IMPORTANT NOTICE: update on 01/05/2010
If you got here via an ebay listing from michaelliudl2009 (an ebay seller in China) please be aware that we suspect this seller is a fraudster selling fake flash memory items.
We have suspected for a long time that fraudsters in China may keep an eye on this blog and think this seller provided the link in an attempt to fool buyers into assuming they had found a trustworthy seller. We don’t think so, but michaelliudl2009 is welcome to get in touch and prove us wrong! We suggest you test any flash memory from michaelliudl2009 with h2testw.
Question: What is a fake USB flash drive?
Answer: It is a drive where the control chip has been programmed to report a false capacity to the operating system.
Question: What is a counterfeit USB flash drive?
Answer: A counterfeit USB flash drive is one that seems to show a brand name (either in the wording of a listing or in the picture) such as Sony or Kingston – or a trade-mark name belonging to a company (such as Micro Vault for Sony or DataTraveler for Kingston) but is not actually produced by that company. Often a counterfeit does not even match a flash drive of that capacity produced by the company. These drives are (like most unbranded drives sold on ebay) fake capacity.
An ebay member who bought fake USB flash drives wrote a guide to fake flash drives and kindly sent us a copy. Unfortunately (now that we are at the beginning of May 2010) it is rather out of date, but still useful. You can see the guide (pdf file) here by clicking on the link below (opens in a new window) and print it or save it to your computer if you want a copy to refer to:
Helen’s fake flash guide (updated Sunday 08 March 2009)
If you think you bought a fake Kingston flash drive please report the matter to Kingston immediately – if you go to the Kingston website you will find a number on which you can phone their customer service department and give them details of your purchase.