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Thread: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

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    Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Wasn't sure which section to put this in so please move and delete this line if this is the wrong place.

    I recently bought a supposedly 8GB USB drive pretty cheaply off ebay from Hong Kong. Luckily for me a user messaged me with their suspicions that the seller was selling hacked drives. For those that don't know what hacked drives are they have basically had the firmware edited to report a higher capacity than the actual chip on board. Anything you try to write to the chip above the actual capacity will then show up as corrupted data.

    I couldn't find a guide that worked for me so I thought I'd make one here to help anyone else that finds themselves in the same position, so that you dont have to spend ages signing up and trawling a forum in Chinese.
    Firstly, UdTools doesn't seem to work in vista or at least not the 64bit version I'm running. So do this on a xp machine and save yourself hours of time.

    First things first, test the drive with this tool. H2testw 1.4. CLick on english (unless you understand german), click select target then choose your USB drive and then write and verify. The test will run giving you time to make a nice cup of tea.

    The results from my test was as follows, confirming that my drive was actually 2GB not 8.
    Code:
    The media is likely to be defective.
    1.9 GByte OK (4095232 sectors)
    5.9 GByte DATA LOST (12440320 sectors)
    Details:4.4 GByte overwritten (9330240 sectors)
    0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
    1.4 GByte corrupted (3110080 sectors)
    1.5 KByte aliased memory (3 sectors)
    First error at offset: 0x000000007cfa0000
    Expected: 0x000000007cfa0000
    Found: 0x00000000aa55aa55
    H2testw version 1.3
    Writing speed: 7.94 MByte/s
    Reading speed: 16.8 MByte/s
    H2testw v1.4
    Next step is to find out which controller chip is used using chipgenius

    Make sure your usb device is selected and the take note of the VID, PID, vendor and part number.
    These will help you to search for the correct tool to use on the iFlash database with some luck someone will have the relevant info for your drive already listed and the software available for download. If not, some google searching should get you what you need.

    I chose the drive that I got because it looked easy to crack open, so I did. (This step is probably not needed, so dont worry if you dont want to crack open your drive). Controller chip is MW6208E and the NAND memory chip is FBNL52AHGK3WG. Some searching around suggested that this was the same as MT29F16G08MAA which confirms the H2testw scan that this is a 2GB chip. There was no program listed for my VID and PID on iFlash but it seemed that other people with micov controllers used UdTools. The guides I found all used MPTools, which I couldnt get to work even in xp.

    The next steps are actually very simple but I wasted hours signing up to a chinese forum and downloading around 10 different versions of Udtools before realising vista might have been the problem.

    I moved over to the xp machine and used UdTools1.0.4.5_20080910 which detected my drive right away.


    The drive will show up somewhere on the list depending on the arrangement of your USB drives. Click on the number next to it to start re-flashing the drive to the correct size.



    After retesting with H2testw everything is back to how it should be.

    I hope this guide helps someone out there, if you have any questions or the links are broken, leave a message and I'll try my best to help.
    Also check this site for more info and a list of ebay users to avoid sosfakeflash and be sure to send in your fake drive info to them.

  2. Received thanks from:

    Blastuk (15-12-2008),chiark (15-12-2008),s_kinton (12-12-2008)

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Interesting, although an epic money-saving fail on your behalf. When you can buy a Corsair Flash Voyager (pretty much the best around) 8 GB drive for ~&#163;15 from Scan, why bother trying to save a few quid getting one from ebay...?

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    You have to hand it to them, thats a pretty simple way to make a few extra quid.
    □ΞVΞ□

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Yup, moral of the story. You get what you pay for. although technically.. I didn't

    I got the drive for under six quid, a tenner is a big difference for me (yeah I'm cheap) as I want to keep the costs down for the project I have planned.

    I got my full refund through paypal so basically I got a free 2GB drive for my troubles. Luckily this is big enough for my needs so no loss.

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Thanks for sharing

    While the guide is useful to those that have been stung, I think the fact you have uncovered the practice is probably more useful in the long run.

    I will continue to use suppliers I trust for all future flash purchases.
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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    My case has already been reported to SOSfakeflash; they are working on their material for fixing fake/defective flashdrives...:

    I bought a Kingston DataTraveler 2GB on eBay. It arrived looking very good, in solid packaging and with a case of convincing quality. But it lost/corrupted data when larger amounts were put on it, and tested defective with H2testw.exe Kingston ignored my warranty claim. I believe this was a counterfeit drive. Chipgenius.exe reported "PnP Device ID: VID = 1221 PID = 3234", "Chip Vendor: micov" and (controller) "Chip Part-Number: MXT8208".
    However, I popped open the case, after having had no luck at all with the HP program or a couple different versions of MPTools. The actual controller chip inside had printed on it MW6208E. So chipgenius was apparently reading fake data, programmed by a counterfeiter...? The ink-based version of the controller ID led me to use UdTools1.0.4.6_20081010, and that worked, to reflash a low-level format that left me with a 1.5GB flashdrive, that tests good with h2testw.exe
    Lucky me, I had my purchase price refunded so all I lost was time, hacking it back to a reliable 1.5 GB ...UdTools was downloaded from H-teeteepee.dubyadubyadubya.flashboot.ru/uploads/files/public/UdTools1_0_4_6_20081010.rar

    If you try it, ignore the flashing of your drive on program startup, it won't start the format and show you any actual progress until you click on the left-side button with your flashdrive's drive letter on it. Keep default settings, at least to start! It worked for me, good luck to any other penny pinchers out there, or people who thought Kingston was a reliable brand, even when shipped from Hong Kong. -HTH

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Uh..

