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I have a 32GB Imation flash drive with a physical read-only switch.

A while ago I used it to install Ubuntu, and to do so I created a bootable USB. It worked, I installed Ubuntu, everything worked fine.

Now I'm trying to use it on my machine running Windows 10, but it seems to only be readable when the switch is set to read-only. Unfortunately, that doesn't help, because I don't want to install an outdated version of Ubuntu, I want to use it as a flash drive, and since I obviously can't format it in read-only mode, I'm stuck.

When I set the read-only switch to read/write, all I can get is an I/O device error. I tried disk management and diskpart, neither of them seem to be able to format it.

Is there anything I can do to save this flash drive?

Update: if you're going to downvote, could you please at least explain why you think my question is stupid? I'm not going to learn if you don't.

Update 2: No, this is not a duplicate. The drive shows as read-only when the switch is set to read-only, which is normal. The problem is that when the switch is set to read-write, the drive appears faulty and doesn't read at all.

Update 3: Did nobody read the actual question? This is not the same problem as those linked to; those solutions do not work! I can use Google too, thank you very much.

marked as duplicate by Ramhound, DavidPostill, Tetsujin, fixer1234, techraf Sep 24 '16 at 0:37

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Sometimes a question is marked as a duplicate of one that isn't exactly the same if the answer is the same. There are only a few parts in a flash drive. There are some conditions where they can be repaired, like resoldering a contact on a physically broken drive, or in certain cases, resetting the controller (which wipes the drive and isn't a reliable, long-term fix for a bad device). But the devices are failure prone & cheap, so it's like taking an old, sick goldfish to the vet. At the first sign of problems, you're better off retrieving your data, if possible, and replacing the flash drive. – fixer1234 Sep 27 '16 at 18:28
  • "Did nobody read the actual question?" - I have read your question several times. Does not change the conclusion. "if you're going to downvote, could you please at least explain why you think my question is stupid?" - The reason for the singular downvote, is the close reason, stop, just remember downvotes are not personal. – Ramhound Sep 27 '16 at 19:23
  • "When I set the read-only switch to read/write, all I can get is an I/O device error." - Sounds like hardware failure. The read capability of a flash cell is seperate from its write capability. – Ramhound Sep 27 '16 at 19:35