Instructables
Hey Guys- I recently became aware of a major scam on eBay. Hackers in China are selling flash drives with less memory than they advertise. Users like PikesPeakTraders sell thousands of 'hacked' flash drives from China. The problem is that the hackers change a log file that makes the flash drive think it has more memory than it does. When you receive the drive, if you right click and go to properties it will display a larger amount of memory than it really has- so when you put data on it that exceeds it's actual memory, old data will be deleted.

This problem is nearly impossibly for the average Joe to detect because the flash drive looks and works normally- until it's memory is filled.

Here's how to protect yourself from this scam:
 
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Step 1: How To Buy

So you want to get a nice, high capacity flash drive for a friend for the holidays. Here are a few cardinal rules to follow to avoid getting scammed:
(if you've already bought an unbranded flash drive online, skip to the next step)

1) Buy a brand name flash drive
-Most brands are reliable in terms of storage. Most unbranded drives aren't

2) Know your product
-I was naive enough to think that many companies (including unbranded ones) are producing 16GB flash drives- I could be wrong, but I believe the only company selling one of that size is Corsair. This goes for any size...

3) Look on the packaging
-If the buyer shows a picture of the packaging, see whether the storage is printed directly onto the packaging, or if there's a sticker on it that has it. If it's printed on, it's more likely not to be a scam as that means the company probably hasn't tampered with it

4) AVOID BUYING FROM EBAY!
-Ebay has been seemingly overrun by scam artists selling falsely listed items- avoid buying anything that's not a well-known brand name from Ebay at all costs!
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Irwind Kee6 months ago

its say 64GB hahahaha...

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Ben Streit2 years ago
BEWARE THE SELLERS ARE SELLING FAKE CAPACITY TO LOOK AS MORE IF YOU PAY AND ARE NOT EVEN FAIR THEY WILL ROB YOU BLIND BUYER BEWARE THEY HAVE EVEN SET UP FLASH TO DISPLAY COMPANY NAME BRAND AND LOG THEY ARE FAKE GENERIC CHIPS YOU ARE GOING TO PAY 100USD FOR A 2GB FLASH OR LESS,BUY IN AMERICA BEWARE OF CHINA AND HONG KONG SELLERS
THEY ARE WAITING TO CATCH YOU "WHOLESALE "LOTS
AND THEY WILL CHARGE THE SAME AMOUNT OF WHAT YOU CAN PAY FOR REAL IN AMERICA THAT IS REAL CAPACITY TRY TO COPY 100GB FILE FOLDER TO YOUR DRIVE OR LESS SEE WHAT HAPPENS THERE IS NOTHING THERE IS NO MEMORY TO STORE NOTHING!!!!!
account3r22 years ago
I think its better to put it in the "system32" directory (usually C:\WINDOWS\system32) because if you do, when you type only the name of the file, it will run, so you don't need to type C:\ or anything.
Man it really sux that this wont work with windows 7...i ave an ATP Tough Drive that is really a 4 gb drive and properties is only showing that it has 1.89 gb available...it should really be 3.89 gb available...
HAHA...well nvmd...i got the program to work, but it shows that it its correct...but i know it is a 4 gb flash drive...
bbmak6 years ago
Wow Thank you so much. Currently, I am thinking about buy a 64G usb drive from ebay. I will reconsider about it before buying it.
ashannon1 bbmak2 years ago
you might want to invest in a 1 terabyte external harddrive from an electronics store, or Walmart, get sea-gate, or something simaler. somthing with a lifetime warranty. much more space than 64 gigs(936 gigs more), and it will be pretty much guaranteed to have that said amount, of space, if not, return it and get a different brand.
eLeet (author)  bbmak6 years ago
No problem- I'd definitely reconsider it... Remember the rule of thumb in life- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is ;)
collard41 eLeet5 years ago
32gb are fakes, so 64 is 100% fake
I own a 32 GB flash drive from micro center...it is completely legit and I'm thinking about buying their 64 GB version. Large size flash drives have been around for a little while now, but were just to expensive.
Derin collard415 years ago
transcend makes 32 gig flash memory
eLeet (author)  Derin5 years ago
There actually is a 64gb model out and has been for several months- it just happens to cost a few grand :)
collard41 eLeet5 years ago
Toshiba Have a 128Gb hard drive, solid state, but this isnt a pen drive. it is for laptops like the macbook air.
wizard722 eLeet5 years ago
In this case it is more like the rule of thumb...drives...
Presman6 years ago
I got Frauded by pikepeaktraders too. My 16GB drive only holds 1.9GB before it starts corrupting data. This is dangerous because you think your saving data but it is really corrupt. Keep in mind the drive are hacked so acts like it is 16GB so you won't know until it is tested. (Just wanted to reiterate)The testdrive.exe isn't downloading properly, here is on ebay is a test bat file and instructions http://reviews.ebay.com/HOW-TO-TEST-FOR-FAKE-USB-DRIVE_W0QQugidZ10000000003664934

I know it has been more than 3 years since you posted the link, but thank you very much Presman. It helped me on checking my flash drive, I thought it was fake, but it is real! I guess eBay has a few honest sellers.
Mrlunna13
just change file from XXXXXXXXXXXXXX.tmp to testdrive.exe it is like that because you usually cant put .bat, .exe, and others on the internet. ive downloaded from instructables before, and its always like that.
Puzzledd3 years ago
VERY useful 'ible, thank you!!
account3r23 years ago
on my cpu it takes so long, but i think its worth it.
maxpower495 years ago
when i go to downloag the test drive it gives me some wierd file
I had the same problem with the download. You can just rename it to "testdrive.ede" and it works. Not sure what the problem is, but worked perfectly for me.
its because you arnt allowed to post bat exe and some other types of files on teh interwebz
hintss3 years ago
Sandisk makes them too. I use one to keep a backup disk image of my netbook on.
Seagate sell 16GB thumb drives I think
http://www.frys.com/product/6197469?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG legit and hold close to the reported capacity
sgt_rock4 years ago
Apparently, they've been able to do this with micro SD devices, too. I've bought a few that I thought had failed because they turned out to be inky dinky compared to what I believed them to be.
itsthatsguy4 years ago
If you go through paypal (most common buyer-seller online service) they have a dispute too, although i have never run into this problem with chinese manufactures, they always seem to help alot... expect there idea of "Air mail" is a 1 month delivery time...
Nyxius5 years ago
Micro center sells 32 GB drives as well as 16 GB drives...custom branded...not sure about the supplier, but they are legit.
zorro33556 years ago
haha this is even funnier.darn scammers!
no usb.jpg
Lol lol lol that's funny. I wish you could favourite comments.
You can. Get zachninme's comment script for greasemonkey.
You can't favorite them though.
Stalker much? :P Yeah that's true, you can't really favorite comments, although you can rate them with zach's script.
i already said that i found it on the internet so it's not mine
Is that actually yours, or did you find a picture of it?
lol is this real?
That cracks me up. ROACLSHMBH!
It must be chinese.
common man .i a chinese too...
Too bad he wasn't joking or it might have been funny. Damn those people who say funny things but mean them in a mean serious way.
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