FAQ – Read!
Are you trying to repair a fake flash memory item? An MP3 MP4 player, usb flash drive or memory card? Restore a fake to it’s real memory size? Please see our FAQ for help.
The most common information people need to know is in this FAQ. Facts, answers, questions on repairing and restoring flash memory chips to their real capacity. A lot of information comes from visitors to this site.
- Finding The Real Capacity Of Your Flash Drive Storage Chip
- Should You Repair A Fake USB Flash (Pen) Drive?
- About VID PID – What Is This Information For USB Flash Memory Devices?
- Is ChipGenius The Best Way To Find the Vendor And Product For My Fake Memory Item?
- What Kind Of Flash Memory Chips Are Used In Fakes?
- What Fake Flash Memory Items Have The Highest Repair Success Rate?
- Why Do You Not Have More Articles On Solutions?
- How Can You Be Sure You succeeded In Restoring The True Capacity?
- H2testw Said I had A 2GB Chip, I Used A Low Level Formatting Tool and Now I have Only 1GB. WHY?
- I Found The Right Tool But I See Nothing On The Screen For My Flash Memory Item. It is Empty.
- Error: Download Scan code failed!
- I Bought A 64GB Flash Memory Item, After Using Low Level Reformatting I Only Have 512MB. I Want My Memory Capacity Back!
- I used A Low Level Formatting Tool And Now My Operating System Does Not See My Item! HELP!!!
- Are Repaired (Restored Capacity) Flash Memory Items reliable?
- Where Do Most People Buy Their Fake Flash Memory Items?
- Please Help Me Somebody!!!
- How Many Websites Are There In The FrankenFlash Project?
- Your Feedback On this article Please! Please Vote In Our Poll.
Before attempting to repair a usb flash drive, memory card or mp3 mp4 player – you should test the real capacity of the flash drive storage chip using H2testw. Never try to proceed with a repair without doing this first!
Read H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives to understand why. You will be need this information later to assist you. It containts links to visit the hosting site for this free programme. While it is copyrighted, it is offered free in the interest of the public.
Depending on the size of advertised capacity of your item, it could take a long time to test. For example, if you have an advertised 64GB usb flash drive and the memory chip is really 2GB, the full 64GB reported size is tested. That is how you find out if you have a fake! Other programmes can test, but they do not give a detailed report and are not as accurate in providing information on the state of your memory chip. The condition of your flash memory chip is important in deciding if you wish to try and repair it. Return To FAQ List
Please read this article before you consider trying to restore the capacity of your false capacity flash memory chip: Should You Repair A Fake USB Flash (Pen) Drive?
Don’t forget to answer the questions on the poll! Return To FAQ List
The VID is the Vendor information, the PID is the flash chip controller information. When memory chips are low level formatted this information is stored on the chip. A program such as ChipGenius, is designed to automatically detect an inserted flash drive and read out the 4 digit VID code and 4 digit PID code. In theory this is very helpful in finding who the vendor is and the product family involved.
Low level formatting software tools allow for any VID or PID to be added. Didn’t know this? Not all fake flash reprogrammers are skilled or even care. This can cause a lot of problems as people will search for the wrong low level formatting tools. If the wrong tool is used, you can damage or loose the flash memory item. In some cases, as a result of using the wrong tool the item will no longer even be recognized by your operating system. Return To FAQ List
Based information left by victims, while ChipGenius appears helpful it is not always accurate. The best way to determine the software tool you need, is the old fashioned way. Open the item. Very carefully. Find the little black square chip to determine the usb controller family. Write this information down on paper. Find the long black square chip(s), write down all the information as reference. The information for the storage chip can also assist you to double confirm the true capacity size. If you see no information for example hand writing instead, this is a serious warning of a defective chip – a reject.
Did the information you found by opening the item agree with ChipGenius? If it does not, you are use what is written on the controller chip, not what ChipGenius reported! Use the information on the chip to search for your low level formatting tool. If the tool does not recognize your flash storage chip, you can look at the manual settings and use the information from your inspection to see if it is there. If you do not find it, either look for an older tool or a newer one. Every tool for a given vendor family only has information for a certain number of chips, it is a limitation of the software. When new chips are added, older storage chips may be discarded. Return To FAQ List
At one time the quality was very good. Generally high grade chips, in small sizes that no one was interested in buying – surplus chips. This has changed in the last two years. The quality of chips are extremely poor. Mostly rejects, because the surplus of small capacity chips either used up or because a larger chip size is required to produce the fakes. Most people want 16GB and higher capacity. In order to fool quick inspection, at least a 2GB chip is needed these days. The most common true capacity is 2GB or even 4GB when the price paid was high. It is rare to see an 8GB chip being turned into a fake any longer, too expensive.
