Change write permission on USB flash drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Caelum, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #1
    Hi all,

    When I started uni years ago, we were given free 2G USB flash drives. The drives were partitioned in half so that there was a read/write partition to use for whatever and the other partition is read only - it has a bunch of files relevant to us students and links to all the relevant uni webpages and such.

    Now that I've finished uni I'd like to use my drive as one whole read/write-able drive. But I'm having trouble getting rid of the read only partition.

    The get info panel shows that I have only permission to read and there is no option there to change that.

    Disk Utility will not allow me to erase, format or re-partition the drive (I can erase the read/write portion though). All the options to do anything to the drive are greyed out, presumably because I cannot write to it.

    Is there some way I can give myself permission to write to this drive? It is a perfectly good drive and it seems a shame to waste half of its space on stuff I will never use again.

    I am running OS X - 10.5.6 on an iMac G5 and the drive is formatted as: MS-DOS (FAT12). I have also tried to erase/reformat it in Vista, but cannot because of the write protection.

    Very grateful for any help,
    Cheers.
     
  2. macrumors member

    kahlil88

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    #2
    It sounds like the USB drive has some sort of hardware write-protection. What brand and model is this drive? You probably need to download some sort of reformatting utility from the manufacturer's website.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    It is branded with my university's name and logo, but it is a Western Digital drive underneath. I searched their site for software applicable for the model, but it wasn't compatible with any apple OS or with Vista (xp only).

    I guess I'm stuck with the stupid partition unless I can get access to an XP machine. Also I couldn't tell from the software's name or description whether or not it would even allow me to re-format with it, so even that may not work.

    Damn.
     
  4. macrumors member

    kahlil88

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    #4
    Do you know what the model number is? If it's not on the drive, it should at least be in the System Profiler.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    WDC WD2500JS-40NGB2

    So far the only software I can find relevant to that number is XP only. Got to make friends with some PC people...
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    I don't know how it is in Aus, but here you can pick up a 4GB pen drive for about £5. It might not be worth all the hassle trying to figure this one out...
     
  7. macrumors member

    kahlil88

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mendocino, CA
    #7
    I believe this is your internal hard drive, or else Google is lying to me. Look in the USB section of the System Profiler.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    I know where to look for the model number and my internal drive is not a western digital drive. I know that Googling the number only returns results for larger HDs as I have already done it, nevertheless that is the number of my flash drive.

    Thanks for your help so far, I will be trying to use the XP software tomorrow on a different computer and if that doesn't work I'll just abandon it as not worth the effort, as edesignuk says.

    Thanks for your time so far though, cheers.
     

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