Question How to detect fake or poor quality flash drives? (H2testw alternatives)

Feb 12, 2021
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Hello

A few weeks ago I bought some cheap "Vansung" or "Vansuny" flash drives on Amazon.
I tested them with some specific tools (H2testw, FakeFlashTest, ChipGenius,... ) but I couldn't detect any problem.
I was expecting the flash drives to be very slow and only have a small percentage of the stated capacity but at first it looked OK.
Every test always "confirmed" the stated capacity, but I wasn't convinced it would continue working.

Now a few weeks later one of these flash drives is dead: "unkown usb device, set address failed".
I tested it on different computers, I get the same error on every computer.
I tried to fix it with diskpart but the disk dissapears from the list before I can select it.
I think it's a hardware issue (bad/cheap controller inside?) but I don't know how they do it.

I know there are a lot of tools that can test the capacity of flash drives but in my case this was not really useful.
Does anyone know if there are other tests or tools available (except for the tools that test the capacity) for detecting fake flash drives ?

Update:
To avoid further misunderstandings: I knew before I bought the flash drives they were "fake" and they would not have the stated capacity (or that they would die eventually).
I did not buy them thinking it was a good deal but I wanted to test them and see if it's possible to discover how they manage to "program" it to change the capacity or to make it only work in the first couple of weeks.
 
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BogdanH

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Sep 21, 2020
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And brand name "Vansung" wasn't suspicious to you? In that sense it's not even a fake .. because brand Vansung doesn't even exist.
In short, buy only well known brands with good reputation (and don't buy cheapest of them).
 
Feb 12, 2021
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And brand name "Vansung" wasn't suspicious to you? In that sense it's not even a fake .. because brand Vansung doesn't even exist.
In short, buy only well known brands with good reputation (and don't buy cheapest of them).
Yes of course the brand name is suspicious, many sellers on Amazon sell the same cheap products under a different name so I'm sure this product has different names/brands too.
Don't worry I have other flash drives from known brands and they work very well.
I bought the cheap/fake drives for testing because I was curious to know how they make the fake flash drives.
Maybe they use a cheap controller but I don't know how they manage to "program" it so it only works in the first couple of weeks.
 
Feb 12, 2021
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Buy name brands from a known company, with a good warranty.

Searching on Amazon (US) right now, the 'brand' Vansung doesn't even appear.
Yes you're right, I only bought these fake drives for testing.
For my "real" flash drives I use Samsung duo plus or Sandisk Extreme pro's.
I think the brand Vansung doesn't exist on Amazon (us), I bought them on Amazon (DE): "Vansung High Speed USB 3.0 Flash Drive 32/64/128/256GB"
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Yes you're right, I only bought these fake drives for testing.
For my "real" flash drives I use Samsung duo plus or Sandisk Extreme pro's.
I think the brand Vansung doesn't exist on Amazon (us), I bought them on Amazon (DE): "Vansung High Speed USB 3.0 Flash Drive 32/64/128/256GB"
I'm not even seeing them on DE either.

But, they don't "program" them to fail. Rather..."if it lasts more than a few days/weeks, the sale is done, and not our problem".
 
Feb 12, 2021
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I'm not even seeing them on DE either.

But, they don't "program" them to fail. Rather..."if it lasts more than a few days/weeks, the sale is done, and not our problem".
Apparently the store or brand name is "vansuny", I don't know why but the description changes to "vansung" when I'm logged in to Amazon.
I think you will find them (Amazon US and DE) if you search for the brand "vansuny".
 
Maybe they use a cheap controller but I don't know how they manage to "program" it so it only works in the first couple of weeks.
Aside from usual testing software, did you try filling them relatively close to their full stated capacity, then copying each of the files back to another location on your computer, and testing whether they still work? (something like large video files might make that easier) It's possible that the controller might disguise a smaller amount of flash memory as being more than it really is, which could work until the contents of the drive exceed its actual capacity.

Looking at the (US) prices for them on Amazon though, they don't seem too absurd for the given capacities, so I would be leaning more toward it simply being a case of them having less quality-control than the name-brand products, potentially resulting in higher failure rates, rather than it being an outright scam, as is more likely the case for other flash drives advertising multiple times the capacity as one would expect at a given price point. The user reviews seemed generally positive as well, and while a few of the 1-star reviews talked about losing data or the drive failing outright, most others seemed to be a case of user error from people who either weren't sure of how to use the drive with their phone, or were trying to plug it into a USB-C port or something.
 

Karadjgne

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Ambassador
Made in China. 2 years after first release because that's when patents expire for proprietary ownership.

They aren't fakes. They are real, honest flash drives. They just use the cheapest possible grade of silicon, as there's plenty of that around, and the factory floods the market with any brand it can.

When you buy a 500Gb for $100 from Samsung, you pay for the name, but that includes the R&D, the grade of silicon, the QC etc. When you buy Famsung 500Gb for $90, you pay for 2 years of sitting around waiting, the cheapest grade of silicon, the bribes to local officials/inspectors to look the other way......
 
Feb 12, 2021
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Aside from usual testing software, did you try filling them relatively close to their full stated capacity, then copying each of the files back to another location on your computer, and testing whether they still work? (something like large video files might make that easier) It's possible that the controller might disguise a smaller amount of flash memory as being more than it really is, which could work until the contents of the drive exceed its actual capacity.

Looking at the (US) prices for them on Amazon though, they don't seem too absurd for the given capacities, so I would be leaning more toward it simply being a case of them having less quality-control than the name-brand products, potentially resulting in higher failure rates, rather than it being an outright scam, as is more likely the case for other flash drives advertising multiple times the capacity as one would expect at a given price point. The user reviews seemed generally positive as well, and while a few of the 1-star reviews talked about losing data or the drive failing outright, most others seemed to be a case of user error from people who either weren't sure of how to use the drive with their phone, or were trying to plug it into a USB-C port or something.
No unfortunately I did not try to fill them to see if I can get close to the stated capacity, I only tested with software (which took several hours to complete).
I don't know if copying the files would make a difference since that's what the testing software is supposed to do but maybe you're right I should test it to be sure.
I still have a few cheap flash drives lying around, I will try to test them by filling them with large files.
Maybe I could also copy some movie files to see if I can still play the files after the copy.
 

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