USB RESTORE stick, Can you reformat?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by lulla01, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68000


    I have several 2010 macbook airs, thus, i have several of the USB restore drives and I would like to restore one of them with a general version of OSX to use on other machines, I have read the stick is protected but I would assume there is some workaround to delete its contents and restore with a full version of snow leopard for all macs. People have presented the solutions of buying other flash drives, that is not what i want to do I want to use this specific drive. I would love to hear of any success with doing something like this or any tips.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    So far it seems like its impossible, but I'd love to find a way.
  3. hfg
    macrumors 68030


    It would not surprise me if these USB sticks were cheap ROM or PROM based rather than more expensive flash memory. As such, they would not be reusable. :(

  4. halledise, Jan 31, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011

    macrumors 65816

    of course you can - but why would you want to?
    buy another 8gb stick and use that for playing and keep the MBAir one for its intended use :D
  5. hfg
    macrumors 68030


    Apparently you do not intend to ever sell those laptops in the future? If so, I am sure the new owner would definitely want the USB restore stick with the notebook.

    I would think the current users of those notebooks would want to have the restore stick with them as well:confused:

  6. macrumors 68000



    It wouldnt matter, the only difference is that I would want a full version of the OS. I think its stupid that we buy something and they block us from writing to it. How is it possible that its a flash drive and cant be written over.?
  7. macrumors 6502


    Because they have prefer to secure it. A lot of companies do this. It has their branding on it so I guess that is why they are protective over it? It's just a thought.
  8. macrumors newbie

    it isn't any different from getting the restore dvds which are read only as well.
  9. macrumors 68030

    The normal workaround for these and other thumbdrives that present themselves as virtual CD drives is to find the programming software specifically written for this stick and rewrite the firmware restoring the drive to its virgin state.

    Occasionally, a scour around certain Chinese forums brings dividends, but it depends upon the hardware. Apple may have an exclusive flash model for this stick, in which case forget it or, as others have suggested, the chips may be ROM rather than RAM, which would make more sense in keeping costs down.

    I had a go at rewriting a thumbdrive given free with a newspaper which had a virtual CD embedded advertising some lame film that had just come out and when placed in a Windows computer opened up a browser directed towards the film's website. I found the program and the default firmware settings but ended up trashing the stick, which started reporting a bogus capacity. YMMV as ever.
  10. macrumors 68000

    In other words...

    It may not be worth it!
  11. macrumors 68000



    after hours of playing with it ive given up ive tried to rewrite it so many different ways and programs
  12. macrumors 65816

    I've just got to ask - why would you spend so much time on this, when USB drives are so cheap and you had many people tell you it couldn't be done? Just because you like the look of the stick and wanted to use it for other things?
  13. macrumors 6502

    Doesn't seem so strange to me. It's simpler and nicer than any flash drive I've ever owned. If I still used flash drives, and had a few of these restore drives laying around, I'd probably diddle with one to try to store my own data on it too.
  14. macrumors 68030

    Meh. This design is really nothing special


    I have a number of these PNY micro-attaché drives in more modest capacities and minus that shameful logo. PCWorld/Currys in the UK were dumping 4GB versions for a princely 97p a while back. Seems like the minimalist design didn't appeal as much as was thought. Write speeds are pretty decent.
  15. macrumors 6502

    I don't think apple is preventing us from writing to it. I think it is just technically impossible to write to it. It is probably some form of (P)ROM that is much cheaper to produce than flash memory. (P)ROM is read only so no writing!

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