Read Only Problem on USB Sticks
Read Only issues with your USB stick is usually associated with write protection. However, there is
also a way to flag the (typically) computer/usb device to be read only in relationship to that PC it is connected to and blocks any write actions but allows all read only actions relating to that USB stick.
This is a smart idea, to have all your USB sticks read only because apart from the obvious, no one can change the contents other than view them, what about viruses. YES! I see that light bulb light up, viruses cannot corrupt the drive because they cannot write their obnoxious files that when opened cause havok with your USB connected device. And YES the virus may sit dormant on your USB stick until a specific set of events occur. such as “Ok file, we are given access to C drive, time to get to work”. It is important to remember that files are manmade, or sorry personmade, but so are viruses. For every positive there is a negative no matter how infuriating that may be, so protect yourself.
Some drives on the market have a switch onboard that allows for a level of security, in such that to switch from protected to unprotected or read only to write capability is user specific. That means the user is in full control and as such knows what they are doing. This is ok if you are the only user, but if the USB stick is passed around from user to user then a certain level of security is lost.
There is another way whereby the attributes of the USB disk are changed to read only at the DOS level. This involves going through the DOS prompt and changing the attributes of the particular drive.
There is, fortunately software that is designed to execute this command for you without you having to execute DOS commands. So………considering this revelation, what about the possibility of handing out (for example) word files via USB sticks to a few real estate buddies of yours? What a revelation, handing out non overwriting capable USB sticks to your workmates? The mind boggles with alternatives, but the point is the device is read only at the base level. Can be changed with a certain amount of difficulty but ‘in short’ has increased your security on the device.
Some devices are permanently set to read only at the flash memory level, these disks are typically of a business brand type of advertising product. Specifically setup for that purpose alone. These are getting less and less because of the cost to the producer.