Fighting flash fraud on Ebay

The authors of this blog want to elimnate flash fraud on Ebay

download h2testw free and test flash memory

If you use flash memory items you need to download H2testw!

The free program h2testw has proved its worth in detecting flash drives which have been programmed to miss-report capacity to the operating system. Fraudulent programming can make a tiny capacity flash drive – say 64 megabyites (mb) – which is a sixteenth of a gigabyte (GB) look like it has a capacity of 8GB or even 512GB! – by the way at date of writing this (March 4th 2010) there are no genuine flash drives of 512GB capacity, though no doubt there will be in future!

We give H2testw 1.4 the highest rating and recommend it for testing fraudulently programmed USB Flash Drives for the following reasons:

    Easy to Use
    Tested to work on 1.1 and 2.0 USB Ports
    Tested to work to analyze drives advertised as 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and yes …64 GB capacity.
    Reports what the operating system sees size to be.
    Will write 1 GB files up to the reported size – requiring no work on your part except patience if it is a large drive and a slow computer
    Will read all the files it wrote and verify them
    Will report that the test ran without problems if all is well
    Will produce a detailed report showing the true capacity, how much data has been lost/corrupted and whether there are aliased memory addresses if problems are found.
    Output results can easily be copied and pasted into notepad to be saved as a text file.
    The program is free

The readme.txt file that comes with the program provides:

Explanation of the program and what it does for general computer users. information on how to interpret the results and technical information for those who have a deeper understanding of data storage.

This program has been invaluable to those who (like me) now test all flash they buy (wherever from) to avoid potential data loss arising from use of a falsely programmed device. You can download this free program here:

download h2testw by Harald Bögeholz published by c’t magazine for computer technology

Save the downloaded zip file to your desktop an run the exe file in the folder to install the program on your computer. To test your flash launch the program, select your language (German or English) and select the target drive.

The program will fill your device with numbers and letters in 1000Mb lots and then try to read it back . If your device works as claimed it will tell you that the test ran without problems and you can delete the test files. If not you will get a detailed report.

The results from H2testw have been verified on drives detected as fakes. How?

Drives were dissembled
Controller chips were identified
Flash chips were identified
Searches on the actual flash drives using their identification number revealed their true capacity. These matched the output from the H2testw Program.
In a few cases, when drives were disassembled, epoxy glue removed holding the flash drive to the bottom casing, quality control stickers were found with a size circled. The size? Exactly what H2testw reported as the capacity it could write to. All drives autopsied for investigation and validation of this program were purchased on eBay.

No other program that can match these features has been found. Therefore, H2testw has been adopted as the gold standard in detection of flash that reports a false capacity to the operating system.

A word to the terrified:
We notice that only about one in six visitors follow links to the download page for the program. We fully understand the caution people feel about downloading things from the web! The blog authors are also very cautious about this. For anyone who is worried about following the link please be assured that the download page is on the website of a reputable german computer magazine.

The program was written by Harald Bögeholz (who works for the magazine) after they found that the flash drives they gave away a couple of years back were actually fake! The program was originally written for their readers to make up for the mistake. You can follow the link with confidence – or (if you prefer) you can search for the page with google – but for goodness sake if you buy flash memory get the program h2testw!

NON WINDOWS USERS:
Michel Machado has developed a program for linux users called F3 (after Fight Flash Fraud – how nice!) but reports from those who have used it are a bit inconclusive as to how user-friendly it is if you aren’t very technical. If you want to give it a go you can download F3 here – let us know how you get on if you try this!

UPDATE SEPT 2010: Another Linux programmer has started work on an alternative solution but we don’t know how far he has got yet.

