Fake Flash Memory Cards & Sticks

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I am  hoping you have all read the other guides in this series.

If you have been following the latest news about fake flash memory at SOSfakeflash
(sosfakeflash.wordpress.com) you will most likely be familiar with the name "silviajune" the trading name of a Hong Kong seller of flash sticks, modified from 2gigaBytes to 16 gigaBytes so as to fool your computer operating system to register as 16GB.
This seller has since June 2009 sold thousands of these fake drives, so many in fact that eBay have awarded "Power Seller" status to this seller, most of these sales have been made with low starting prices and FREE postage, two factors that have tempted thousands into bidding for them.
Problem is, most of the bids were from innocent buyers, buyers easily fooled by technology into believing their PC's reported TRUE capacity.  These buyers had issued feedback on the transactions, BEFORE discovering that they had lost valuable files because of the FAKE non-existant memory in these FAKE devices.  Some have successfully claimed and won their money back, some have had refunds from the seller, some have even been fooled to change feedback to positive as part of the refund deal.

Some have persisted and left NEGATIVE feedback with comments on the seller. It is these that we have to thanks for bringing about this sellers de-registration today 24th Aug 2009.

Do not be fooled though, do not rest easy, for every seller de-registered, another will appear.
Already new sellers are offering similar flash memory to those sold by "silviajune"
you need to be on your guard ALL the time, as others have said "Do Your Homework" check prices from manufacturers and reputable dealers, use these as your guideline, if it looks TO GOOD to be TRUE, it most likely will be a FAKE.

Comments from a past eBay Blog posting@

Here are  two links for programs you can use to download a couple programs to check your flash drive. In XP, when you run these programs, a pop-up from XP will say that these programs are not registered. Don't worry, just hit the RUN button on the pop up.

H2TESTW
http://www.heise.de/ct/Redaktion/bo/downloads/h2testw_1.4.zip

Check Flash:
http://www.technibble.com/downloads/windows-tools/ChkFlsh.zip

H2TESTW is a german program, but it has an English translation button on top. This program is easy to use. Just hit the SELECT TARGET button, tell it where your drive is, then hit the WRITE + VERIFY button. When its done, it'll give you a report. Here is what you should see in the window
(This is a 64MB drive report):

Test finished without errors.
You can now delete the test files *.h2w or verify them again.
Writing speed: 585 KByte/s
Reading speed: 1.52 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4

This what you should see if you have a good drive with H2TESTW. Anything else and you have a hacked or damaged drive.

Check Flash is also easy to use. Start the program, make sure it has the right drive and hit the START! button. You'll get a pop-up button that says "DRIVE IS NOT EMPTY, COMPLETE SPACE TEST WILL IMPOSSIBLE". Don't worry and just hit the OK button. You'll see blocks on the program start turning blue, then turn green. It will do this a couple times, then change to the log tab and give you a report. A good drive report will look like this:

Pass #1 completed, 0 errors found.

Test completed, total 0 errors found.

So I hope these tips work for you to ID a hacked drive.

(Thanks to the original poster "amnman"  for this wisdom)

If you do buy any flash memory, cards or USB sticks, TEST THEM PROPERLY BEFORE YOU USE THEM to avoid serious DATA LOSS.  H2testw is a program designed to test computer memory storage for errors, false capacity and peformance. H2testw will produce a written file of it's findings containing enough details to confirm false capacity that you can use as evidence in any claim. H2testw has become the de-facto tool, the Gold standard in such tests. You can also find where to download this tool for FREE by entering h2testw into Google.

Here are some comments from other buyers that brought fakes.

By gadev on: 06-Aug-08 17:00:09 BST
After a long search recently, I found this link, which is helpful if you do a read & write on the same test.
http://www.vconsole.com/FlashTester1.12_Setup.exe

By jacalyn_sch on: 17-Sep-08 04:46:43 BST   

Thanks for this info! It answered my question why my 5 weeks of vacation pictures are GONE! Soooooo SAD! Pretty emotional and nothing can replace those precious memories of my kids and their grandparents! How I WISH I had known this sooner! Plus, I bought my disk in June for the trip and now I have no history of the ebayer I bought it from so I can't even tell them how PO'd I am and the grief they have caused!
I hope this article saves many the heartache I experienced!

By kmg1925 on: 19-Oct-08 03:35:32 BST

Things are changing. eBayers have been fighting back - they have been in the shadows for the last five months. At the end of August they launched a website and have also written a guide for eBayers.

See http://sosfakeflash.wordpress.com

You can get news and even download the latest report of who's who in fake flash on eBay, even the models investigated.

It is amazing to see how fake flash is drying up on eBay. These Fake Flash Angels on eBay patrol have been doing wonders!

By cpam_it on: 23-Apr-09 18:24:30 BST  
Here is another seller : pandachinchin
my test results:

Warning: Only 15983 of 15984 MByte tested.
The media is likely to be defective.
1.9 GByte OK (4067312 sectors)
13.6 GByte DATA LOST (28665872 sectors)
Details:0 KByte overwritten (0 sectors)
0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
13.6 GByte corrupted (28665872 sectors)
0 KByte aliased memory (0 sectors)
First error at offset: 0×000000007c1fe000
Expected: 0×000000007c1fe000
Found: 0×0000000000000000
H2testw version 1.3
Writing speed: 11.9 MByte/s
Reading speed: 11.9 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4

This guide written by Labourinvein on a memorable day in 2009 (24th August)
This day should go down in Fake Flash history as the day REAL JUSTICE was done!!

Comments from blog postings added 5th Nov, 2009


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