Do Not Buy Sandisk USB Sticks.

Before my last ‘road trip’ I bought a SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 stick 64 GB. My intent was to put any needed files on it for use with the old HP laptop along with a Knoppix boot partition.

I formatted the thing with gparted just fine. Then on the 2nd? or so use it decided to go “read only”. Figuring it was “something I did” and being in a hurry, I let it got until now.

Now I’ve tried most of the morning (and several times in the prior week) to get this damn thing to stop being a brick and accept a new file system. No Joy.

Somewhere along the line the firmware looks to have decided it didn’t like some aspect of operations and has locked up into ‘read only’ to ‘protect my data’ so I can get it off of a failing device. Only problem is I have no data on it, it it’s corrupted, and I just want to format the damn thing so I can use it.

You can’t format it.
You can’t erase it.
You can’t force bits onto it to reset it.

It’s a brick.

And it isn’t just me.

Re: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB write protected error
‎07-03-2012 09:46 PM

I am just one more of MANY SanDisk users who is disadvantaged by a “read-only” flash drive. These things should be recalled and redesigned. There are SO many complaints on this forum by now that why would ANYONE want to buy one of these things?

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-10-2012
Re: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB write protected error
‎07-10-2012 11:55 AM

Read that less than 1% of thiese things fail?
have had a 32gb micro sdhc for a week, suddenly came up write protected?
tried all sorts of things,
eventually by loading it into a cheap camera I formatted it.
Back into PC! Write protected!

well I got the **bleep** thing for £10, so cheap I bought two, loaded the new, unused one in, and straight away, straight out of the box… write protected!.

less than 1% eh? and why are they so cheap?

Message 86 of 214 (32,772 Views)

SanDisk Guru

Posts: 2,269
Registered: ‎07-23-2010
Re: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB write protected error
‎07-10-2012 03:17 PM

Thank you for posting your experience. I’ve said all along that the problem was a Windows problem rather than a hardware problem. If it was a hardware problem you wouldn’t have been able to format it even in an expensive camera.


Registered: ‎07-10-2012
Re: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB write protected error
‎07-10-2012 09:33 PM

Hi, I have a Cruzer and I mainly use it for my xbox 360 since I dont have that much storage on it by itself. So I put it into my computer (I dont really know why…) but when I took it out and tried to use it back for my xbox 360, when I tried to copy a file over onto it it said that it cannot do it because there is write protect on it. I dont know if this matters but I have MS Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit. So, is it possible to get write protection off of it?

Shows this behaviour has been around a long time, and isn’t getting fixed, even in this brand new higher end device.

Note that is 2012, so 5 years ago. A full half decade.

They are in denial if they think the error isn’t in their devices. I’ve tried MacOS, Linux, Windows and more. ALL the advice in several different forums. So far, I’ve got a brick.

1 of 7 (1,509 Views)
Everyone’s Tags: 8 Gig Cruzer Glide Erro…View All (1)

SanDisk Professor

Re: Cruzer FIX
‎10-13-2014 01:12 PM

Smiley Happy Hi Anthony,

Dear member of SanDisk Community, welcome.

[ I Have found this Read Write Protection error with my 8 gig Cruzer Glide. ]

Please, try the Cruzer in other PCs, and see if the problem continues.

If still bad, do not grieve more friend, return it because is dead, ist kaputt…

Write protection errors occur when a UFD detects a potential fault within itself. The drive will go into write-protected mode to prevent data loss.
There is no method to fix this.

You might have a pleasant surprise, if can contact with SanDisk Technical Support who will replace the device if it’s authentic and is within warranty. Link:

To obtain the internal data of the UFD, you can use (portable apps, free): – USB Flash ChipGenius 4.00,
– USB Flash Deview 2.30,
– USB Flash DriveLetter 1.30,
– USB Drive Manager 4.20,

To find out more on this, see here:


Regards, Alfred.

Note: I’ve not tested those links in the message nor can I say if they are safe or malware. I don’t know who are where “” is.