Written by fightflashfraud

March 4, 2010 at 10:18 PM

17 Responses

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  1. The following will work just fine on a Mac:

    http://oss.digirati.com.br/f3/

    Chris

    January 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM

  2. Sorry, don’t know of a Mac program – only H2testw for Windows and F3 for Linux. If anyone has developed a Mac program then please let us know. In the meantime perhaps test using a friend’s Windows or Linux computer?

    fightflashfraud

    November 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM

  3. Hi, I also would like to know if you know about any program for Mac.
    Greetings!

    Max Maier

    November 28, 2011 at 2:17 AM

  4. I Want to thank you for this program, For the last couple of weeks, I have been buying a lot of pen drives off EBAY, Must were very slow, Some could not retain the infomation, OR could not play back the information, 6 Total, All were sent from CHINA, They were 265GB Each And i have been haveing a lot of problems Opening files, Had to file claims with PAYPAl to recoup my fund, for them, Now thanks to you posting this program i can check them myself, PEOPLE DO NOT BUY ANY USB PEN DRIVES FROM CHINA, Or from ebay, AVOID, Thank You very much for posting this progrom, God Bless You, Andre!

    AndreManily Sr

    May 14, 2011 at 1:44 AM

  5. Thanks Patrik,
    Interesting and useful information, certainly to be aware of, so many sites survive on adverts alone now, they do anything to get a few free clicks
    from confused visitors. Usually the wanted download button is hidden or does not stand out as obviously as the fake ones do. Good point !!!
    Watch WHAT you CLICK… Read the wording carefully before you do…

    Please note this blog is not now monitored closely, moderators will occasionally check for comments, and reply, the purpose of the blog has been served, to bring about awareness of the flash memory problem, the fact that it is still getting a high number of visits shows it’s usefulness.

    Feel free to reply to any specific posting, specially one for information, so this may serve as an information exchange.

    (Mod)

    nandinium

    May 6, 2011 at 4:17 PM

  6. @ Micro: h2benchw is a Benchmark tool running from the command prompt in windows. Has nothing to do with h2testw.

    the thing is.. when you go to that download link in the blog post above and click on the “Download” button above the description, you will get redirected to this page here:

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://www.heise.de/software/download/h2testw/50539&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dheise%2Bh2testw%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

    if you click on “Download directly (from) heise.de”, you will get H2testw. Just as expected.

    But if you (for whatever reason) click on the other button/link named “For the software side” (which is supposed to say/mean “to the software website” (of heise.de)), you will get redirected here

    http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?hl=en&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dheise%2Bh2testw%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=de&twu=1&u=http://www.heise.de/ct/c-t-Systeminfo-473388.html&usg=ALkJrhgO0qA0FTL9xTsISL_NhR3L2ygMlg

    and on top, there’s h2benchw, which sounds similar, but is just a benchmark tool that doesn’t really help in this case ;)
    so i bet that’s what Allan accidentally did.

    h2testw runs perfectly fine on Windows 7 (64Bit in my case) by the way.
    The only thing i would suggest is to run it as an administrator (right click on the h2testw.exe and select “run as Administrator”) just in case.

    i’ve had other tools with direct hardware access mess up before because they were started without admin rights.. so better safe than sorry ;)

    greetings from Germany,
    Patrik

    Patrik

    April 20, 2011 at 5:53 AM

  7. Allan,
    This blog is no longer regular administered, all the effort put in by the hard working team has proved to have no effect on the amount of fakes being openly sold on eBay, it was therefore considered that any further effort would be a waste of time. However the content remains here for reference until such time as the original creator decides to delete it.

    From time to time some of the moderators will check for comments, so it is worthwhile keeping an eye on things, also any positive information you may have will be useful for the ongoing visitors.

    I am not able to state positively if h2testw will work on windows 7, I see no reason why it should not, specially if you can run it as administrator.

    However I am suspicious of something you reported
    “I try to run the h2benchw.exe file”
    I looked through my installation and can only find “h2testw.exe” this has a shortcut configured and works perfectly as it should. Are you sure you got the program from the formal registered site and that is is for the Windows GUI operation i.e. not a command line version?

