I have a USB that is stuck in read only. I can't format it or delete its partitions. I was wondering if anyone knows of a way to fix this. In the fdisk screenshot the size of the partitions and the sectors seemed really unusual so i included a screenshot.

Screenshot of fdisk partition list

Screenshot of gparted partition list

  • You need to unmount the file system at /dev/sdb1 before you can modify or recreate the partition table (safely). Does it work now? I don't recommend using GPT on external media. It reduces compatibility and has no advantages over MBR at the moment. – David Foerster Feb 29 '16 at 9:52

try mounting with read write options

sudo mount -t ntfs -o rw /dev/sdb1 /mnt

then try accessing it if doesn't work which is more likely cause i think you may have tried these obvious stuff then that unalloccated is weird just make a backup of all data , delete the partition from gparted ,delete the partition table just to be safe recreate a partition table and create an new healthy partition if none of these works then just bring out the legendary pokemon,the last resort which is a little slow but always works "ONLY DO IT AS LAST RESORT"

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb

this will fill the whole thing with zeros any corruption will be overwritten . Good Luck


I had that issue and sadly i was forced to reinstall ubuntu and never replicated it again; i can tell you its not kernel related.

My afected Ubuntu had upgraded version via the software manager maybe your instalation updated version as well?

Im asking you this because upgrading your instalation to a new Ubuntu version via software update sometimes causes bugs and that happened in my case after upgrading to vivid vervet and went away after a fresh install.

  • -1 What does this have to do with a supposedly unwritable USB drive? O.o – David Foerster Feb 29 '16 at 9:49

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