MicroSD is write protected

By plasma dragon00 ยท 12 replies
Apr 22, 2011
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  1. Not too much info on the card, as it isn't mine. But it is a 16 gig Samsung Class 2 MicroSDHC card. Previously used in an AT&T Samsung Android phone (has big touch screen... don't know model).

    Anyway, card has somehow become write protected. Obviously, since it is a MicroSD, there is no lock switch. Data can be read from the card, but nothing can be written to it nor can it be formatted, either from Windows, the Panasonic SD Formatter, or my other Samsung phone (Samsung Reality). How on Earth does this happen??? Can anyone give insight on how to fix it?
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    I have no idea how this has happened but, reading through a few other forum threads it seems the trick is to cover the slot on the side of the card so when it goes into the adapter the tab in the adapter cannot drop into the slot.

    Another suggestion I saw was to put the card in a digital camera and use that to format the card.

    I did get this information from other peoples suggestions so sorry if it does not apply to your reader or card.
  3. plasma dragon00

    plasma dragon00 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 169

    Thats the thing though... Unless a MICRO SD card has some sort of internal mechanism that I am unaware of, there is NO tab to cover on a MICRO SD card, and I am NOT using an SD adapter, just using a straight MICRO SD reader.

    I could try in my girlfriend's camera, but multiple phones won't format it, I doubt a camera will either.
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    From what I have read about this type of card the adapter is required to make it writeable.

    I can only reflect on what I have read elsewhere but it seems that an adapter has a tab inside it. This works on a similar principle to the knock out tab that was on an old music cassette to stop further recording. The SD card is formed to operate the tab inside the adapter, the tab is not on the card. If you run a search for this problem you will soon come across threads where the use of tape is mentioned to make it work. It is a common problem.
  5. plasma dragon00

    plasma dragon00 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 169

    Tried it, and it didn't work (as I expected). That notch, as far as I know, is to help hold the card in to the reader so it doesn't fall out as easily. IN the reader, there is what appears to be a spring-loaded clip where the notch goes. If the notch had to be taped over to write to the card, that would mean ALL MicroSD cards would be write protected (I have NEVER seen another act this way).

    I believe you are reading from articles where the user is using a MicroSD card (Micro SecureDigital, also known (though less so) as TransFlash through a SD (SecureDigital) adapter to make it the size of a regular SD Card (for use in cameras, Wiis, DSi/3DS etc). MicroSD is used in phones, DS flash carts, mp3 players, etc. On a SD card (and SD adapter) there is a tab on the left side, when pushed down it locks the card (write protection), and can accidentally become engaged if it is loose when you put it in a reader. Taping over it solves the issue.

    MicroSD cards have no such tab, and as I said the readers have a springloaded clip to help hold the card in place where a small cutout is.

    See pic in attachments for examples. I am using a MicroSD card (bottom) in a reader (right). Left SD cards/adapters have a lock switch, MicroSD does not.

    Attached Files:

  6. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    OH well, done what I could to try and help but I'm obviously barking up the wrong tree.

    If you do manage to find a solution to this would you be kind enough to post back the solution so that I and others may learn from it.
  7. plasma dragon00

    plasma dragon00 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 169

    I apologize for sounding a bit brash and condescending in my last post, I was tired as heck and had to stay up very late to program a pacman game for my class (which I am STILL working on) (and tend to get cranky when either condition is true)

    But long story short, microSD doesn't have the lock tab like an SD does (and not using an adapter, so that isn't there either). No properties option to remove write protection. 3 readers and 2 phones both do the same thing (did also try it in an SD adapter in bros laptop, didnt work either).
  8. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    No need to apologize, I quite understand the frustration.

    I did understand that your particular card does not have a lock tab. But from what I could gather from the various threads I read on the subject, the adapter was the device to use with some tape over the groove on the card to stop the adapter tab from dropping into it. This apparently worked for many people with the exact same card as you are having the problem with.

    If you do a search for it I am sure you will find the same solution described in many threads and also many people saying the same thing as you just have about the card not having a lock tab.

    I haven't been able to find any other viable solutions. It seems to be all about tricking the adapter by using tape on the card.
  9. plasma dragon00

    plasma dragon00 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 169

    I'm not sure how that would make sense though, tricking the adapter (which I tried). I have looked up a lot of topics on this. Unless I am misunderstanding you, I still don't think it would make a difference. AFAIK, the "taping over the tab" only applies to those using a SD adapter, which I am not, but it prevents the lock tab from sliding downward into the lock position (I have tried this too). The notch on the right side of my bad card looks IDENTICAL to the notch on the right side of a good card (taping over the notch did nothing). Inside all microSD adapters and readers, I DO see a small lever-ish device, but I believe that it is simply a holding mechanism so the card doesn't fall out.

    Apparently the last part of my post never went through. I think that either a) the card was physically damaged, but not to the point of non-functionality. b) a bit that controls write protection could have been corrupted to 1, if such a thing exists. I wonder if a low level format with DBAN could solve it (DBAN can format removable disks, right?) Will test on Sunday when I am off from work.
  10. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,880

    Best of luck and please let us know if you solve this for future reference.
  11. Take a micro sd adapter andlock it put that micro sd card in that micro sd adapter and turn off the lock !!
  12. Taxilady

    Taxilady TS Rookie

  13. Taxilady

    Taxilady TS Rookie

    I have had the same problem with Micro SD cards in my Nikkon camera. I bought a brand new card, and it did not have an adapter so I used an old one I had that came with my Toshiba Lap top I no longer have. It would not work in my camera. I was reading this topic and took out the adapter with the Micro SD to see about that slot you were talking about. I then looked at the adapter and decided to try a different adapter....I used one that I had used on this camera before...It worked. Simple fix to what WAS a mystery. Throwing that Toshiba adapter away! Not sure this will help you, but worth a try.

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