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14017Re: [ORE_bits] Argh! Fake USB flash drives from Dollorama.

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  • Norm Kummer
    Nov 7, 2013
      Hummmmm ... sounds like what I find in China. There they used to advertise 99G drives when at the time the biggest you could get was 8G USB drives.

      Norm Kummer
      Mobile: +1 613 371-5786
      Skype: norm.kummer

      On Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 6:56 PM, Richard P Cook <rpcook@...> wrote:

      I have heard about fake USB drives before but decided to try one anyway.

      My wife had a USB drive that failed.   I tried several utilities under Linux to revive it but could not.
      I added it to my junk pile and finally got around to cracking it open.   As expected, a microprocessor, crystal and flash memory chip.

      While I was in Dollorama I picked up a $3 1GB USB flash drive.   I plugged it into my Linux box and it mounted under /dev/sdc but failed saying it was not a proper media device.   hmmmm.
      lsusb command reported that the vendor id was 0001 (Fry's Electronics) and the product id was 0002 (does not exist).

      fdisk utility showed that it was a 1GB drive with a FAT16 partition table and four pre-defined partitions.   I decided to zap the partition table and redefine it for FAT32.   This failed and then told me that it was only a 4MB flash drive.   What?
      Now lsusb reports vendor id 2136 and product id 8000.   This is not in any recognized list.

      Multiple attempts to 'correct' the partition table failed.   Googled many different queries until I stumbled on a fake USB flash drive technique where it 'looks' like a larger drive than it is.   They also warn that if the vendor went to the trouble of faking this they are also using the cheapest chips so you might not want to trust it even if you can reformat it to its real size.

      So, I cracked this one open as well and, holy *&$#, it is not even a flash drive!
      There is a glob of black and a serial memory chip:  winbond 25X40AVNIG.    This is a 4M 'bit' chip.

      Well, I probably can resolder the memory chip onto a breakout board and play with it.   $3 for a USB connector and a 512KB serial chip .... sigh.

      Richard P Cook
      613-796-4646  mobile

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