In using Grade C and D chips, you can expect that the life span of any repaired item will be a lot shorter.
To learn more read:
- Genuine Verses Fake Counterfeit USB Flash Drives – A Guide – USB Flash Chips Used In USB Flash Drives – Grades A B C D
- How Can You Spot Fake Flash Memory Chips? What Is the Key Factor That Determines If MP3 MP4 Players, USB Flash Drives Or Memory Cards Are Fake Capacity?
- Flash Memory Prices Are Rising In 2009 – Up To 25% Since April 2009. Danger Of Grade C and D Being Used In False Capacity MP Players, USB Flash Drives And Memory Cards.
Usb flash drive pen sticks have the highest success rate in repairs. Next are mp3 and mp4 players. For mp3 mp4 players the solution paths are not very clear, we don’t have enough information on how to fix them and need more people to write up solutions and send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The most difficult to repair are memory cards. The success rate is very low. A lot of people use HP Tools, but that only deals with correcting the size of the flash memory storage chip – it skips over dealing with issues in the usb controller chip, they are not fixed. As a result if one reformats with an operating system, the “fakeness” returns. The other problem is that most people use readers and it is the controller of the reader that is read instead by ChipGenius. Worse still, you can not open up a memory card to see what is inside, they are sealed. There are many strange ways people have reported using to return the memory size, but nothing consistent or sure that everyone can use. We are waiting for more information from those who have successfully repaired them. Until then, your chances of repairing successfully are very low. As memory cards are used for capturing memories and moments, is it worth the risk of losing them to a repaired fake memory card? The answer to this question should help you to decide if you wish to try to repair a fake memory card or not. Return To FAQ List
There are several reasons.
One is we need people to write up the solution in detail and send to email@example.com. We do not have the time to spend on incomplete or missing information.
The usb controller families used for making fakes are usually the same ones, over and over again. The Chip families on the left menu bar, will show which ones they are.
These usb flash controller chips have flaws. They can be manipulated and why they are used in the first place. Some of these controllers only support a range of fake flash memory sizing, for others “sky is the limit”, with no limitation at all. This is not something the industry wants to advertise – their mistakes. It affects reputations so they try to keep it quiet. Some people who worked for these companies eventually quit in disgust. Few openly talk or report about it – they can’t. Whistle blowers in any company can expect to pay a very heavy personal price for telling the truth. It takes a special kind of person willing to take the risks for the sake of the greater public good. Return To FAQ List
After any low level reformat with a tool, you should never rely on what the tool says when it finishes. Every repaired item needs to be tested again with H2testw.
If you still have errors you have two choices: try another tool or throw the item away. If you chose to try again, remember that with each low level reformatting attempt you are reducing the life expectancy of the flash memory chip. Generally after repairing successful using a low level reformat tool, that does not pass a new inspection of H2testw indicates a very flawed chip. The best action? Throw it away! Stubborn determination to repair it, not advised, you are only setting yourself up for data loss in the future. A bad chip is exactly that, a BAD CHIP! Return To FAQ List
This happens a lot. There are different causes.
The most common reason is the result of a person just automatically clicking on the tool to start without checking the other options. These tools usually save the settings of the last person who used it. Not good. Never blindly expect the low level formatting tool to automatically know what it is supposed to do for your flash memory chip. If you made sure to run H2testw and also did a manual inspection of the flash chip, you know what the true size is supposed to be. Make sure that the settings in the tool you are using have the sizes set as you know them to be. Remember these tools use MB and not GB. A 1GB flash drive, is 1024MB, a 2GB flash drive is 2048MB and so on. If the sizes are not correct in the tool, change them. Save them. Close the programme. Relaunch. Verify the settings match your item and begin again.
If you have repeatedly reflashed the memory chip, expect it to shrink and shrink and shrink again. Flash memory chips do not like repeated low level reformatting. They hate it! Normally a flash memory chip only goes through this once in it’s life time.
You may have a poor quality chip. The software locked out the bad memory areas. If the chip passes with H2testw after you reformatted, accept the new size.
