I have a USB that I'd like to use for a live disk. Problem is that it has a read-only partition on it. I've tried everything I can find, to remove this read-only partition, but nothing works. Below are the items I've tried:

  • sudo fdisk /dev/sdc
  • sudo mkfs -t vfat /dev/sdc1
  • sudo mount -o remount,rw /dev/sdc1 /test
  • sudo fsck.vfat -f -p /dev/sdc1
  • dosfsck -a /dev/sdc

Everything I try always returns a failure that the disk is read-only. Any thoughts?

  • 3
    Brand name? Some USB have an actual lock on the side of the USB. Besides that: why is it read only? Is it because it was a stick with some software on it with DRM? – Rinzwind Apr 30 '17 at 21:15
  • It's just a generic USB that I picked up at a conference. No physical lock on the case. The read-only partition is that part that has the company's information on it. – w3bguy Apr 30 '17 at 21:23
  • 2
    Maybe it's hard-wired that way... – Xen2050 Apr 30 '17 at 21:40
  • Maybe... Hoping there was a way via Linux to bypass it. I guess if nothing else, I'll just open it up and see what I can break... :) – w3bguy Apr 30 '17 at 22:02
  • 2
    @W3BGUY those tend to have a hard wired read only file system. They do not want you to remove the software for the company on it. – Rinzwind May 2 '17 at 16:42

Try the Wipe function of mkusb, it can either Zero the first megabyte of the drive, (which should be enough), or it can zero the entire drive, which takes time. After zeroing the drive mkusb can be used to set the drive back to it's original condition with an MSDOS partition table formatted to FAT32. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/mkusb/wipe

  • mkusb will work except if there is a hard wired read only file system or the drive is 'gridlocked' or damaged some other way. See this link for more details about pendrive lifetime, ubuntuforums.org/… – sudodus May 2 '17 at 18:32
  • No luck... Guessing it is set as read-only on the hardware... :/ – w3bguy May 2 '17 at 22:51

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