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How can I protect my flash drive from reformat?

  1. May 1, 2016 #1
    Hey team!

    I have a flash drive that I have already put a few files on that cannot be deleted by any user other than me on my own computer, but I recently found out that anyone can reformat the flash drive and get past that. Is there any way that I can be able to read and write to and from the drive but remove any ability to reformat it?

    It is a 16 GB USB2.0 drive formatted to NTSF, and the protected files are just some autorun text files with my contact information on them so that if it gets lost or stolen, I can recover it.

    The goal is that anyone who would take my flash drive as their own will become so annoyed with the popups every time they plug the thing in that they eventually just return it to me or throw it away. Ideally it would be cool if this could be done on a better flash drive when I need one (like a 64GB USB3.0 that actually costs a pretty penny)

    I thank you all in advance for your time and effort :smile:

    EDIT: I just realized this is in the wrong board... It should be in computing/technology... I can't figure out how to delete it, but if a moderator could push me to the other board that would be awesome.

    Mod note: Your post is now moved.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2016 #2


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    I'm not sure if there's anyway to protect a flash drive from stand-alone utilities that run outside of any normal operating system.
  4. May 1, 2016 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    I'm not sure how their throwing it away leaves you in a better position than formatting, but whatever.

    If you really need to ensure than unauthorized users can't read, write, or format, you should get an encrypted USB stick, like the Kingston Data Traveler 2000, which start at about $100.
  5. May 2, 2016 #4
    It is more of, if I can't have my stuff, no one can. I don't really NEED protection I just want it, and don't want to spend extra money for extra features that I don't really need. Thanks for the suggestion though :)
  6. May 2, 2016 #5
    The only way to get the kind of protection you want is to change the firmware of the usb stick.
    If you are an experienced programmer you could use the "BadUSB" software https://github.com/adamcaudill/Psychson and configure it to do what you want.
    Otherwise you are out of luck.
  7. May 2, 2016 #6
    I will give this a try, I am not experienced in C# but I have plenty of experience in C and C++ so I am sure I can figure it out assuming I don't have to modify much if anything at all. Thanks mate! I will update with my results later this week!
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