[Coco] off-topic: USB drives scam?

Aaron Wolfe aawolfe at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 20:10:54 EDT 2009

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 7:24 PM, Roger Taylor <operator at coco3.com> wrote:
> At 01:00 PM 10/15/2009, you wrote:
>> Never even heard of this problem before.  The results from Google seem
>> very limited, it doesn't appear to be a rampant problem.
>> I did run across this possible solution using regedit:
>> http://pressf1.co.nz/showthread.php?t=88972
>> I'd just stop sticking them in your DVD player. :)
> Exactly.
> Limited Google results? That's because nobody is calling the darn things by
> the same name.  Memory stick, usb stick, flash drive, flash stick, usb
> flash, memory drive, usb drive... you get the idea.  Some people are saying
> it's a virus or worm, along with whatever they think their usb drive is
> called.  :)  So the words you used to find posts on this subject might not
> be turning up what I found.
> The regedit thing doesn't work.  I tried that months ago.

I got interested and bit a bit of googling here :)

If you look for simply "usb write-protect" you will find 1.8 million results.

It seems that Windows uses "device is write-protected" to describe
many different situations, this is part of the confusion.

I'm sure you're already seen this Roger, but the thread found here is
a good example of how many different problems will lead to this
message:  http://www.hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/35725/
Most people on this thread report success with one technique or
another.  A few report that nothing works.

Most issues boil down to:

1. The user actually has toggled a write protect switch without
knowing they've done it (these switches can be very tiny)
2. The usb device uses some form of software write protect, in which
case the remedy involves editing the registry or special program from
the manufacture
3.  The partition table on the device has become corrupt, this is
fixed with the HP format tool I mentioned earlier or similar programs,
or by using a non Windows computer to access the device.
4.  The thing is just broke.  No remedy :(

It is very difficult to say how many users fall into the final
category, since  Windows reports the same error message for a range of
issues.  A failed device does seem to be the minority based on the
number of success stories.  Not sure there is any kind of evil scheme

Have you considered that your DVD player may itself be broken?
Sending way to much voltage to the port or something like this?

> --
> ~ Roger Taylor
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