switch.

Short of this, there isn't any guaranteed way.

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+1 I won't add any buying recommendations but they do exist and are not hard to find - I had one and it was very handy when de-lousing infected machines. – Linker3000 Jul 4 '11 at 20:52
A lot of SD cards have a write protect switch. May be less convenient, though, if the machine doesn't have a built-in cardreader. – Steve314 Jul 4 '11 at 21:55
I may be incorrect but I have read before that the implementation of the SD card slot does not demand that the write-protect switch be respected on the hardware level, so it is possible to use a device that will ignore this switch. – Frederick Jul 8 '11 at 18:59
@Frederick - You are correct... but... I have never seen any SD card read/writer that detects this - It is down to a feature on the actual card and controller chip inside the card. – William Hilsum Jul 8 '11 at 19:24

You would need to be able to edit the registry on the system you're inserting your USB drive into.

Add (DWORD) or modify existing key at


and set to 000001 to disable writing, 000000 to enable writing.

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As I have said that these computers are public computers so I can't edit registry of these computers. Any other solution? – Kakim Jul 4 '11 at 21:01

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