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Quick Tip: Windows and Hard Drive Backup

9/17/2013

If you’re not scared of the Windows command-line interface, you can restore an entire drive to non-write- protected status. The information you need to type is shown in yellow.
I’VE TAKEN YOUR ADVICE TO HEART, AND BACK UP EVERYTHING FROM MY COMPUTER TO USB DRIVES. BUT I’M SCREWED, BECAUSE TWO OF THE DRIVES ARE NOW WRITE-PROTECTED, AS ARE ALL THE FILES, AND I CAN’T MAKE ANY CHANGES. I’VE TRIED ALTERING PERMISSIONS, TURNED THE DRIVES OFF AND ON AGAIN, AND EVEN TRIED TURNING OFF WRITE PROTECTION ON INDIVIDUAL FILES—NO GO. WELL, AT LEAST MY FILES ARE BACKED UP. I’M ON WINDOWS 7 64-BIT, IF THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

PETER ESPINOSA
CHICAGO, IL
VIA EMAIL


This is a rare occurrence, but it is fixable. Don’t waste your time with the Security tab; you need to get into the command-line interface. (Sorry.) You also need Administrator status to make this happen. Type the text shown in bold below exactly—if there’s a space, include a space and if there isn’t a space, don’t add any.

Click on the start button, then type CMD.EXE in the search box. When the command line prompt appears, type diskpart and then press Enter. Next, type list volume, then press Enter. Your drives will be listed, each with an associated number, letter, and label. Suppose the problem was with drive 7. In that case, type select volume 7 and press Enter. Finally, type attributes disk clear readonly and press Enter.

If all is well, you’ll see a message that says “Disk attributes cleared succesfully,” and you’ll once more have control over your formerly locked drive. Now get back to recording!
THE EDITORS

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