Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to Disable the Write Protection on the Dell Windows 8 USB Recovery Stick


If you've purchased a PC from Dell lately you might have noticed that there is an option to get the recovery media, specifically Windows 8.1, on an 8GB USB flash drive. If you work in an IT department, these flash drives might start piling up and you might want to try and use them, at least some of them, for something else. Here's the rub... the freaking things are read only.

UPDATE 2016/10/07: If you have Dell Windows 10 USB sticks, please see How to Disable the Write Protection on Dell Windows 10 USB Recovery Sticks.

UPDATE: Some of the commentator's below are complaining about error code: -2. I did some more testing and after a few successful and a few unsuccessful attempts, I'm thinking that the firmware might have changed. Of the drives that I have, it seems the ones with the multi-colored labels on the back work fine after using the low-level format utility (one 8GB writable partition). The utility failed with error code: -2 and bricked the drives on all the ones I've tested that have solid blue labels, light blue or dark blue. Don't use this utility if your drive has a solid blue label on the back.

UPDATE 2: Tojo posted a solution for the blue label Dell drives in the comments below. Thanks Tojo! The new guide can be found at http://www.techunboxed.com/2015/03/how-to-disable-write-protection-on-dell.html.

I don't know about Dell's consumer level PC's but stuff like the Latitude laptops can be had with an optional 8GB bootable USB 3.0 flash drive with Windows 8.1 on it. Unfortunately, these flash drives are write protected. They can't be written to, formatted, or partitioned, but if you're willing to loose all the data currently on the drive, they can be made to work. Low level formatting the drive will wipe all the data and disable the write protection.

A Dell USB flash drive without it's skin

A close up of the USB controller chip - Phison PS2251-07

Nope. Cant write here.

The low level format utility linked below works with the USB controller chip, PS2251-07, on the current USB flash drives that come from Dell. I have no idea if it will work with any other flash drive or if it will continue to work in the future if the controller changes.

WARNING: This process will irrevocably destroy all data on the USB flash drive.


Download and unzip the low level format tool linked below. Just to be safe, make sure the Dell USB drive is the only USB drive attached to the computer and run executable.


Click Format.



If you're really sure you want to do this, click Yes.



The utility is performing the low level format.



The low level format is complete. Click OK and unplug the USB drive from the computer. The next time it's plugged back in, it will be blank and writable.

Blank and Writable

That's it.

If someone knows a way to remove the write protection without destroying the data on the drive, please let us know in the comments below.


Low level format utility @ Mega.co.nz

60 comments:

  1. It didn't work the first time, it worked the second time. It create two drives after the formatting from the 8 GB Dell flash drive. How can I combine both drives to get 7 GB of space?

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    Replies
    1. I did it same and my pendrive formatted but not writable so tell me how to make unprotected

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  2. I as well would like to know how to combine these partitions on this usb drive. I have tried several different partition editing programs as well s diskpart in CMD. I just don't think it is possible with these drives.

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  3. I did the same with the Formatter_SiliconPower tool, but got an error code: -2 message?
    Anyone any idea?
    Thanks in advance.
    Eric

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    Replies
    1. Same. The two USBs I tried it on are now showing as 0MB as well. Won't try anything on the third till I have more of them, or have the torched ones repaired.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. UPDATE: I did some more testing and after a few successful and a few unsuccessful attempts, I'm thinking that the firmware might have changed and the current drives from Dell do not work with this utility. Of the drives that I have, it seems the ones with the multi-colored labels on the back work fine after using the low-level format utility (one 8GB writable partition). The utility failed with error code: -2 and bricked the drives on all the ones I've tested that have solid blue labels, light blue or dark blue. Don't use this utility if your drive has a solid blue label on the back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you alread found a solution for the USB sticks with a solid blue label on the back?

      Delete
    2. No, I've been looking, but I haven't come up with anything yet.

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    3. Finally found a software what helps but i can't use it.... Jeff pls help:
      http://www.usbdev.ru/?wpfb_dl=4431

      Delete
  5. I have one with FW 01.03.53[2014-08-25] the low level formatter could not format, Can't seem to find a version of it that supports the above firmware.

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  6. Great, it works properly.
    Thanks a lot!

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  7. how much time takes for the low level format to finish?

