Damn you, small, useless piece of plastic!

So my Dell has this built-in card reader which takes 8 types of cards, 7 of which are just totally useless. At some point in the past something must've broken because my Linux complained that it couldn't mount the cards read-write since they were write-protected: block device /dev/mmcblk0p1 is write-protected, mounting read-only

I went over the usual suspects:

  1. try mount -o remount,rw on the thing
  2. try twiggling the write protection switch on the thing
  3. try taping over the write protection switch
  4. try different cards (all the same)
  5. try poking the mechanical pin on the side of the reader

all to no avail.

Finally, I read that the reader takes different cards in different slots. I didn't even know the damn thing has slots!!

So I looked closer and surprise surprise, the "slots" are separated by some useless piece of plastic that can move up and down to give way to the cards.

Of course it was broken. It's made of plastic. What else could it be. Damn you Dell! Damn you plastic god!

So this is what fixed it for me

Before inserting the card, gently try pushing it UNDER the plastic lid, but don't force it in, it won't fit. Then, insert it normally (still gently). That somehow corrects the position of the card in the reader and the mechanical pin will read the write protection correctly.

BTW: who inevented that switch? I'd like to give them a nuggie!