You may not have used the exact tool needed, but one that is close to the family. The software programmes often approximate for the flash memory chip. If the chip passes with H2testw in your retesting, leave it alone. It is not worth the effort to try and increase it. If you do find another tool and you do get a bigger size, you have exchanged the life expectancy of the chip for size. Is it worth the sacrifice? Return To FAQ List
It usually means that the tool you are using can not recognize the flash memory chip as a rule. This happens. Most often when it is a new chip being used in fakes. In this case you will have to wait. Be patient until someone uploads a tool to a site. There have been cases where people had to wait up to 6 months for a new tool to reach the public sites for repairing. The good news is, when the newer tool appears, the flash chip is usually found and the repair process can begin. So the key is patience, keep searching at least once a month. If you did not use other formatting tools, this is most likey your reason, tool set for you not yet available.
The other cause comes from having experimented in repairs with the wrong tools. This usually can not be fixed. If you did experiment with other programmes, you killed it. Throw it away. Return To FAQ List
This is a tricky one with several different causes:
1) The fake flash reprogrammers set the wrong values for VID PID. If this is the case, hunting in the *.ini files for the software is risky and challenging. If that is the case, fixing the problem is not for most people. You need to have a fair amount of comfort in technical things to determine what you need to do.
2) The ECC was left open in the tool. Remember that someone who uploaded the tool to a site used it before you and the settings will be those of this person. If they were experimenting and left it open, incorrect information may have been written to your usb flash controller chip. If that is the case, the only people who would know what to do to correct would be a vendor or manufacturer of flash drive chips.
3) Wrong Tool In The USB Controller Chip Family. This happens less frequently. In some cases, using a different tool in the Chip Family corrects the problem and recognizes the flash drive storage chip – auto magically. Why is anyone’s guess. Return To FAQ List
1) what did H2testw report the true capacity to be before you used a low level reformatting tool?
2) What did a search on the flash drive storage chip serial report as the capacity for the chip?
You can not have what does not exist. If H2testw said you have 512MB true capacity and if a decode of the chip with manual inspection also says you only have 512MB then that is what you get, 512MB. Remember false capacity is what fake flash memory items are all about. Forget the labels on your item, even if it is stamped on the casing – this information means little. You have a fake, plain and simple. It will certainly hurt, if you spent a lot of money on high false capacity followed by the repair journey only to find out you have restored a tiny memory chip. This has happened to quiet a few people, you are not alone.
Instead, look at what happened to you as a learning experience. You know more now and are wiser too. Share what happened to you with people, spread the word. Don’t feel ashamed. Do you know how many super techie people have been victims of fake flash memory purchases? It’s not how much you know about technology that decides if you are likely to become a victim. It is more about the price you paid, thought this not always true. Mostly it is.
Accept your tiny true capacity graciously. Be proud of the fact you managed to turn a FrankenFlash memory item back to it’s true capacity. Return To FAQ List
You have damaged the item, most likely by using the wrong software tool. We see this when people experimented with tools, not properly researching beforehand. Or in cases where the tool used to create the fake size used the wrong VID PID information leading a person to select the wrong tool. It is one of the reasons we suggest people carefully open the item and do a manual inspection, it avoids accidentally using the wrong tool as the wrong VID and or PID was programmed into the item.
If this happens to you, you lost. Repairing is a gamble and you have been unlucky.
There is no guarantee everyone can succeed in repairing a usb flash memory item. There is no one solution “fits all”. Too many different factors are involved. It is a challenge, an adventure but also risky. While some people succeed, others do not. If you choose to try, understand the risk. Return To FAQ List
It depends on the quality of chip used. As most fakes use substandard chips, a repaired item can not be trusted. It should never be used to store files that are very important to you or where you do not have a copy of the files stored else where.
A dangerous mistake is made by a lot of people who repair flash memory chips. They assume the item is now “good as new“. It is not. In digitally altering the chip, the item often has a small area overused in continuously overwriting information (part of the faking). From a wear leveling perspective, this has reduced the chips life span considerably.
The longer you used your fake before finding out, the shorter you made it’s lifespan. This applies even if you stayed inside of the true capacity. Also if you tried out a number of tools and have done several low level reformats you have reduced the lifespan. Flash memory chips do not like being reformatted over and over again. It is usually only done once in a flash chips lifetime, as it is being prepared in product that will use it for storage.