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  8. Great, it works properly.
    Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Blue Label

    Volume: E:
    Controller: Phison PS2307
    Possible Memory Chip(s):
    Toshiba TC58NVG6T2HTA00
    Toshiba TC58TEG6T2JTA00
    Toshiba TH58TVG6T2HBA4C
    Toshiba TC58NVG6T2JTA00
    Memory Type: TLC
    Flash ID: 98DE9892 7250
    Chip F/W: 01.03.53
    Firmware Date: 2014-08-25
    ID_BLK Ver.: 1.2.83.0
    MP Ver.: MPALL v3.81.00
    VID: 0930
    PID: 1400
    Manufacturer: TOSHIBA
    Product: MSFT NORB
    Query Vendor ID: TOSHIBA
    Query Product ID: MSFT NORB
    Query Product Revision: PMAP
    Physical Disk Capacity: 7743995904 Bytes
    Windows Disk Capacity: 7735672832 Bytes
    Internal Tags: 2P7P-S77K
    File System: FAT32
    Relative Offset: 4032 KB
    USB Version: 3.00 in 2.00 port
    Declared Power: 498 mA
    ContMeas ID: 46D9-01-00
    Microsoft Windows 8 x64
    ------------------------------------
    http://www.antspec.com/usbflashinfo/
    Program Version: 8.0.0.550


    Multi-Colour Label

    Volume: F:
    Controller: Phison PS2307
    Possible Memory Chip(s):
    Toshiba TC58NVG6T2HTA00
    Toshiba TC58TEG6T2JTA00
    Toshiba TH58TVG6T2HBA4C
    Toshiba TC58NVG6T2JTA00
    Memory Type: TLC
    Flash ID: 98DE9892 7250
    Chip F/W: 01.01.53
    Firmware Date: 2014-05-05
    ID_BLK Ver.: 1.2.75.0
    MP Ver.: MPALL v3.73.0D
    VID: 0930
    PID: 1400
    Manufacturer: TOSHIBA
    Product: silicon power
    Query Vendor ID: TOSHIBA
    Query Product ID: silicon power
    Query Product Revision: PMAP
    Physical Disk Capacity: 7743995904 Bytes
    Windows Disk Capacity: 7709732864 Bytes
    Internal Tags: 2Q7P-S75K
    File System: FAT32
    Relative Offset: 4032 KB
    USB Version: 3.00 in 2.00 port
    Declared Power: 498 mA
    ContMeas ID: 46D9-01-00
    Microsoft Windows 8 x64
    ------------------------------------
    http://www.antspec.com/usbflashinfo/
    Program Version: 8.0.0.550

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  10. If that helps anyone crack the problem with the memory sticks. The chip firmware seems to be different

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  11. I cracked it open,
    First it is Dell Mentor Media 8GB USB Model: PA508L-MD8U, P/N: KR2H9_A00

    when I cracked it open then here is the info:
    Phison PS2251-07-V
    V01427C
    SFSSN1CC

    I hope this will help find a solution to wipe usb drive. Thanks

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  12. Well, at the third day, its done & alive.
    Blue labeled, 8GB usoft win 8.1 read only converted into writable 8GB USB3.

    The secret tool is Phison UP tool version 2.10.0.5 at http://www.usbdev.ru/?wpfb_dl=5094
    The conversion is slow. It needs an hour.

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  13. I've done in win7-64.
    Plugin the stick and then close all the pop-ups, win instaler, antivirus warnings and whatever.
    Start the UP tool and push refresh button. The stick must be detected and the color have not to be red.
    Perhaps you have to change the controler type up right (is better not use driver) I selected 8 port USB-hub (press refresh again until perfect detection).
    Then press SETUP, in authentication window press OK (left empty).
    Settings:
    1) Flash Memory:
    Flash parameters:
    Autoselect
    AutoCE
    Auto
    Force Id & Force Ce UNCHECKED

    Flash Scan & test:
    Type:Normal flash
    Level:Low level
    Mode:Smart test
    ECC:0
    Enable smart ECC
    Enable U3 flash function test

    Disk Size:
    Max disk size
    Prefer size
    Fat Force Fat32

    Dos format:
    Disk type:removable disk
    Led disable
    REST UNCHECKD
    PUT THE BAR for public 100%

    USB parameters:
    VID:0930
    PID:1400
    Vendor:TOSHIBA
    Produt:MSFT-NORB
    Revision:PMAP
    REST UNCHECKED

    Copy compare:0

    User interface:
    Factory
    Autosave
    Colorfull
    REST UNCHECKED

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Work as well!!! Thanks !!!

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    2. thanks... thanks.... thanks... :)

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    3. Work it!!! :-) Very-very-very much THANKS!!! :-)

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  14. After refreshing again after the setup, press refresh and after detected press start.
    If all goes OK, after an hour the bar goes green.
    Extract the stick (via windows safe-extracting), cloe UP-tool and you can use the stick as usual...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tojo you're the man. Thanks for posting this. I posted a "how-to" guide for this utility... http://www.techunboxed.com/2015/03/how-to-disable-write-protection-on-dell.html

      Delete
  15. Props to Tojo, works great on blue label drives. I even unbricked the ones I broke with the 'formatter tool' by setting flash scan & test type to 'Normal DIE Flash'

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  16. Kudos to Tojo. This is working for me. I had to use a powered 4 port hub for this setup to work for me however.

