Write blockers are devices that allow the acquisition of information on a drive without creating the possibility of accidentally damaging the drive contents. They do this by allowing read commands to pass but by blocking write commands, hence their name.
There are two ways to build a write-blocker: the blocker can allow all commands to pass from the computer to the drive except for those that are on a particular list. Alternatively, the blocker can specifically block the write commands and let everything else through.
Write blockers may also include drive protection which will limit the speed of a drive attached to the blocker. Drives that run at higher speed work harder (the head moves back and forth more often due to read errors). This added protection could allow drives that can’t be read at high speed (UDMA modes) to be read at the slower modes (PIO).
Lawyers, forensics investigators, and corporate IT staff who want to view and image USB mass storage devices, such as thumb drives, rely upon the CRU® WiebeTech® USB WriteBlocker™ to protect data.
The compact, highly portable USB WriteBlocker connects to USB storage devices and protects their contents during an investigation. To use, simply connect the WriteBlocker to the suspect device.
The USB WriteBlocker is compatible with USB 2.0 thumb drives and other USB mass storage class devices. It will also work with some USB 3.0 devices at USB 2.0 speed.
The USB WriteBlocker operates from bus power so you don’t need to carry around a heavy power adapter. Bus power is generally sufficient for use with USB thumb drives or self-powered drive enclosures. An optional bus power-boosting cable is available for use with bus-powered pocket drives that need extra power.
Use the included Forensic Software Utility to display information about connected devices and enable you to save the information in common text formats. You can download the utility from the “Resources and Documents” tab on this webpage.
- Compact design
- Plug-and-use operation
- Free US-based customer support
- Whether you’re a corporate IT manager, forensic investigator, or lawyer, the USB WriteBlocker is a valuable part of your investigation toolkit.
USB 3.0 Write Blocker
Digital forensics investigators, lawyers, and corporate IT staff who want to view, examine, and image drives quickly and easily, look to the CRU® WiebeTech® USB 3.0 WriteBlocker™ to ensure they are protecting and not altering data.
The handheld and lightweight USB 3.0 WriteBlocker connects via a Windows operating system host’s USB 3 interface to allow investigators and technicians to look through the contents of a drive without risking any damage or disruption of source data. To use, simply use the included USB 3.0 cable to connect the USB 3.0 WriteBlocker to the drive or drives you wish to inspect.
- Status LED indicates if a drive is safe to inspect
- Industry-leading 3-year warranty
- Free, US-based customer support
- The WiebeTech Write Blocking Validation Utility, our complimentary Windows application, tests the reliability of any write blocker available, hardware, or software.
Q: Where’s the on/off switch on the USB WriteBlocker?
A: USB WriteBlocker is bus-powered by the computer’s USB port. Power is available right when you plug in USB WriteBlocker. If the device under capture can also be bus-powered, then it simply needs to be plugged into the USB receptacle on USB WriteBlocker. If the device under the capture drive/device needs its own power then that power will need to be available when working with USB WriteBlocker.
Q: What is the red button on the USB WriteBlocker?
A: The “Remount” button is there because there are a couple of instances where the USB WriteBlocker may need a power cycle in order to mount the drive/device. If you get an error that says “USB device not recognized” then simply hit the “Remount” button and the volume will mount to the computer.
Q: My RAID product is not showing up with USB WriteBlocker, what should I do?
A: Though USB WriteBlocker can work with RAIDed devices, it is restricted to a 2.2TB limit due to the USB drivers in the operating system of the computer.
Q: USB WriteBlocker is supposed to work with flash media but I can’t access my flash device.
A: USB WriteBlocker can access drives/devices that register as “USB mass storage device,” which includes all WiebeTech brand devices. The vast majority of USB 1.1/2.0 devices are registered as such since it is used by hard drives enclosures and thumb (flash) drives. Any USB device that is not registered as a “USB mass storage device” will not be recognized by USB WriteBlocker.
Q: How do I know USB WriteBlocker is actually write-blocking?
A: WiebeTech’s trusted write-blocking technology is firmware based, meaning that it can’t simply be turned off or on by a switch. If the WiebeTech device is working then you can rest assured that the firmware is actively write-blocking the device under a capture device.
Q: I can see the USB WriteBlocker in Windows Device Manager/Mac’s System Profile, but when I connect another device it doesn’t appear. Is this correct?
A: That’s correct. The USB WriteBlocker will appear to the computer as a “USB Mass Storage Device”. Anything connected behind the USB WriteBlocker will not be seen in the Manager/Profile.