test your faulty usb stick

Some of you may remember my blog post from March 2007 about fake USB sticks: A friend of mine had gone to China on a business trip and bought two 8 GB sticks for EUR 11,- each, only to realize at home that he had actually acquired two 16 MB sticks. The problem is that you can only verify the real capacity of such sticks by writing data on them and then reading it back to the computer. Obviously, this best works with an empty stick.

Back then I even mentioned some progs that may verify if a USB flash memory stick is faulty or not. Germany’s c’t (Computer & Technik) magazine has now come up an alternative programme that works just fine and does a great job:

h2testwscreenshot(screenshot of H2testw – and yes, that’s my desktop wallpaper :-)

It is available in German and English, free of charge, small (zipped ~ 220 kb) and “writes data in chunks of 1 megabyte”. H2testw.exe doesn’t also require an installation, so you may want to add it to you selection of useful tools on a usb flash memory stick (i do that + i have a folder designed for such purposes which contains also other goodies such as a free virus scanner + recent update packages that kill popular threats). It took this useful tool about 15 minutes to write and 3 minutes to read back data on my (freshly formatted) 2 GB stick.

I am mentioning it here because I know a lot of ppl are aware of faulty sticks but don’t know how to check them with the right software (there are some nasty “freeware” tools out there that do more harm than good). Also, since this nice little prog also fits on the smallest stick (hey, the above mentioned 16 MB sticks are still available, i heard :-), you may want to take it to the dealer and test it right there before purchase.

AOB: What happened to the Raila virus, btw?

Author: jke

Hi, I am an engineer who freelances in water & sanitation-related IT projects at Saniblog.org. You'll also find me on Twitter @jke and Instagram.

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