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  17. I'm using a dell optiplex 7010, in a usb 3 port, and using the "by driver" option

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  18. I think my previous comment was lost somehow - anyhow Tojo thanks

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  19. My blue lable 8GB Dell pendrive is 33 minutes in and 56% complete - hopefully it will work.

    On a different note I do question what on earth takes an hour where the previous ones (multicolour USB2) versions took something like 30 seconds to unlock.

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  20. I think Dell may have updated them again. The versions I had that were working with Tojo's method (and the updated post) had "TC58TEG6TCK (eD3.8K)" in the upper right hand of the drive's box on the UPTool. In the newer ones we're receiving from Dell, they have "TC58TEG6DDK (eD2.16K)"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, both the eD3.8K and the eD2.16K have the same solid blue labels and the same P/N

      Delete
  21. Just for those who want to try it with this version.....DO NOT IT is NOT Working
    In the newer ones we're receiving from Dell, they have "TC58TEG6DDK (eD2.16K)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Round 3: Works for TC58TEG6DDK (eD2.16K)
      http://www.techunboxed.com/2015/07/how-to-disable-write-protection-on-dell.html?showComment=1436943537826#c5177663847398803359

      Delete
  22. Worked like a charm on a 8GB stick with the colorful sticker! And fast format too (<1min)! Thank you!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  23. Description: [F:]USB Mass Storage Device(TOSHIBA TOSHIBA USB DRV)
    Device Type: Mass Storage Device

    Protocal Version: USB 3.00
    Current Speed: Super Speed
    Max Current: 504mA

    USB Device ID: VID = 0930 PID = 1400
    Serial Number: 07084746981C4C10

    Device Vendor: TOSHIBA
    Device Name: TOSHIBA USB DRV
    Device Revision: 0100

    Manufacturer: TOSHIBA
    Product Model: TOSHIBA USB DRV
    Product Revision: PMAP

    Chip Vendor: Phison
    Chip Part-Number: PS2251-03(PS2303) - F/W 01.11.10 [2014-07-04]
    Flash ID Code: 98DE9493 - Toshiba [MLC]

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  24. How do you remove the partition that is stuck in the multi colored one? I don't know how to reprogram it using that Phison MPALL thing.

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  25. I followed your instructions you can do
    software co red error ERR CODE: 0091 ### 2-1p.Help me
    Thak : P/N RNYW2_A00

    ReplyDelete
  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  27. My part number is FDKF4-A00 and this tool doesn' t even detect the media.

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  28. work like a magic on my brother kingston DT SE9 8GB..thank you!!! XD

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  29. Duc Pham´s post of July 15, 10:29AM solved my problem with eD2.16K (solid light blue sticker)
    http://www.techunboxed.com/2015/03/how-to-disable-write-protection-on-dell.html?showComment=1434851147689#c4846490048146830591

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B6Mpu5xK3FHYN0UwbkFFRUk5V2M
    (edit dell_16k with notepad and fix files location)
    load file dell_16k
    hit update
    hit Start

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  30. i have firmware 1.01.53 for tlc ed3 and 1.02.10 for mlc 8k & 16k
    http://www.4shared.com/rar/sfrIjoElba/mpal.html

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have a TC58TEG6DDK (eD2.16K) that I did round 2 on and now it doesn't show it connected to my computer. I need to fix this so that I can use round 3 on it.

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  32. I got the newest dell usb called vektor. It is not detectable by any of these applications. Any ideas how to remove the write protection? Much appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you have to use this tools
      http://wyslijto.pl/plik/chahg3hyia

      Delete
  33. if after isp(in system programing)you cant see flash icon ?
    this mean you instal wrong firmware on your flash

    connect gnd to led left side

    for example see that
    http://flashboot.ru/flash_recovery/2014/08/10/fix-cob-flash-100-sloved.html

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hey
    Do no exist program in the link.
    Put him on mega

    ReplyDelete
  35. i am not able to find my pendrive on drive h, it says there is no disk on drive h. help.

    ReplyDelete
  36. TRY FOR 2 TIMES...SUCCESFULLY....THANKS BRO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What aplication dis You use to format the memory stick? I have this stick PA5080L-MD8M

      Delete
  37. i have 16GB moduslink NORB16GB ?? how i do it ?

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  38. I have the dell flash drive(Mentor Media 8GB, P/N 55YG7_A01) with the solid blue sticker. Ran the Formatter_SiliconPower utility, it wiped the drive including the partition, but i now i can't format it. Ran the utility a few more times and just keep getting errors, ex(device not found)

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  39. ya having sames issues here. Not working now.
    I ran SIliconPower util on it and couldn't save anything to it. Re-ran it and now getting same errors.

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  40. solucionado...... gracias a esta pagina pude formatear mu usb Mentor media. el programa formatter silicon power funciona al 100% siguiendo los pasos que se muestran. sin embargo el único problema fue que el link del programa estaba caído, pero con ayuda de esta pagina lo descargue y seguí los pasos y ya tengo mi USB sin escritura.

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