Repaired items can be used. Just remember, you should not use to archive information or store information you do not have elsewhere. You could consider “Using Up” the item, for example to play videos etc until it wears out. So long as you have the original files somewhere else. In fact, as every flash memory chip wears with time, you may even prefer to use these fakes instead of the good flash memory items you have.
A Tip ! Mark any repaired fake as just that – a repaired fake, so you and anyone else will never forget the item is not to be trusted completely. Return To FAQ List
eBay is the largest source of fake flash memory acquisition for consumers: usb flash drives, mp3 mp4 players and memory cards. Over 90% of all items sold are “Fakes”. The issue on eBay is over 5 years old. Only since Spring of 2008 have eBay members begun to fight back. Before then, little organized action against fake flash memory sellers, eBay or PayPal occurred.
The biggest problem is that consumers are unaware of the cost of flash memory chips. They assume they can buy items at steep discount prices on eBay, especially from the Orient.
The fact is, there is a very small profit margin for true capacity items. Over 80% of the cost of the item is the flash memory chip itself. According to blueloyalpromo and others, approximately 30% to 40% of memory chips manufactured do not pass quality testing and fail. These chips should be destroyed. Unfortunately they end up on the grey market and are used either in toys or to produce fake flash memory items.
The high failure rate during manufacturing must be factored into the final cost of producing high quality chips along with the labour overhead to inspect and test to ensure the chips meet industry standards. That is why the good true capacity chips are not cheap! If more people understood this, there would be fewer victims.
FakeMemorySentinel actively patrols eBay for flash memory items that appear suspect and reports on them.
Together these two sites in the Frankenflash Project are trying to reduce the number of eBay buyers who become victims. Unfortunately because people do not know about the true costs of memory chips, they continue to line up to buy fakes. Many purchase quite a few items in the period of a few weeks. Only when the items fail do they begin to suspect something wrong.
To combat the problem, eBay victims need to fight back. If they do not, you can expect the issue to continue for another 5 years or even longer. A lot of people assume somebody else is doing the fighting. If everyone thinks this way, then eBay will continue to be a dangerous place to bid and buy for flash memory items, indefinitely.
If you are reading this FAQ there is a 80% to 90% chance, YOU are a victim of a fake memory purchase on eBay. If you are upset about what happened to you, then you need to make a contribution of some sort to try and reduce the problem. We would like to see the day when nobody is reading this article because there is no longer any need. Return To FAQ List
A lot of people put this in comments and also write to us. In most cases it is clear they did not read carefully through other people’s comments or read articles. In other cases, there was a problem trying to find the right information. That is why we have written this FAQ (Facts, Answers, Questions). To make it easier for all of you.
You can search the comments at this site.
Also see these articles:
- Repairing Counterfeit Flash Drives
- Repairing Counterfeit Fake MP Players
- Did You Manage to Reprogramme a Fake Flash Drive Bought on eBay?
Subscribe to the feed at this site for comments: http://fixfakeflash.wordpress.com/comments/feed/
Read what others are saying. If you succeeded, help answer others so they can succeed to repair their fake flash memory item as you have. You need to know that members who look after this site also work in other groups for the FrankenFlash Project. So your participation is needed – help others. Return To FAQ List
Currently there are six sites:
- SOSFakeFlash – The Main Site
- FakeFlashNews – TechReporters
- FakeMemorySentinel – Early Detection On eBay
- FixFakeFlash – InspectorTech
- FlashChipTech – TechChips
- FlashDriveFacts – FlashChipTutor
Each site deals with different topics. All work together to fight the problem of flash capacity flash memory products being sold to consumers. The groups have members in different countries and come from very contrasting backgrounds. Most are victims of fake flash purchases, consumers. Some are sellers, who accidentally bought and resold fake flash memory products to customers.
Fake flash memory products are found everywhere in the world, it is truly a global problem. To bring an end to the problem requires that everyone try to help in their own way as they are able. The most important thing to reduce the issue is to raise awareness.
Flash memory chips can and are being reprogrammed to lie about their real size. It results in people losing files and data. Most people have no idea it is possible to do this to memory chips. It is one of the darkest secrets in the nand flash memory chip industry. The public is not supposed to know. Think “defective” if you must, but never believe that people would actually digitally alter the capacity reported. If this becomes common knowledge it is possible consumer confidence will reduce in nand flash memory products. On the other hand, perhaps people will start to pay fair prices for flash memory items. If there is no demand, there will be no supply. Return To FAQ List