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H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives

Posted by flashchiptutor on March 21, 2009

New! This article contains a poll you can vote on.

H2testw 1.4 has proven itself to be the best of breed for detecting counterfeit Flash drives. It is extremely easy to use and proves detailed information. Created by Harald Bögeholz, the interface is in German but has the option to run in English. It is free and standalone. Nothing is installed into the operating system. Designed for Windows it can run under Linux if Wine is installed. It will not run under Macs. If your computer can not run the software – ask a colleague or friend who has a windows based computer to help you test. To learn more and for download information Sections covered:

  • Gold Standard rating for H2testw 1.4 Why do you give this software such a high rating?
  • Results for a 64GB USB drive purchased on eBay, using H2testw 1.4
  • Results from H2testw have been verified on drives detected as fakes
  • Acknowledgements
  • Download Links
  • Note To Flash Drive Sellers

Gold Standard rating for H2testw 1.4? Why do you give this software such a high rating?

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

  1. Easy to Use
  2. While in German an English Execution is possible
  3. Stand alone executable file – no installation required to run it
  4. You do not need administrator privileges on a computer to run it
  5. Tested to work on 1.1 and 2.0 USB drives
  6. Tested to work on 1.1 and 2.0 USB Ports
  7. Tested to work to analyze drives advertised as 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB and yes …64 GB capacity.
  8. Reports seen capacity – what the operating system sees size to be.
  9. 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
  10. Will read all the files it wrote and verify them
  11. Will produce a report. a) short if all is well b) detailed if there issues found.
  12. The program is offered free

The readme.txt file provides:

  • Explanation of the program and what it does for general computer users
  • Information on how to interpret the results
  • Technical information for those who have a deeper understanding of data storage and file writing and for the skeptics out there. Output results can easily be copy pasted into notepad to be saved as a text file.

Test results for a 64GB USB drive purchased on eBay, using H2testw 1.4

Sample Output For A Fake 64 GB Drive The media is likely to be defective. 3.8 GByte OK (8084847 sectors) 58.6 GByte DATA LOST (122921617 sectors) Details:710.5 KByte overwritten (1421 sectors) 7.6 MByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 15630 sectors) 58.6 byte corrupted (122904566 sectors) 710.5 KByte aliased memory (1421 sectors) First error at offset: 0x000000003cef8470 Expected: 0xeb7ac43a237c5170 Found: 0xeb7a843a237c5170 H2testw version 1.3 Writing speed: 9.24 MByte/s Reading speed: 10.8 MByte/s H2testw v1.4

This is 4GB USB flash drive not a 64GB USB flash drive. It is of poor quality. As 4GB drive it should be about 3.9 GB not 3.8 GB formatted. This indicates in low level formatting a lot of bad sectors had to be locked out. Usually flash chips like these are rejected for major brands and should be destroyed. Unfortunately instead of the furnace flames these chips are leaving the back door of factories to be resold. These chips are a favorite for counterfeiters to reprogramme. Low cost, big profit.

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

  1. Drives were dissembled
  2. Controller chips identified
  3. Flash chip 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. We do not see any other program that can match these features. Therefore, H2testw has been adopted as the Gold – Standard to detect and test fakes. eBayers use this program to PROVE they have received a fake from a seller. It is confirmed with more eBayers reporting the same results for the same drive model. We have been able to prove this repeatedly, to the point we have only one conclusion. If a drive model fails capacity testing with H2testw then any for that listing on eBay is a fake. Having more eBayers test the same model only confirms what H2testw reported. The autopsies on counterfeit drives have also proven the value of this program. The report is a God send for eBayers who must file disputes. It gives them evidence to submit with their case.


To Herald Bögeholz who wrote the Program H2testw, Thank You! To c’t Magazin für Computertechnik, Thank You! To www.heise.de for hosting the download of the programme, Thank You! People around the world who have suffered the misfortune to receive a Counterfeit Flash drive are grateful for your contribution in the struggle against False Capacity USB Flash Drives and memory cards.