SanDisk, just say no!

FWIW, I also found speed tests showing the Samsung Evo being MUCH faster on read / write than the SanDisk Ultra SD cards. I’d bought many of those Ultra mini-SD figuring their label read speed indicated something good. Now I’m in serious doubt about it, too.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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14 Responses to Do Not Buy Sandisk USB Sticks.

  1. p.g.sharrow says:

    Damn! just bought one of those things last week. Still in the blister pack. Guess it’s good I haven’t got to needing it as of yet. :-)…pg

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well bummer, I just “stocked up” on some usb sticks a while back, will have to check to see which brand they are, sandisk is one of my “trusted brands” I have used for a long time. I have two in my pocket right now and both are sandisk, one cruzer blade 8GB and the other a sandisk edge 16gb

    Is there any way to test these other than just doing a few write and format cycles?

    I know one way to brick usb sticks is to be a little too quick at yanking them out of a windows system before it finishes unmounting the device or shutting down. I make sure the system is completely shut down before removing them or if I yank one hot, (which I understand you are supposed to be able to do now, I wait a few seconds after I did anything with the device to be sure it is done with whatever syncing or load balancing type things it might be doing in the background.

    I have bricked a few in the past by forgetting to eject them. Since I discovered that, I almost always go through the formal eject process now from the task bar and wait until I am good and sure it is finished (ie wait a few seconds after it says it is okay to remove the device). I have not bricked any since I started doing that.

    The type of bricking I have experienced is different than what you describe, as the devices would not be recognized as a valid device rather than shifting to read only.

  3. John F. Hultquist says:

    I think we have a couple around but maybe not the same model.
    I wonder about the 1% number.
    How many have been sold? 1% of that number is still a big number.
    When things fail in this age — people complain, take it back for a new one, or request a new one from, say, Amazon. COSTCO often has boxes of these sorts of things. I don’t know if they have sold this one.
    If the thing works, who bothers to say so? We expect these products to work and don’t give then a thought when they do.

    Now, why did my computer turn itself on in the middle of the night and not display a cursor?
    Why does the 2nd monitor reset to the VGA resolution every time it newly comes on?
    Where is global warming when we need it?

  4. tom0mason says:


    Domain :
    Status : Live
    Expiry : 2016-01-23 (<— what? TM)
    Title : welcome –
    Meta Description : free file backup and storage in the cloud
    NS 1 :
    NS 2 :

    Owner : Fidel Nunez
    Owner : Cashlaundarragh, Abbeyknockmoy
    Owner : Tuam
    Owner : IE

    Check for '' —
    Check for '' —
    The same guy appears to be here, based in Ireland.
    Df Hosting Limited
    Key executive: Fidel Nunez
    Company Address:Cashlaundarragh, Abbeyknockmoy,Co. Galway, Ireland.

    I too have a pile of Sandisk 8G and 16G sticks, most unused. They were going cheap, now I know why. BTW I've found similar problems with 2 of the cheap HP 8G badged sticks (actually made by PNY.)

  5. tom0mason says:

    Rerun the whois for expiry date now OK

    Domain :
    Status : Live
    Expiry : 2017-01-23

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    E.M. this link has a few responses where people say they could work around the problem.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    read all of the comments, these 2 might give a clue:

    Re: SanDisk Cruzer Blade 16GB write protected error
    ‎01-21-2016 10:03 AM

    To disable write protection on a SanDisk 32GB flash drive –

    After much research, I have stumbled across something that actually worked!

    Click on ‘Start’ –> ‘Run’ –> type in ‘regedit’ and press enter.
    Scroll down the list and click on SYSTEM
    Click on CurrentControlSet
    Click on Policies
    Click on Microsoft
    Click on FVE
    In the panel on the right side, if the values for either FDVDenyWriteAccess OR RDVDenyWriteAccess are anything other than ‘0x00000000 (0)’, right click and then click on ‘Modify’, then enter ‘0’ and press Enter.
    Remove the flash drive and reinsert. You can now copy to or write to the flash drive.

