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Cannot Format a USB GPT Protective Partition

Sometimes you will connect a USB to the PC and get an error message saying the drive has a GPT Protective Partition and you cannot format the drive. Here is the fix to resolve the issue:

First, what is a GPT USB stick? The GUID Partition Table (GPT) is the successor to the Master Boot Record. The MBR was created by IBM back in the early 90s. The problem with MBR is the limitation to partition table sizes which is 2 Terabytes.

Since there are no 2T USB flash drives (at the time of this post), there is no need to use GPT as your partition table.

Removing the GPT Protected Partition can be accomplished through the Windows Diskpart program.

  • Determine the Disk Number for the USB GPT-protected drive. To do this, perform the following:
  1. Right-click on (My) Computer.
  2. Choose Manage.
  3. Select Disk Management (listed under Storage).
  4. Look for the drive that is identified as GPT and note the Disk number (such as Disk 1).

Format USB GPT Protected Partition

  • Now, open a Command Window. From the command prompt, type diskpart and press Enter.
  • The diskpart prompt will open.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type list disk and press Enter. A list of disks will appear in a text format. You will return to the diskpart prompt.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type select disk disknumber (in this example from the screen shot above, you would type select disk 1)and press Enter. A message appears saying that the disk is selected. You will return to the diskpart prompt.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type clean and press Enter. At this point the drive’s partition and signature a removed. You will return to the diskpart prompt.
  • From the diskpart prompt, type exit and press Enter. Type exit once more to close the Command Window.
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How To: Make a USB Read Only

There are two ways to make a USB stick read only. One way is a universal solution and is 100% permanent, the other way is PC specific and a good deterrent. When we say 100% permanent, this means the USB stick is read only (write protected) on all computers, whether it be a Mac, PC, Linux, etc type computer, the USB is read only and the status cannot be changed. The other method flags a USB device to be read only in relationship to the PC it is connected to so that whenever that USB stick is connected to that computer, it makes the USB read only and blocks all write commands to the device.

Most times an IT manager or content owner wants the USB stick to be read only so the files cannot be deleted or formatted of the drive. Another reason for making a USB read only is for the original files to remain the same and blocks the ability for files to be changed or manipulated. Finally, it’s smart to have USBs read only so that virus’ don’t jump onto the drive and possibly spread to other computers.

Let us start with the less permanent way because it’s easier to do and doesn’t require any specific hardware. You will need a Windows7 machine or higher. The Windows7 machine will have DiskPart utility which allows us to perform all sorts of cool things to flash drives, like setting write protection.

  • Connect the USB to your Windows computer.
  • To begin, go to your Windows Start and in the Search Field type “cmd

This will run your Command prompt.

  • Next, you will want to get to the C root of the Command prompt and if you are signed in as a user you can simply type cd\ this will get you back to the root of the C drive.
  • Type DISKPART
  • Type LIST DISK

Now you will need to find the USB stick connected to your PC. Most likely it’s DISK 1

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Stand alone Windows Password Reset Tool

One of the most classic and – yet still perversely prevalent – issues IT staff face is resetting Windows passwords for users who have forgotten them (again). While remote administration has reduced the need to physically reactivate and reset passwords in most scenarios, a copy of L0phtcrack still remains in every experienced admins ‘toolbox’. Of course, having to reboot the system and use a copy of Bart PE or other portable OS’ to run L0phtcrack has a PITA factor all its own.

USB key reset tool

 

Well, it seems that entrepreneur Jonty Lovell has done something about it as the all new – and fully funded – Password Reset Key has been designed to take the hassle out of this common issue. In fact, as long as you have physical access to the system even home owners can now reset their forgotten password within mere moments.

The secret to the Password Reset Key is the fact that it combines a key shaped 1GB flash drive – available in black, stainless steel, or ‘gold’ – with a simple OS that auto-loads his custom software upon startup. Just as with L0phtcrack, with a simple click or three, you can scan, reset and even test how secure a given systems login passwords are. Because of its ‘key’ form factor, it will be hard to lose as you can simply stick on your keychain and always have it close at hand. However, be warned that this $15 – $50 device (depending on which option to choose) may get you in trouble with your IT staff as resetting the ‘administrator’ password will greatly ‘annoy’ them if they find out.

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Protecting IP on USB

The above InfoGraph was provided by Nexcopy Company and highlights the current and services available for protecting intellectual property on USB flash media, or USB Copy Protection.  The concept behind this USB copy protection solution is the ability to share digital files on a flash drive with others, but restrict their ability to pass along that information.

With the above solution a user can protect different file types which are the most popular multimedia files such as PDF, MP3, QuickTime, MP4, M4V, html, flash and some other listed.  This post is not intended as advertising, but a share of products and services about USB copy protection available on the market today.

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BlurPort Is Gate Keeper For Your USB Things

BlurPort is putting a cool twist to securing your USB devices.  From flash drives to hard drives BlurPort has you covered.

The product can be found (and funded) on Kickstarter right now.  The concept is the BlurPort device is an 8GB stick…but it’s more.  The BlurPort uses a multi-factor authentication method to unlock your digital content.  Meaning you need the knowledge of the password and you need a physical device to act as the token.  What is the physical device you ask?  Simple:  your smartphone.

The BlurPort app on your phone will offer many different ways to authenticate yourself, from facial recognition and eye scanning to NFC tokens, even pattern trace passwords.

So who wants another 8GB flash drive…well the BlurPort can also grant access to your USB hard drive and other storage devices.  By removing the tail end of the BlurPort you now have a female USB socket for connecting another USB peripheral.  This is where we believe the product is very unique.  The BlurPort (now you can understand the name) is the gate-keeper for all your USB devices.  It’s the digital road block to access and only your dual authentication will grant access.

Work flow after the jump:

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Clean Windows Registry of USB Drives

Here is a great tool for cleaning Windows Registry of USB drive entries. The program runs in the Windows console and removes all devices that are not currently connected.

To clean up the Windows registry of a USB flash drive, or other USB devices can make your system boot faster and run faster.

For example, each time you connect a USB printer to a different USB port on your PC there are registry entries made which associate the device with the drivers. Windows is trying to be smart and log this information so the next time you connect the device, Windows will know exactly what to do. Meaning when you connect the printer a second time, you don’t see the balloon from Windows saying “Installing Brother driver” or something, it’s just connected and ready to go.

But, for example, lets say you connect your Nikon camera to your PC and you use a different USB port each time, now you have a bunch of registry entries that can make your PC boot slower, run slower or possible give you trouble with that external device.

With all this said, if you are having trouble with a USB drive, or a USB camera, printer or scanner, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is run this Windows registry cleaner utility. Good chance it will solve your problems.

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System Requirements:
WinXP / Vista / Win7
Writes settings to:
Does not write files to host computer
Dependencies:
Administrator rights
License:
Freeware
How to extract:
Download the ZIP package and extract to a folder of your choice. Launch drivecleanup.exe either in the ‘Win32’ folder or ‘x64’ folder.

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Nexcopy provides USB copy protection with digital rights management for data loaded to USB flash drives. If you have Intellectual Property worth protecting from illegal copying, duplication or redistribution, then please Contact Us to learn more.

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