Download links

Using Google translation into English Article Manipulated data loss caused by USB sticks – Heise Online H2testw 1.4 Website – English Note: Using translation can slow down access speed of the web pages. German H2testw 1.4 Website – German – Direct Site Access You may prefer to search with Google for the software. Type in H2testw 1.4 which is the current version at the time of listing on this page. To search all versions you can just type in H2testw. Direct Download Of Software For version 1.4 of H2testw

Note To Flash Drive Sellers

Please test your merchandise using this software. Do not offer for sale unless the drives are able to pass testing. You do not want to face the consequences of angry buyers. If you have drives which fail, contact the source you acquired from. Submit the proof you have as evidence for receiving counterfeit merchandise. If the drives you offer for sale are able to pass the testing of H2testw 1.4 – congratulations! Please indicate this in your advertising or listings. Let prospective buyers know that you have tested. That your drives pass with the program and that you are able to guarantee the true advertised capacity (minus a small overhead for operating system file formatting.). This will increase your sales potential.

If you find the tool H2testw 1.4 useful to you, please return and leave a comment on your experiences with it.

16 Responses to “H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives”

  1. John S said

    I guess I need some help. I thought all I needed to do was buy a card reader, insert the card into said reader and the h2testw 1.4 would read the card. MY card reader wants to open “Auto Play” to download the card contents [a Panasonic SDHC 6GB card] with one of the following options for my Nikon D90 (K:) but the card is from a Canon SD870 IS – not a Nikon D90.

    Import Pictures
    View Pictures using Windows
    View Pictures using Windows Media Center
    Create Disk or Edit Image
    Copy Pictures and View Them using Picasa3
    View/Download Images
    Copy Pictures to Folder on my PC

    I thought I didn’t need the h2testw 1.4 downloaded onto my PC [haven’t been able to find a link to do it anyway] Any and all help gratefully appreciated. TIA

    John S.

  2. Lisa said

    I have used this software to test a few flash drives and some have been fine but a few have been found to be defective. The software has been great — However, I have gotten an error code on my most recent testing of a flash drive. The message I got was

    Error writing file ‘F:\1.h2w’, offset 0x3de00000.
    It is still possible to verify the test data written up to this point.
    (The semaphore timeout period has expired. Code 121)
    Writing speed: 1.68 MByte/s
    H2testw v1.4

    I have done a search trying to find out what this means but with no luck. Any suggestions?

  3. ITGuy said

    This is an internal microsoft – windows error message.

    There are a number of possible cause to this error message. One possible cause is a poor USB extension cable or hub. The h2testw readme recommend that you connect the usb drive that is to be tested to a port on the back of your PC.

    This error message can also be the result of windows not receiving data back from the device in response to a read request. Windows times the operation out and the application sees this error message. Possible cause a bad fake flash drive.

    • Lisa said

      Thanks for the help. I have been testing the flash drives using the H2testw software on my laptop pc which have Windows Vista Home Premium on it. There are no usb ports in the rear (in fact I have been using the same port to test the flash drives. I will try one of the other 2 ports available on the pc and see what happens. The only other option is to try going to my old desktop which I have upgraded to windows xp pro and see what happens there. Thanks for the help. It is greatly appreciated.


  4. Lisa said

    I have just verified a flash drive with kingston and they stated that “The flash memory product you inquired about has been verified to be an authentic Kingston product. All Kingston memory modules carry a manufacturer warranty. Thank you for selecting Kingston.”

    However, when I ran the h2testw on the drive the information that I got was as follows:
    Error writing file ‘F:1.h2w’, offset 0x900000.

    It is still possible to verify the test data written up to this point.

    (the system cannot find the file specified. Code 2)

    Writing speed: 223 Kbyte/s

    H2testw v1.4

    I also ran the Chip Genius and those results were
    Pnp Device ID: VID = 0915 PID = 1607

    Serial Number: 001D0F0CAAC55A891B0A018E

    Revision: 1.00

    Device Type: Standard USB device – USB 2.0 High-Speed

    Chip Vendor: skymedia (??)

    Chip Part Number: SK6211/SK6281

    Product Vendor: Kingston

    Product Model: Data Traveler 2.0

    Does this mean that the drive is fine or that it is a good drive from Kingston but there is a problem with the flash drive? It is a 8gb Data Traveler 100

    • Lisa said

      Just to add – this was tested following the instructions for the H2testw both in the same usb port that I have had other drives test as being good (side port on laptop since there are no rear ports on the laptop) and just to be sure I ran the test using a rear port on my desktop pc that was upgraded to Windows XP pro from Windows ME.

      I got the same results both times

    • Randy said

      Interesting. I have a 8GB Kingston DataTraveler 100. It reports different information on Chipgenius.

      Vid= 930 Pid = 6545

      Chip Vendor Phison

      What information did you provide to Kingston to verify drive?

