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Old 11-11-2005, 05:31 PM   #1
flihp
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Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: Debian / Ubuntu
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Angry usb flash drive always read-only


Hey all,

A friend of mine recently gave me their old Gateway usb thumb drive. They had been having all sorts of problems with the security junk on it and could only use it on their old gateway laptop as a result. I was hoping to just blow away the crazy encrypted partition with fdisk and set it up with one big one so she should use it again. Turns out it ain't that easy.

I tried a few times to fdisk it and kill the partitions but continually got messages stating that /dev/sda was read only

a closer look at /var/log/messages shows
Code:
Nov 11 17:32:01 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: USB disconnect, address 3
Nov 11 17:32:22 localhost kernel: usb 2-2: new full speed USB device using uhci_hcd and address 4
Nov 11 17:32:22 localhost kernel: scsi2 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
Nov 11 17:32:23 localhost usb.agent[8818]:      usb-storage: already loaded
Nov 11 17:32:27 localhost kernel:   Vendor: USB NAND  Model: FLASH DISK        Rev: 0.30
Nov 11 17:32:27 localhost kernel:   Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 02
Nov 11 17:32:28 localhost kernel: SCSI device sda: 1088 512-byte hdwr sectors (1 MB)
Nov 11 17:32:28 localhost kernel: sda: Write Protect is on
Nov 11 17:32:28 localhost kernel: SCSI device sda: 1088 512-byte hdwr sectors (1 MB)
Nov 11 17:32:28 localhost kernel: sda: Write Protect is on
Nov 11 17:32:28 localhost kernel:  /dev/scsi/host2/bus0/target0/lun0: p1
Nov 11 17:32:28 localhost kernel: Attached scsi removable disk sda at scsi2, channel 0, id 0, lun 0
Nov 11 17:32:28 localhost scsi.agent[8866]:      sd_mod: loaded sucessfully
Nov 11 18:00:41 localhost -- MARK --
Obviously the kernel believes the device is write protected

I've heard that some thumb drives have physical switches on them to toggle write protection but for the life of me I can't find one on this drive. I'm figuring that this is part of the amazing gateway thumb drive security system (so secure you can only use it on the gateway laptop you bought it with).

Anyone have a way around this? I'm no expert, I googled around a bit but didn't find anything helpful.

Any help would be appreciated.

- flihp
 
Old 11-12-2005, 09:53 AM   #2
ninjabob7
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Distribution: Ubuntu 9.10 and Slackware 13.1
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Have you tried just mounting the drive? You should see if that works first. Then if it's still read only you may have to edit /etc/fstab. That should work for mounting the drive. I don't know what would keep it from reformatting it, though, unless the write-protect really is on. On a Lexar Jumpdrive it's a tiny white switch that's even with the case and easy to miss.
 
Old 11-12-2005, 05:14 PM   #3
flihp
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Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: Debian / Ubuntu
Posts: 4

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Thx for the response,

I've been staring at this thing all day, no such switch.

Mounting the drive manually results in a read only file system, regardless of what I put in fstab (or specify on the command line). I think the messages from the kernel in /var/log/messages indicate that no matter what, the device is seen as read-only. I'm at a loss here.

- flihp
 
  


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