How to Test Fake Flash Memory

With flash memory being able to be manipulated into displaying a set or upgraded fake capacity, there must be a way to efficiently test the flash memory. Not only is this testing critical for end users, it is essential for product manufacturers further up the supply chain to have a reliable way to detect fake Nand flash, otherwise they will be unwittingly producing products with incorrect capacities and creating marketplace chaos as well as soiling their reputation. The industry standard for testing memory is the burn in test, which essentially writes a set amount of data onto the memory, and then verifies said data. Errors signify that the memory is unstable and of lower quality (downgrade), or possibly that the memory has been upgraded to a fake capacity.


By far the most widely used and long-standing champion of burn-in testing for Nand flash is the H2testw.exe program, or affectionately known as the H2 burn-in test. Other benchmark and burn in testing programs have come and gone, all defeated by the upgraders in China. H2 was originally written by Harald Bogenholz for c't Magazin (Magazin für Computertechnik), a German computer magazine, and has been used extensively in the flash memory industry from China, Taiwan, to Korea, since 2008. The same version 1.4 has been in use since 2008 and has never been updated, which just goes to prove the reliability of Mr Bogenholz's awesome burn-in testing program.


Insert the flash memory device that will be tested and open the H2 program.


Using the Select Target button, choose the drive letter corresponding with the flash memory device.


Once selected, leave "Data volume: all available space" selected and "endless verify" unselected. Basically leave as is.


Click the "Write + Verify" button to begin the testing.


H2 will "burn-in" the full capacity of data into the flash memory device, and then verify the burned-in data.


If there are errors, chances are the flash is faulty or has been upgraded to a fake capacity.


As long as the flash IC has been attached onto a PCB with a controller, it is possible the memory has already been faked. Each time flash memory exchanges hands post SMT production, from half finished PCBA, to finished product QC, or the end distributor's inspection; H2 is there every step of the way to verify the memory capacity. Hopefully the champ can continue to defeat all of the most sophistaced hackers and upgraders to ensure everyone gets the memory capacity that they paid for.  


Take a look at our other articles for info regarding how to set a fake capacity, or how to fix fake USB drives.