How to detect FAKE USB DRIVES

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eBay is a wonderful place for getting RIPPED OFF when buying:
  1. USB drives (aka USB flash drives)
  2. SD cards
  3. Compact flash memory cards
  4. Any other form of removable storage card
If you have paid money for any of the above, it is important that you CHECK THAT WHAT YOU RECEIVED IS WHAT IT CLAIMS TO BE as soon as possible.

Many of the above devices sold on ebay are fraudulently sold as having higher capacities than they actually provide (e.g. an 8GB USB stick may be sold as 16GB). Simply plugging them into your computer and looking at them in Windows Explorer will not tell you what it's real capacity is - a small capacity device may be hard-wired to deliberatly misreport itself as a much larger device.

However, you can verify what you have received by downloading a copy of the "USB Flash Tools" from:

  1. Download a copy of the USB Flash Tools from:
  2. Plug in the card/USB drive you've received and want to test
  3. Run the application
  4. Click the "Verify..." button
  5. Select which drive your card/USB drive appears as
  6. Click "Verify"
This software will chug away for a awhile, writing data to the drive and determining the REAL capacity of the card you've bought. It will then give a report showing not only what the card claims to be, but full details of what it actually is.

Please note: Simply copying a large file to your card/USB drive may not fully test it! The above application was written specifically to test for FAKE devices, and writes/reads back various unique test patterns to the device in order to determine it's capacity. By doing so, fake devices are readily spotted.

All fake cards should be REPORTED to ebay (FWIW), and NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LEFT for the seller to warn other people

Please see the following other reviews for other cautions and advice when thinking about buying these types of item:

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