RESOLVED!!!!!! I went to my system restore points and only saw one there from 3/30. That was strange, as it should have been capturing them frequently. Anyway, I figured since two of my usb drives showed up as write protected on the windows 7 system and they show up fine on windows XP and windows 2008, I figured it had to be something that changed recently as you suggested. After pouring over the group policy editor (gpedit.msc) and not finding anything enabled, I figured something in the registry must have changed. So I hunted in the current control set and found a setting RDVDenyWriteAccess enabled. After hunting on the internet, I found this. http://www.group-policy.com/ref/policy/2866/Deny_write_access_to_removable_drives_not_protected_by_BitLocker These two settings are mentioned on that site. HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Policies\Microsoft\FVE!RDVDenyWriteAccess HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\FVE!RDVDenyCrossOrg The RDVDenyWriteAccess was set to 1, but the RDVDenyCrossOrg was set to 0. After disabling RDVDenyWriteAccess, I pulled out my usb drive and re-inserted it. And I could write to it again!!! I am so relieved. Thanks all for your help and suggestions! It is appreciated!