Fake USB, can it still be used?


One of my friend bought lots of USB in bulk because it has a very low price and the seller didn’t gave any warranty or money back. When he transfer lots of file to the USB, it seems to be ok. But then he realized that the files mostly corrupted and unreadable.
Are there anyway to reveal and use the real capacity of those USB?


Ask here:



Cut your loses and throw it away. Buy from a reputable source next time. I bought one of those that claims to have a Terrabyte of storage. It was a 1GB USB drive with hacked firmware to report to the O.S. That it had a whole Terrabyte of storage, eventhough I couldn’t store anything bigger than half a meg.
I realized I got ripped off cut my loses and threw it away.


Dear @bsdtester and @Groot, Yes, I thought there also no other way but to accept and cut the loses. He have to learn by experience in a hard way. Thanks anyway for your input.


On Windows there exists H2testw, to check the real size and integrity of usb flash drives. For some tastes of Unix there is allegedly F3. Haven’t used is so far but maybe it helps.


Dear Sven,

Thanks for info. Previously I have heard about F3, but thought its only available for ‎Linux.

Just checked on freshport and see it was there. ‎I will give it a shot tonight. Thanks again for useful info.



Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Telkomsel network.


Try to start a machine (laptop or desktop machine all the same) with Gparted Live CD or with some other live Linux distro what has Gparted. After plugin the wrong USB key and make an MSDOS partition scheme after make an FAT32 (or NTFS all the same, later you can make for FAT32 again) file system for it and after format it slowly (!) sometimes have to format more than one times.
You can make the slow format in Windows, or if you have not an installed Windows system than you can do it in the terminal of an Windows installer DVD.
The slow speed format is important, because only this can repair the sector problems. I could repair a lot of “demaged” USB key in the last years so.
Sometimes can cause errors if the USB key converted for GPT but this is an other problem, and some live distro (BlackArch) can make for invisible or other “problems” (reduced capacity) for the USBs :slight_smile:


This is more than likely a chinese USB stick with a hacked firmware chip. No amount of formatting will ever make it work… Believe me, I tried for 3 days.


Now we have not to much information yet, maybe chinese maybe not, maybe just an live .img write went to wrong or something other.


Heard that story many times. It would be surprising that a “live .img write” went wrong on a bulk of them though.

I fell into the same trap.


I already had a lot of case when the “a “live .img write” went wrong on a bulk of them though.”, when I used some Windows .img writer apps.


Sorry for not giving clear info, it was blank usb flash and my friend planned to store data plus promotional video for a give away to his customers.

The symptoms is similar to what @Groot experienced. It can keep some kb data such as pdf and xls, but when storing data nearly 1mb, the data would start to be corrupted and unreadable.