    I think you need to check this in case you got a rogue version… Operation is really so easy, there is nothing really to comment on, it does NOT need installing just copying into a folder, with a shortcut to the desktop, select the English language option if you need it, and be sure to select the correct drive for the FLASH device (either USB plug, or card reader). Always a good plan to uniquely name the drive so you don’t accidently try to test your root hard drive.

    Good luck…

    Micro

    March 7, 2011 at 9:45 PM

  8. Hello,
    I could use a little more info and guidance on installing and running h2testw. I’ve read some of the readme file for this software, but it assumes you have the software installed and running. I was able to download h2testw ok. There’s four files when it is extracted. I try to run the h2benchw.exe file, but I just get a command line window that flashes momentarily and then closes. I don’t see the program anywhere in my program list and I’m at a lost where to go from here.

    My OS is Windows 7 64bit and up to date.

    I have 8 32GB SD cards that I would like to test. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Allan

    March 7, 2011 at 6:49 AM

  9. Have downloaded and used for testing. It is free, real & accurate. Absolutely 100% genuine. Thanks to Harald Bogeholz and c’t magazine. Cheers!

    naggasan

    January 19, 2011 at 2:21 AM

  10. Michel Machado’s program F3 may work with the mac – he was trying to create something cross-platform. If you want to give it a go you can download F3 here – let us know how you get on if you try this!

    fightflashfraud

    October 5, 2010 at 9:09 AM

  11. Is their a version for mac,

    Tim Watson

    October 5, 2010 at 7:55 AM

  12. This programm is really very helpful. Thanks to his creator.

    Luigy

    Luigy Paul

    September 28, 2010 at 3:58 PM

  13. Someone left a comment this morning with a link to an unofficial download site for this program saying it was an easier download site.

    The h2testw download site we have linked to is the official one. Any other download site is unauthorised and an infringment of the program author’s copyright so we have not allowed the comment.

    fightflashfraud

    September 6, 2010 at 6:08 AM

  14. I just want to say THANK YOU to the creator of this program. You have helped Law Enforcment investigate reported fraudulent cards that were being sold through AMAZON.com – I recommended to AMAZON they should endorse your program to check all cards sold through their storefront. Hopefully they will listen!

    LAW ENFORCEMENT

    July 20, 2010 at 2:51 AM

  15. I’ve just used the console version to test a 512MB Sandisk key that I bought on eBay, and it works just as well as the Windows one. (And the key’s fine as well…It passed tests under both versions. :-) )

    Some things that are worth pointing out though:
    1. H2Test for DOS only gives output and info in German.
    2. The console version uses the current working directory in DOS as it’s I/O location…So you’ll need to change to the root folder of the drive being tested and enter the full path of the program to run it, I.E: H:\> C:\Progra~1\H2Test\H2Test.exe [SizeOfTest]
    3. Output from H2TestDOS (*.H2T) and H2TestW (*.H2W) cannot be used interchangably. Test output from one program will give a 0Kb passed false positive result in the other.

    As far as programs go, it’s one of those where the user might need to get a “feel” for the program before making full use of it…But at only 60Kb in size and presumably compatible with DOS/Win3.11/Win95, it’s one that I’ll be adding to my tech toolbox! :-)

    Farewell…And happy H2Testing! >:-)
    +++ DieselDragon +++

    DieselDragon

    May 12, 2010 at 4:07 PM

  16. OOh! DieselDragon,
    That is interesting – will have to check it out!

    fightflashfraud

    May 8, 2010 at 9:35 PM

  17. Just in case there are other “Console jockeys” like myself reading this weblog, there’s also a command line version of H2Test 1.6 freely available from http://www.heise.de/software/download/h2test/19574

    General users testing one or two drives bought off of eBay might not find this much use (H2TestW mentioned above would be a better choice)…But anyone who tests large quantities of drives at a time and/or wants a version that can be called from a shell script might find it handy. :-)

    DieselDragon

    May 8, 2010 at 9:04 PM


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