How to Erase a Password Protected Drive

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If you have password protected a USB drive or partition on your computer and have since forgotten the password, you will need to completely erase the drive. Erasing and reformatting the drive will remove any password protection, software and data on the drive preventing you from accessing the drive. The process is simple using Window's Disk Management utility.

  • Log into the computer as the administrator.

  • Open the Windows Start menu, select "Run," type "Compmgmt.msc" and click "OK." In Windows Vista and Windows 7, simply type the command into the "Search" field.

  • Select "Disk Management."

  • Locate the password-protected drive. Right-click it and select "Delete." Confirm the action. The drive will be erased and become unallocated free space.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to create a new drive using the free space, right-click the unallocated space and select "New Partition." Follow the "New Partition Wizard" onscreen instructions. The result will be a brand new, reformatted drive, minus any password protection.

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