    I am using Windows 7 Professional SP-1 64-bit.

    Guys! I think I just fixed my Cruzer Blade 4gb!
    I also had a “write protected” error tried to use MiniAide, HP USB Format tool, tried to do something in registry but no luck.
    Then I’ve installed RmPrepUSB, formatted my pendrive and it’s seems to be working! My mp3 player recognize it and play music.

    Here what i did:
    1. Install RmPrepUSB
    2. Select you drive
    3. Mark “Set partition as non-bootable”
    4. In bootloader options select WinPEv2/WinPEv3/Vista/Win7/bootable…
    5 Filesystem: FAT32
    6. And then press the Prepare Drive button

    Give it a try before smashing it with a hummer!

    Two possible fixes posted in forum…pg

  8. philjourdan says:

    I trusted San Disk – before now! Thanks for the warning.

    I did buy a bunch of 8gb sticks – generic – to use as image restore points. But none would take a boot partition! As one commenter said, they were cheap! ($20 for the lot). So now I have 64gb of storage only. They will not boot a computer. Lesson learned.

  9. Larry Ledwick says:

    Of course this also raises the question if someone has been pushing counterfeit Sandisk usb sticks into the supply chain.
    If so these problems might be like counterfeit high strength fasteners (bolts and nuts) from China filtering into even closely monitored supply chains like aircraft suppliers.

  10. Jeff says:

    Couple of thoughts, as I have used SanDisk cards for my cameras for years without issues.

    There are a LOT of counterfeits out there, complete with holograms on the packaging, etc., being sold by Amazon, eBay (natch), etc. I’m at a loss as to how to vet them, although SanDisk has a serial-number checker…

    Then, M$ has this nasty habit of degrading performance/interfaces (don’t get me started on the Demonic “protected media path…) when it doesn’t like what it sees. P.G. has it nailed. Regedit is your friend, although pity the poor sods who either are uncomfortable with it, or don’t even know it exists… Still, no-one should be forced to burrow into the innards of the OS to fix something like this.

    Having said that, if the device cannot be opened on another OS (*x in any flavor, or who-knows what (OS/390 :) ) , then it’s time to kick WD, since they own SanDisk now..

    I have a couple of Sharkoon USB 3.0 sticks that work great, not sure if they are available in the US.
    ( )
    Kind of irritating, as SD used to be among the best, and IIRC were among the creators of the segment…..

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    I bought mine from Walmart, who buy in bulk from as high up the food chain as possible, so unlikely knockoffs.

    I also have tried many of the ‘fixes’ and they didn’t fix it.

    To me this looks like a ‘feature’ where the firmware in the stick decides to force read-only on error detect, but has a broad idea of what is an error…

    I’ve had my fair share of “almost bricked” USB sticks and drives (have one right now in that the WD111 MB USB disk is BSD only and other systems won’t format it… so I need to boot BSD to remake it…). This Sandisk issue is different from those. Not just “MBR confused” or “formatted in a way my OS doesn’t like”, but “FORCES read-only on ALL O/S types and against all software”.

    There might be something out there that can get past it, but I’ve not found it yet (even the low level USB Stick write test program listed as ‘fixing it’ at the bottom of the linked posting)

    There comes a time where you just ‘kiss off” the $20 and ‘move on’. Yes, I could likely plead my case and get a replacement, in exchange for about $40 of my time working their system and handing over all my PII… (Yeah I looked at their form…) I’m already into this about 6 hours+ and ought to have ‘become a chucker’ 5 hours ago….

