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?

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