    What a pointless exercise..

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/2GB-D...-23mpbs-Retail

    &#163;4, job done.

    Bigger?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/8Gb-S...lack-Fast-x153

    8GB for &#163;10

    Bigger still?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/16GB-...-USB2-Pendrive

    16GB for &#163;21..

    Buying usb pendrives on ebay is an utterly, utterly pointless task these days - there's simply no advantage.
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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoo View Post
    Uh..

    What a pointless exercise..

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/2GB-D...-23mpbs-Retail

    £4, job done.

    Bigger?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/8Gb-S...lack-Fast-x153

    8GB for £10

    Bigger still?

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/16GB-...-USB2-Pendrive

    16GB for £21..

    Buying usb pendrives on ebay is an utterly, utterly pointless task these days - there's simply no advantage.
    was an interesting post nonetheless

    my friend bought a fake memory stick pro duo 16gb which turned out to be 2gb from ebay.. he payed more than a 2gb was worth though -.-

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Well, I think this is useful for anyone stung on ebay. Thanks for taking the time to experiment and write up (even if I don't have a knackered drive!)

    If you do buy something off ebay that is fake, and you paid with paypal, just report it to your card issuer and the transaction will be refunded sooner (in the case of egg, immediately) or later (in the case of others you may need to fill out a form)

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Hello
    i'm newbie and i sell usb flash drives on
    how can i find the flash model number for kingston sandisk and corsair usb flash drives?
    thanks

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Hi dindio,
    The current version of chipgenius can be found here http://dl.mydigit.net/2009/0406/chipgenius.html


    This should tell you the info you need.


    Just an update on the flash drive I originally posted about.
    I reflashed it back then and it was fine, speeds where a bit slow.
    Was using it on and off every week or so.
    Then about two weeks ago it died. Keeps asking to be formatted every time its inserted.
    May be fixable with another flash but ive been too busy/lazy and its not critical.

    Also just noticed over 8k views. Hope the info has helped someone.

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    Smile Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Hi! I recently boughy a Kingston Datatraveler 64 GB from E-Bay, only to find out that it is a Fake. I tried to format it, but Windows XP Pro tells me it can not finish format, or this Drive can not be formatted. I cant get any Data off it or on it, if I try it tells me it is not formatted. Any suggestions on how to fix this and make it a workable USB Drive?Thanking you in Advance, yours dinkydy

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Hi dinkydy,

    Thats what my drive ended up doing, have you tried reflashing it with the tools posted above?
    I cant find my one at the moment so I'm not sure if it will work once it cant format.

    Either way you should report this to ebay, paypal and your credit card company as your drive isn't usable and isn't what was advertised

    Good luck getting your money back and fixing your drive.

    -merp

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    Smile Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    HI Merple,
    Yes I tried everything you mentioned above, but nothing seems to work. I tried the Site for the Genius Chip, but I cant read Chines and couldnt find english Translation. It looks like it is of no use to me, although my Computer says Drive is OK and working properly and has Capacity of over 61GB.
    I just cant format it to make it work. Thank you for your Help, Regards dinkydy

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    Hi Merple, Today I got an Original Kingston Datatraveler 150 64GB and guess what, it does exactly the same Thing. I tried transfering Movie Files from my Computer and it went OK for about 10 Minutes and then it stuffed up. it dropped out and tells me it isnt formatted. i have contacted Kingston and am waiting for the Reply. Is it possible that my Computer is to blame, I cant see why, as I have a 16GB Scandisk Cruiser and an 8GB Super Talent from cheap as Chips and they both work fine. I let you figure this one out and wait for your Response. Thanking you dinkydy.

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    Re: Guide to fix hacked USB drives

    dinkydy, where you you get the genuine Kingston drive from? How do you know it is genuine?

    Buying things like this on E bay is high risk, and the savings are really not worth it, when you can by the same thing from a UK retailer like Scan, Novatech, and other specialists within the UK where you are more likely to get what you ordered, and if you don't, it is easier to get redress.

    Personally I tend to buy my USB sticks/CF/SD cards from 7day shop in Jersey, but there are lots of UK retailers - just Google 'flash memory' for them. Here is a selection:

    http://www.scan.co.uk

    http://www.novatech.co.uk

    http://www.7dayshop.com

    http://www.memorybits.co.uk/

    http://www.mymemory.co.uk/
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