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I have a desktop computer into which I routinely plug flash drives. Recently, two of those drives have activated their write protection for no reason, and were immune to any attempts at formatting etc. One was a Sandisk Cruzer Blade and the other an HP 16 GB drive. I eventually had to discard the Sandisk and get the other replaced under warranty.

I understand from the Sandisk website that drives may turn on their write protection to 'safeguard data' that would otherwise be damaged. However, this has never happened before. Is it possible that there is something faulty in the computer's USB port? The computer's plug is also not properly grounded and there's a small current flow in the case at times. Could this also be the cause?

Or was it just bad luck that this happened twice in a row? I've not risked any other flash drives in that computer since (I only had one on which the warranty was still valid) so I have not been able to test that.

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Why is your plug not properly grounded? Yes rouge current can and will damage electronics. There are ways around the write protection. –  Ramhound Aug 5 '13 at 12:01
    
Why is your plug not properly grounded? Cold joint? –  Synetech Aug 19 '13 at 15:06
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