Author Topic: anyway to lock a usb  (Read 738 times)

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Offline nvidia

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anyway to lock a usb
« on: May 01, 2020, 01:00:46 am »
is there a way to lock a usb stick so i don't delete or format it by mistake

as from time to time i repair friends and family pc/laptops or get cheap laptops/pc or even free ones that i repair

and by mistake i have formatted the usb drive twice forgetting it was my usb stick i use to install windows 10

so i need a way if possable to lock the usb unable to be formatted or have files deleted
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2020, 01:10:19 am »
If you're having difficulty finding a USB drive with a switch to write protect it, use a (full size) SD card in a SD card reader.
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Offline Ampera

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2020, 02:27:55 pm »
The solution is to not do that. There is no way to lock a USB stick, and I've never seen ones with physical lock switches. SD cards do have lock switches, and I suppose if that's all you need to keep yourself from wiping your install drive, so be it, but the solution here is to just pay attention to what you're formatting before you format it, as next time it might not be your USB stick it might be some other random drive in the machine that has data far more annoying to replace.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2020, 03:42:16 pm »
is there a way to lock a usb stick so i don't delete or format it by mistake

as from time to time i repair friends and family pc/laptops or get cheap laptops/pc or even free ones that i repair

and by mistake i have formatted the usb drive twice forgetting it was my usb stick i use to install windows 10
How about attaching a label to it?
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Offline DC1MC

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2020, 03:44:36 pm »
There are some USB sticks with a physical WP switch,  Kanguru SS3 is one of them and gadzillons of clones:

https://store.kanguru.com/products/kanguru-ss3

Clone Trekstor and others. For the Chines clones (and maybe for the others) one has to check if the switch is really connected to NAND WP pin and not to the controller pin, when it becomes somehow an "advisory" WP  >:D

 Cheers,
 DC1MC
 
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Online richnormand

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2020, 09:00:31 pm »
As I was reading this thread I had look at the old USB stick box. I found two with a switch on the side.
One is a Apacer HandySteno from over 10 years ago. It has a lock/unlock switch on the side that makes it read only. (Just tried it)

Another possible way perhaps is to look at the partition properties and see if you can make it read-only? (Never tried it thought)
At the folder or file level going into properties, advanced you can make them read-only. Won't help for formatting.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2020, 10:57:44 pm by richnormand »
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Offline MosherIV

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2020, 09:49:54 pm »
Yes, there is a way but I have no idea how to do it.

I got a promo usb stick, it had 2 partitions or drives.
One was write protected, the other was writeable.
After a lot of googling, I found forum posts about utilites to remove the write protection.
It involved re-initialising the low level format of the usb stick, lost ALL data on both partitions.
Other than that no idea how it did the write protection.

Another idea would be to look at the data sheet for the flash device used on the usd stick, if the flash device has a write  enable pin, cut the track the pulls it high or low.
 

Offline magic

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2020, 07:10:02 am »
one has to check if the switch is really connected to NAND WP pin and not to the controller pin, when it becomes somehow an "advisory" WP  >:D
What do you mean by that? As long as the controller or the OS refuses to write to a locked device, it's fine for protection from accidental deletion. That's how WP works on floppies and SD cards.

I got a promo usb stick, it had 2 partitions or drives.
One was write protected, the other was writeable.
After a lot of googling, I found forum posts about utilites to remove the write protection.
It involved re-initialising the low level format of the usb stick, lost ALL data on both partitions.
Other than that no idea how it did the write protection.
Obviously a configurable feature of the controller in the stick, other than that no idea either :D
 

Offline ChuckDarwin

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2020, 04:42:44 pm »
Some models of eVtran slc usb sticks have a write protect switch.
AliExpress: https://evtran.aliexpress.com/store/2842018
 

Offline BB3553AM

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2020, 05:44:25 pm »
Another way to look at it, is to backup the usb stick everytime it is inserted in the computer using appropriate software. you would create a specific backup partition for that, then you won't have to care anymore about to lock or not the usb stick.
 

Offline gorge441

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2020, 07:08:52 pm »
I guess you get the answer from fellow members  :-+, If not-
no need to worry about this. There are many recovery software online you may order one   :popcorn: ;)
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2020, 10:26:58 pm »
The solution is to not do that. There is no way to lock a USB stick, and I've never seen ones with physical lock switches. SD cards do have lock switches, and I suppose if that's all you need to keep yourself from wiping your install drive, so be it, but the solution here is to just pay attention to what you're formatting before you format it, as next time it might not be your USB stick it might be some other random drive in the machine that has data far more annoying to replace.
A hardware write protect is also useful to prevent malware altering the contents.
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Offline nvidia

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2020, 11:21:26 pm »
Thanks
 

Offline Raj

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2020, 03:38:00 pm »
try SD write protect using software lock-https://hackaday.com/2013/11/27/update-sd-card-locker-now-supports-password-protect/
or
get a dvd drive
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2020, 04:25:26 pm »
The KISS solution may be using an external CD drive with the software on a CD-ROM.
 

Offline pidcon

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Re: anyway to lock a usb
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2020, 06:50:44 am »
The solution is to not do that. There is no way to lock a USB stick, and I've never seen ones with physical lock switches.

I own a USB drive made circa 2003, purchased in Australia, which had a slide switch to make the USB drive read-only. I can't remember the manufacturer, it could be from Kingston or some Taiwanese company. The read-only switch made me feel safe using it on virus-infested public computers. I too have never seen a current USB drive with such a feature. Well, there's the Apricorn encryption-secured USB drive (https://apricorn.com/flash-keys/).
 


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