How to Remove Write Protection From an External Disk

Under certain conditions, the Windows operating system will assign Read Only permissions to external hard drives connected to the computer. This can happen if you have configured your computer with dual-booting operating systems, or if access permissions are modified for user accounts. If your Windows user account has administrative privileges, you can remove the write protection by editing the Read Only attribute for the disk using the Windows Diskpart command line tool.

External hard drive
Remove the Read Only attribute from your external drive.
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Step

Connect the external drive to the computer and allow the system to recognize the disk as a removable drive.

Step

Open an elevated command prompt. To do that, click the Start button and type "cmd" in the search box, then right-click and choose Run as Administrator (Windows 7) or go to the Start Screen, type "cmd," and then right-click and choose Run as Administrator (Windows 8).

Step

Type the “diskpart” command at the command prompt, then press the “Return” key. The Diskpart command prompt appears.

Step

Type “list volume” at the prompt, then press “Return” to list all volumes connected to the system.

Step

Type “select volume N” where “N” is the volume number to edit. Press “Enter” to select the volume in the Diskpart tool.

Step

Type “attributes volume clear readonly” and press “Enter.” The Read Only attribute is removed from the drive.

Step

Type “exit” at the Diskpart prompt to close the tool.