    FWIW, I’ve recovered ‘unreadable’ sticks before that had all sorts of MBR / format / incompatible sectoring / etc. None of those tricks worked. It all stonewalls at the basic OS level of “Hey, this is read only media!”… I’ve tried 3 os types (Mac, Windows, Linux) and 2 to 4 or so tools per OS, from disk tools / utilities to built in format commands to hard shoving bits at the raw device with dd in Linux. OS refuses to pass the bits on to the stick…

    FWIW, I’ve not had issues with their SD Cards. It looks like it is a stick thing…

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting tangential point;

    The spouse got a new Macbook as the old one had the SSD die and she lives on the thing for a variety of work needs. I got the old one since it “doesn’t work”. It boots nicely from an external USB 3.0 hard disk, though clumsy in the lap that way ;-)

    In a few weeks / months / whatever, I’ll be learning how to fix a blown SSD / install new… I’ve found one ‘big enough’ for about $200, but have other priorities at the moment.

    While waiting for my ’round tuit’ to show up, I tried putting the OS on a Cruzer USB 16 GB flash drive from SanDisk. This has lived in my Chromebox almost forever as a place to put docs and downloads on it (that can be just yanked for a reformat / reset of the device proper if desired).

    Well, the hard disk has flashy flashy lights more than I’d like (lots of disk I/O) but I figured flash would be OK. It wasn’t. Painfully glacially slow. Click and wait a minute or two go get coffee slow on some things like launching Safari with a terminal window open too. Looking into it, there is swap happening along with LOTS of other I/O.

    Well, a bit of web searching found a site that did a benchmark and found the little nub sized Cruizer very slow on writes. Like 1/4 the speed of others.

    I decided to try something else… so just copied the cruiser to a SanDisk 16 GB mini-SD Ultra Class 10 card in a Class 2 (!) USB adapter. It runs nicely…

    Not blazingly fast, but all the long mysterious pauses during things like typing messages have gone… Click another panel, it pops up; not ‘go get coffee’…

    Oddly, checking status with the “Activity Monitor” shows it not swapping yet, despite the same stuff open.

    At any rate, there’s a significant difference in the SD cards vs USB sticks in performance in demanding I/O context.

    And yes, It’s a bit bizarre to be booting a Macbook off the same mini-SD chip that booted a Raspberry Pi a week ago (though loaded with a different OS…)

    OTOH, I’ve got to think “Mac with blown SSD” would be cheap to buy off of Craigslist and would make nice compute nodes in a cluster… (found directions for booting linux on it so making a cluster of them would not be that hard…) Hmmmm…..

    At any rate, given that this SD card is acting nice and fast, I’m not bothered that I have bought over a dozen of them over the years… Also FWIW, I have another USB Stick I like that is fast and has been very reliable through all sorts of reformats. I think it is from “Monster”? Something like that. Has mini USB on one end, maxi on the other. I’ll likely figure out what it is and get more of them as needed… With home directory on a USB, and OS booted from another, you just yank them and the machine is fairly sterile from a forensics POV. Then the stick and chip fit in a coin purse or even a pill case on a key ring.

    So now I’m thinking I’ll try to find a very small mini-SD to USB class 3 adapter ;-)

  13. kneel63 says:

    Yep, definately flash related, not windows – had one go belly up on me just trying to format it with ext3. Replaced under warranty. Not sure about the US, but here in the antipodes, I can insist the retailer deal with these sorts of issues – even if it’s Apple saying ‘end-user must return directly…’, I have consumer rights to take back to place of purchase and they (retailer) MUST deal with it. They don’t like it and always tell me I can’t do that, but quoting section numbers of the relevant laws soon changes their mind :-)

    Oh, and I understand SanDisk has an internal tool to fix this issue, but they refuse to let anyone even see it…

  14. derval says:

    Have a 16gb sandisk and the damn thing stuck in read only while I was using Linux mint. Now can’t boot, can’t format, can’t anything. Even if i sent it to sandisk i don’t want the pricks looking into my files, as I can read and copy them easily, and sending me another crappy sandisk drive.

    There’s no tool to fix or official fix from SanDisk.

    OTOH i bought a SMI controlled cheap pendrive and it also stuck in read only, i got a app caller Ufix II I think and it nows run like a champ.

    No sandisk no more

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