Two weeks ago, my mom gave me a 32-GB Kingston thumb drive. Yup, it’s a 32-GB thumb drive. I was so hyped with the thing since my 4-GB PQI thumb drive is almost full. I thought I’d have a bigger-capacity thumb drive that I can use for file backup and an additional storage of my freewares.

Then, just last week, the truth was revealed. I was copying files (this is one reason why you should just Copy and not use Cut) from a PC using the 32-GB thumb drive. The files were over 5 GB in size. I checked the backed up files from another PC and I found out that they’re gone. I checked the thumb drive again on my sister’s laptop and found nothing. I tried formatting the thumb drive (using the Windows built-in format utility and other utilities I got) but the task failed. I googled for issues similar to mine and I found out that there are fake 32-GB Kingston USB flash disks being sold.

They are actually 1 or 2 GB thumb drives with memory chips coming from Samsung and controllers from Alcor Micro. They assembled the USB drives and created a firmware which shows non-existent sectors. So as you save more files exceeding the actual capacity, the files are written into the virtual sectors and are lost.

Here are some images of the 32 GB thumb drive I had.

fake1
fake2

If you have a similar 32-GB Kingston thumb drive, try saving files of more than 2 GB just to check if it’s not fake. And if it is, you may bring it back from where you purchased it. Also notice that these Kingston thumb drive can be opened easily. If you’re going to purchase a new USB flash disk, try looking for the “sealed type” thumb drives. I’m sure those are the ones that are legit. Here’s an example of what I call a sealed type USB drive. There’s no way you can easily open it and have access to the circuit board.

The Kingston company should take a look and do something about this issue. It really damages their name.

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