That cheap 2TB USB stick is probably fake - here’s how you know

If your USB looks to have too much space to be true, and come at a very low price, it may just be a fake. — dpa

You find a USB stick online - 2 terabytes for the price of a month of Netflix? A total bargain. Or too good to be true? Because once the flash drive arrives, if at all, it soon emerges it’s a cheap, small-capacity USB stick only pretending to be big.

Search online - even on major platforms - and you’ll find countless offers for 1TB and 2TB flash drives costing between US$5-30 (RM20-131).

Chances are, however, that many of these have only a fraction of that storage space.

Drives of this capacity usually cost over a hundred dollars or Euros.

While some brand names like Verbatim and Toshiba don’t offer USB sticks with more than 128 GB, others like SanDisk charge upwards of 350 dollars for a 1TB USB stick.

Instead, external hard drives with cables remain the popular choice for file storage and backups for anything upwards of half a terabyte.

However if you have bought a large-capacity USB stick and it wasn’t from a reputable brand, the first thing you should check is what kind of storage capacity is really has.

Even if your computers shows it as having 1TB, you should keep a backup of any files you copy onto it before relying on it for anything important.

Because no matter how expensive the storage medium was, if it is a fake, you’ll probably lose some of the data you put on it.

That’s because whenever the real memory of the USB stick fills up, it will overwrite the same storage space again, making it look like your 1TB of files are all safely being copied over.

Simply inserting the stick or card into the computer to check the capacity won’t leave you any the wiser. As a rule, these USB sticks will be manipulated so that they display a false memory capacity.

Such fakes can only be detected with special software, for example with the free hard drive testing tool H2testw.

If you want to run this test, you should pay attention to two things: Be sure to test the new drive or SD card before using it for the first time. It’s also best to let the test run overnight on the

computer, because it can take a very long time, depending on the memory capacity.

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