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Watch out for Fake SSDs and Fake Flash Drives

As the saying goes…
“If something seems too good to be true, it probably is…”

If you connect one of these devices to your computer it does detect as 128TB.
You can even format it and save data to it but what’s the trick?

Every flash drive, Solid State Drive and camera card has a small computer in it.
The person who writes the operating system can trick your computer into thinking it is a 128TB device.
What you really have is a 16GB device but your computer thinks it is a 128TB.
You can save files to it. It will add every file to the directory because your directory is in the first 16GB which is real but once you reach 16GB your data goes nowhere.

It is difficult to tell what is going on without a Disk Hex Editor.
The above selected .mp3 music file has a name, a date and a size. You can even copy this file to your computer or another USB device. Everything seems OK until you try to play it. You will find out that it does not play because the file is 100% full of “FF” (Some devices give you 100% “00”. There is no way to recover this file because the data in the file was saved nowhere!

This is malicious!
I had one customer who bought a Fake 64TB SSD and copied all the data from several old computer hard drives he had. He then scrapped his old computers. He brought the SSD in for Data Recovery. I had to inform him that only the first 16GB was recoverable. The rest was not.

Even worse are the Counterfeit Devices!

I had a wedding photographer bring in this 64GB SanDisk Extreme Pro Card.
She could not figure out why only the first pictures opened and the rest did not.

It was really just a 16GB Micro SD Card.
It was Counterfeit. She bought it from Amazon and it had great reviews.
Note: Real SanDisk Cards have a serial number printed on the back. You should always go to the SanDisk Website and register it. If you get “Invalid Number” or “Already Registered” You have a Counterfeit card.

There is no easy way to tell a fake device from a real device.

Whenever you buy a new device you should always fill it up with something.
Try copying your music or video collection to it. Fill it up and randomly test files to make sure they play.

The best place to buy would be from big chain stores like Best Buy, Staples, B&H Photo.
The big stores have a complex engineering review of every product they put on their shelves.

Anybody can sell on Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and hire people to post hundreds of 5 star reviews.

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