The information that was on this page is now outdated – see the Guide to fake flash page instead. There is now a pdf guide on the new page available for you to print out or download to your computer.
Unfortunately the author of the guide to fake flash has not produced an updated version yet – or if she did we have not heard from her – so it is probably of little use now as things have moved on a lot in the last two years.
The main things that we would suggest if you are buying flash memory items are as follows:
Think about the price – if someone is selling flash memory items singly at less than £1 GBP or $ 1.55 USD per gigabyte then you are likely to be looking at fake capacity flash memory (and wholesale should be at least 2/3 of this) so if (for example) you see a 256GB flash drive for $100 US on ebay you can be pretty certain it is a fake and that anyone using it will find it corrupts their files.
Check the model – a lot of flash memory items that appear to be brand name goods (such as Kingston, Sandisk, Sony, Transcend etc) are sold in models and capacities that never really existed. Check the brand’s web site to see if the thing you are thinking of buying actually existed. If it doesn’t exist, please warn the brand about the counterfeit – their reputations are being damaged!
Check seller feedback – If you risk buying on ebay and everything else looks ok we suggest you check the seller’s feedback very carefully! Don’t just look for negs and neuterals – look for anything that suggests the buyer got a refund – if so, treat with extreme caution!
Finally (as always) we strongly advise everyone to have the free program h2testw at hand and to test all flash memory items with it before use!