      Also is there writing on the usb connector? If none …not a kingston drive.

      • Lisa said

        I went to the kingston website http://www.kingston.com/asia/verifyflash/ to verify the drive and gave them the upc code, authorization code and license key and they got back stating that it was an authentic kingston product.

        There is some etching on the usb connector but it is hard to read.

        After getting the verification for the drive I sent a reply asking why I got the results that I did when I ran the h2testw and chip genius software (I included all the above information for them as well) ~ but that was just a few hours ago so I have not heard back just yet. I am hoping that I do hear back from them by tomorrow about it.

        I was thinking about trying to add stuff to the drive and see what happens or just how much it will in fact hold in the meantime but was not sure if I should do that while waiting to hear back from them.

      • Randy said

        Try running a partial tests with h2testw. Start with 512MB and work up. This may give some idea of what the problem is.

        If you purchased the drive from a major supplier (mine came from Dell) then you should be able to get a replacement drive. If purchased on Ebay etc, then there is the chance that it is counterfeit.

        Most of the fakes do not have etching on the usb connector.

        The kingston website should be considered a registration database. The first person to register a valid serial number is told that the drive is authentic. Subsquent requesters are told the drive with that serial number has already been registered.

  5. Lisa said

    It does have the etching on the usb connector ~ the flash drive was given to me by one of my nieces for Christmas. (I’m pretty sure she bought it on ebay).

    I did make the mistake of purchasing a flash drive on ebay in the past and I tried to verify it with Kingston and they stated that it was not an authentic Kingston Product (I learned my lesson then).

    Anyway, you stated to run a partial test with h2testw starting with 512MB and work up from there?

    How do I do that. I have just been inserting the flash drive and clicking on the h2testw application, selecting english and then the target and clicking on write and verify.

    By starting with 512MB should I be entering the 512 into the box in the Data Volume section? If that works out fine then what should I do?

    Thanks So Very Much

    • Randy said

      Under data volume, click on “only” and fill in how many MB to test. Then click on write + verify.

      To do next test delete files on drive and run h2testw again with larger test size.

    • Lisa said

      I did as you suggested but only entered 256 into the box in the data volume section. The results were as follows
      Error writing file ‘F:\1.h2w’, offset 0x100000.
      It is still possible to verify the test data written up to this point.
      (The system cannot find the file specified. Code 2)
      Warning: Only 256 of 7638 MByte tested.
      Writing speed: 1.38 MByte/s

      When I tried to select open of that drive it appeared to be empty and it stated the folder was empty. I then selected the properties on that drive and it stated 0 bytes both for used space and available space.

      Out of curiosity I thought I would see what would happen when I selected the format option but nothing at all happened. I then selected to safely remove the drive. Waited a couple of seconds, reinserted it and then I was able to see the file that was in the folder/on the flash drive and was able to delete it.

      I am guessing there is some sort of problem with the drive but not sure just what. I did contact my niece and she just got it a few days ago so I am not sure if I should tell her that the seller sold her a bad drive or see if Kingston will honor the warranty since they stated that it is an authentic drive. Any suggestions would be Greatly Appreciated.


  6. Dave said

    I just got done using the “h2testw” on my Ebay bought Chipod. I was allegedly sold a 32GB 3rd Gen Nano Knockoff. but in truth it reads less than 2GB. here are my results….

    Warning: Only 8155 of 30988 MByte tested.
    The media is likely to be defective.
    1.8 GByte OK (3914337 sectors)
    6.0 GByte DATA LOST (12787103 sectors)
    Details:6.0 GByte overwritten (12787103 sectors)
    0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
    0 KByte corrupted (0 sectors)
    4 KByte aliased memory (8 sectors)
    First error at offset: 0x000000007774c200
    Expected: 0x000000007774c200
    Found: 0x000000007774b200
    H2testw version 1.3
    Reading speed: 4.89 MByte/s
    H2testw v1.4

    my next step is seeing if i can fix the hack. anyone have advise on the best way to do that????

  7. Ralph said

    You have purchased a dud, if you paid with PayPal you have 60 days from date of purchase to lodge a dispute. If that time has elapsed, You have a major problem. Also try not to leave feedback until you have checked the device(item), then you have your ammunition to lodge a dispute in the time frame. If you did not pay using PayPal then you can lodge a dispute with Ebay.

  8. […] H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives It has a poll and over 2200 have voted on the tool! […]

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