logo
  • Live Chat!
logomobile
corner left-topcorner right-top
USB Write Protection, Partitions and CD-ROMs
Read & Learn on This Page
corner left-bottomcorner right-bottom

Learn About USB Write Protection, Partitions & CD-ROMs

USB Write Protection

What it is

A USB stick which is write protected means the content on the drive cannot be deleted or formatted off the drive. Other terms used for write protection are data locking and read only. Write protecting your flash drive is a great way to insure content is not changed or manipulated. It is also a great way to insure a virus does not jump onto the drive and spread to other computers. If you have the option, always write protect your flash drives. A flash drive which is write protected is a setting which cannot be hacked or manipulate through third party software programs. There is no universal software that will lock or unlock a flash drive, so if you are the hunt for such a program, just stop now. However, read on because we might have a solution to help you.

How it’s done

Write protection is set at the controller level of the USB drive. This means there is no universal software solution which will lock any flash drive. The reason is that a specific command must be sent to the USB controller for the setting to take place. The command sent to the USB stick is to block the SCSI Write Command. To block the SCSI write command to a flash drive takes code which knows how to talk with the controller and make the request. Again, this is why there is no universal software solution to write protect flash drives. When a USB stick is connected to a computer there a couple of things the host computer will do and determine how to handle the device. One of the functions is to determine if the write command is turned on or off. When the write command is turned off, the computer knows this and will give an error message if a user tries to delete or format the content off the drive.

What we can do

We have many options for someone looking to set write protection on flash drives or remove write protection from flash drives. Our parent company is Nexcopy Inc. which is a flash memory duplicator company and with the experience of building those machines we know the ways to set or remove write protection. For example, if you want to set or remove write protection from a command line so you may control the write status of your device from your application we have the solution for you. If you have USB sticks that are write protected which you purchased from China, there is a very good chance we have software tools to remove the write protection for you. The one solution we do not have, and no one does, is if you already have flash drives and you wish to set the write protection, we cannot do it. If you are in this situation, we recommend you contact the supplier from which you bought the drives. We also have USB duplicator machines for you to data load flash drives in bulk and set the write protection in one shot. Very user friendly and great specifically design for production type environments. Please contact us for further details on any of the above. We are very technical and very friendly and can get right to the bottom of solving your problem or accomplishing your goal. Contact for Details or use Live Chat link at top of page.

USB Partitions

What it is

A USB stick with multi partitions means it is a USB drive where Windows will assign two drive letters when the device is connected. If on a Mac computer, it will mount as two separate volumes. The USB device will then work as if it’s two separate drives and there is no relationship between the two. Other terms used for a partitioned drive is Two LUN (Logical Unit Numbers) or multi-LUN devices. Typically a dual partitioned drive is created because the owner will data load one partition and keep the other partition open for read/write functions. In addition, many will write protect the partition with data so that is cannot be manipulated or altered. Many software programs are also loaded to the first partition with the output data of that program written to the second partition. There are Linux tools which can write many partitions to a single USB device. However, these partitions are not done at the controller level and an Erase command will wipe the USB stick clean and remove all partitions. The typical requests we get at USBCopier are for permanent partitions to be created on the USBs.

How it’s done

In the above examples we are describing a two LUN device where the partitions are created at the controller level. This means special commands must be sent to the USB controller. All flash drives have the controller which lets the flash memory talk to the host computer. All flash drives have a hidden memory area and a public memory area. The public memory area is meant for read and write functions and is what you associate to be a typical flash drive. The hidden memory or private area is meant for only the controller to see. The controller will write values in the hidden memory which configure how the flash drive will appear to the host computer. So for example, a dual partitioned drive will have the values (size of each partition) written into hidden memory. When the USB is connected to the host computer, the USB controller will first check the hidden memory for configuration and then allow the device to be mounted on the computer as instructed from the settings in hidden memory. At that time a user will see the two partitioned drive. If you are looking for a software tool to remove a second partition or create a second partition, we are sorry to report there is no universal software package which can do this. Since each USB controller manufacturer uses their own code methods to read and write into the hidden area of memory, there is no universal command which can do this job for you.

What we can do

USBCopier does have the ability to make dual partitions at the controller level. We can provide USB devices with any type of partition size which you might need. In addition, we can provide data loading to those partitions and also write protect those partitions. If you are seeking equipment for on-site data loading we can also provide duplication equipment which can partition USB sticks to any size you require. Contact for Details or use Live Chat link at top of page.

USB CD-ROM Partitions

What it is

A USB stick which appears as a CD-ROM device is by definition a read only device. The drive letter mounted to the host computer will appear as if it’s a CD-ROM device even though it is a USB stick. Comparing a CD-ROM USB stick to a USB stick that is write protected doesn’t offer much difference. They are both write protected and cannot be changed or formatted off the drive. Many prefer a USB stick to appear as a CD-ROM for two reasons (both reasons no longer apply as of 2013). Many believe a USB stick which appears as a CD-ROM device will make the USB stick a bootable device. Meaning you can run a computer operating system directly from the USB stick rather than the computer hard drive. This is no longer the case, Microsoft has made it very easy to create bootable flash drives from any USB stick. The other reason is that many believe a USB with a CD-ROM partition will have auto-run functions. Meaning, when the USB stick is connected they can auto-run a program or a file. Microsoft no longer allows auto-run functions so this is no longer a valid reason to create a CD-ROM USB stick to make use of that auto-run function.

How it’s done

All flash drives have a hidden memory area and a public memory area. The public memory area is meant for read and write functions and is what you associate to be a typical flash drive. The hidden memory or private area is meant for only the controller to see. The USB controller will write values in the hidden memory which configure how the flash drive will appear to the host computer. So for example, a CD-ROM partitioned drive will have the values written into hidden memory stating the device should look like a CD-ROM drive. When the USB is connected to the host computer, the USB controller will first check the hidden memory for configuration and then allow the device to be mounted on the computer. At that time a user will see the USB as a CD-ROM. If you are looking for a software tool to remove a CD-ROM partition, I am sorry to report there is no universal solution to remove it. Since each USB controller manufacturer uses their own code methods to read and write into the hidden area of memory, there is no universal command which can reset this partition.

What we can do

Our company has the ability to make CD-ROM USB sticks at the controller level. We can provide USB devices with any type of partition size which you might need. In addition, we offer equipment for on-site data loading. This is a big value add because it allows you to make CD-ROM partitions on your own schedule and you do not have to depend on outside vendors for the data loading process. Please contact us for more details. Contact for Details or use Live Chat link at top of page.

Note:

The above definitions relate to a USB stick being write protected. The term “write protected” is very different the USB Copy Protection. Copy protection includes the attributes listed above in addition to copy protection – where the files cannot be copied off the USB device. This is the ultimate in security and Digital Rights Management for your content.

Contact Us or Call (949) 481-6479

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message

1+1=? 

USB Copier | 13 Orchard Road Ste 102 | Lake Forest | CA | 92630 | P: +1 949 481 6479