Web Technologies

Beware of Fake USB Memory Sticks!

Flash memory by Marek Mularczyk - SaiTraining.co.ukIf you have been following my blog, you may have read recently my post about USB memory sticks and their increasing capacities. This got me more interested in purchasing one or two to use instead of using an external hard drive. You’ll find the post here:

Flash memory or traditional hard drives?

There has been development since my last post on this topic. Apparently it’s easy to buy a memory stick that offers much less memory that you would have thought.

Fake USB memory sticks are flooding the market all over the world. They look like originals, but their capacities are much lower! Well, the properties display the capacity you were sold, so it may display 8GB when in reality it is only 2 or 4GB or sometimes even 1GB… It gets even worse… If you try to copy a lot of data onto the memory stick, let’s say you want to copy 3GB of data because you bought “8GB memory stick”, when it’s actually only 2GB, it will get corrupted and become unusable…

As an example, I did a test and typed “8gb memory stick” in a search engine. Guess how many results got… Almost a million!

From what I could find online, people say that the memory sticks are being “re-programmed”, so they display more memory than they actually have. And of course, having a famous brand like Sony, or Sandisk printed on an outer case is not a problem unfortunately. I don’t know about you, but I like knowing what I’m buying. And remember, it’s not just about usb memory sticks, but also memory cards for cameras. So if you’re a photographer, you need to beware as well. Fortunately, there is a solution:

H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives!

H2testw running by Marek Mularczyk

H2testw 1.4 has proven itself to be the best of breed for detecting counterfeit Flash drives. It is extremely easy to use and proves detailed information. Created by Harald Bögeholz, the interface is in German but has the option to run in English. It is free and standalone. Nothing is installed into the operating system. Designed for Windows it can run under Linux if Wine is installed. It will not run under Macs. If your computer can not run the software – ask a colleague or friend who has a windows based computer to help you test.

I have already installed and tested the program and I want to say a big Thank you to Herald Bögeholz who wrote the Program H2testw, Thank You!

Here’s a link where you can download it, it’s free:

H2testw 1.4 download page

Linux users – there is alternative that can be downloaded here:

F3 by Michel Machado is an open source Linux software to test flash memory capacity.

After installing H2testw, I ran a test on my 8GB memory stick. Here’s what the program’s interface looks like when it runs:

H2testw running by Marek Mularczyk

And these are the results I got. Fortunately, it clearly shows that my usb memory stick is in reality an 8GB one. Well, I bought it from a well respected store here in Britain, so I would assume it would be authentic. If you’re buying from eBay or Amazon, be careful (unless you buy directly from Amazon, not from one of the resellers on amazon).

H2testw test by Marek MularczykIf it says that it finished without errors, than you have an original, authentic usb memory stick (or memory card).

Thank you for reading. Have a great day! 🙂

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