" I’m guessing that this is some sort of hardware glitch"
While I suppose it’s possible I’m still leaning toward a software problem. A virus maybe, or even a Microsoft update.
A file can become Read Only via an Attrib setting in Windows Properties, a DOS command, or a Windows 7 Sharing function. Not being able to format the drive brings it to a different level. Maybe a Windows function like a Recycle bin or System Restore folder is in use by the system or a bug in a anti-malware app has it open. If the problem carries over to a different OS then it gets more convoluted. Maybe the FAT got screwed up. But the error falls back onto the OS that caused it.