Sandisk cruzer 16GB became read-only

I read that there is an issue with the NTFS format in the USB sinse 2013, now (2016) I have the same issue and there is no a known solution for it, so, I would like to know if you already have any solution? or how can I get in contact with you for the refund solution? that because there is no a SanDisk in my country (Colombia south America).

my issue is that I am not able to change the “read-only statatus” to my USB, so I can’t save files on it or format or any admin task, in other words my USB is completly useless.

There is no refund but there is the possibility of a replacement.  Go to this link:

Be sure to copy your files off the drive before returning it.

This works -

THERE IS NOW A FIX!! :smiley: I found a way to bypass it in Ubuntu, mine went into Read Only Mode too. For a while, I had to play around with it. I found several solutions.

On Ubuntu you can use the cp or mv command to copy via command line, if that doesnt work (it worked for me) then you can try this…

Go into Disk Usage Analyzer which is a built in program on Ubuntu, then click on the drive… you will then see a trash folder… delete all the files in the trash bin. Once I got rid of all those files, it was finally able to copy and paste again normally.


I have a 16GB cruzer, that’s about 8 months old, it just became read-only.
There’s no way of putting it back in read-write with windows and if i try formatting it, it says the device is readonly too.

What can i do? Is the drive broken?


Backup your files and return it.  The RMA link is posted above.

As the drive is now read only it is not possible to wipe the data before returning it.

I don’t want to send SanDisk a drive with my personal data on it.

So how do I get a refund/replacement ?

When you talk to SanDisk on the RMA mention your concerns.  In the past they have allowed such users to smash the drive before returning it. 

Got dammit it’s 2020 and I can’t believe Sandisk has still not resolved this issue. Been like 8-9 years lmao.

For more context I also bought a sandisk (ultra) usb (3.0) drive with 32gb of space for like 27 euro about 2 weeks ago for its high speed writing/reading speed for school purposes (also to eventually store a few games), and as you might guess I came into the same situation as this guy here where the usb suddenly turns into the write-protected mode.

The worst part is I have no idea where did put my ticket (as proof of purchase) and the only thing what I have left is the broken?/unusable usb and the back of the package with some sort of free software recovery license (like if they have predicted my drive would break and I’d need it lol :unamused:) that I kept just in case if someone I knew would have an use for it, …which I’m not even sure at this point if I can use this as proof of purchase.

I’m still kind of disappointed of this product because they leave you no option other than sending back the usb and wait ages before they send it back. A hard reset switch/button would be a good idea in case its just a false-positive or something so you can still use your drive in the meanwhile. (BTW I formatted it to NTFS the first day when I got it so pls people don’t blame me for using FAT32 which I am not)

NTFS was your 1st mistake. It adds extra writes to the drive. exFAT would have been a better choice if the drive wasn’t already formatted with that.

If you purchased the drive using a credit card you should be able to return it to the store for a replacement. They can verify your purchase on their system via your credit card number.

Yeah never used exFAT before and didn’t have any reasons too, didn’t know about that one though “NTFS adds extra writes to the drive”.
Anyway not sure why does that matter since the drive is like 2 weeks old and it wouldn’t make a huge difference by now.

Also I think I might have paid using a credit card but unfortunately not sure if the store policies would allow to get a replacement without the ticket. (at least in France where I live)

You won’t know until you try. Good luck and stay safe.

Yeah had this issue with my 8GB Cruzer, had to request an RMA for a replacement, I tried multiple Linux tools, Windows, etc… Drive just wouldn’t remove read-only. It’s hardware failure typically and the only fix that works is getting the drive replaced. I would suggest opening an RMA for replacement.

Register the product
Request RMA.

Hello all, the same thing just happened to my pen drive which is 2 weeks old. How can I recover the usage of my pen drive or be reimbursed by this bug? This is unnaceptable, I’m sorry…

Well you can return the drive to the seller if reimbursement is your goal. I think there is a suggestion on the SanDisk site for a fix you can try but I don’t have the link to it. This site is just a user forum and the link is here somewhere if you look for it but probably faster to go to the SanDisk Help site and ask for it.

Acc. to SanDisk customer service, those drives have a safety mechanism that disables writes when error conditions are detected, to protect the data

Hi All,

Short version: I fixed the problem by reformatting the drive.

Long Version:

My SanDisk Cruzer Glide 32GB became read-only on Linux systems and would not even mount properly on Windows (i.e., no drive letter was assigned to it when I plugged it in; it was still recognized in the device manager as a USB mass storage device, but I couldn’t access it). After some poking around, I decided to try to completely reformat the drive on Linux.

I used KDE Partition Manager on a Lubuntu 20.04 installation, but I think gparted or fdisk would work just as well. You can find tutorials for all of these online. You may be able to do basically this same thing from Windows in the command line using the diskpart utility–there are plenty of tutorials and youTube videos for all these tools.

Here’s what I did:


Step 1

Launch the KDE Partition Manager

Step 2

Select the USB device you want to format under the “Devices” section.

Step 3

If any of the partitions in the table on the right show a mount point (something like “/media/home/CRUZER”), right click the partition and select “Unmount”. Do this for each mounted partition.

Step 4

Select all the partitions on the USB and click the delete button. This won’t delete all the partitions yet; it’ll just put the delete command in the queue under “Pending Operations”.

Step 5

There should now be only one partition showing in the table named “unallocated”. Select it and click New.

Step 6

In the popup that comes up, select the settings you want for the USB. I’m using mine primarily as removable memory for my Linux system, so I went with the ext4 file system. If you’re using Windows, FAT32 is probably your safest bet if I understood the rest of this thread. If you’re using the stick with cameras, you’d have to check which file systems your camera is compatible with.

Partition type: Primary
File system: ext4
Encrypt with LUKS: No (unchecked)
Label: (blank; this is the name of your USB stick)
Free space before: 0.00 MiB
Size: Click the up arrow until it maxes out. This will be less than your actual USB memory capacity since some of the storage space is reserved for firmware (I think)
Free space after: 0.00 MiB

Step 7

Click “OK”. This will add “create a new partition” to the Pending Operations queue.

Step 8
Click Apply. It will probably take a few minutes.

After that you should a blank and writeable USB stick again. Mine worked without any issues on my Linux installation, and Windows gave me the expected “unsupported file system” error, asking me if I wanted to reformat the drive (which is a good sign).

When data is lost on the USB drive, like when someone pulls it out before it finishes writing, your operating system sets a dirty bit flag in the BOOT sector, the next time it’s plugged in.

For typical hard drives, this dirty bit is cleared when chkdsk is run. But, for removables drives, it’s the kiss of death, as it puts the USB drive into a write-protected mode.

It’s a catch-22 situation. How can you run chkdsk on a write-protected disk? You can’t.

When the operating system wants to write something to your USB drive, it asks the drive, can I write some stuff, and USB drive responds “no”, I’m write protected. So, you see, the problem cannot be fixed from the operating system side. The firmware on the USB drive controls who can read and write to it, not the operating system. That is why people want a way to restore the USB firmware to factory settings, because physically, this is absolutely nothing wrong with the drive.

It’s one little dirty bit in the BOOT sector that’s causing all of these problems, and since Sandisk is making a ton of money off it, they won’t fix it.

I run CHKDSK on my flash drives with Windows 10. Also Windows automatically notes the problem when the drive is plugged in and says it needs to be fixed. Replying Yes Windows scans the drive and fixes any problem.

The read-only problem is not from removing the drive too quickly. It’s due to voltage to the drive and heat.