Solved Are cheap USB drives known to have problems?

Dell / Inspiron 530
February 4, 2016 at 15:05:54
Specs: Microsoft Windows 7, 2 GHz / 4GB
Several years ago I acquired several SanDisk USB 2.0 drives, 32GB and 64GB. I developed a batch file to backup selected files from my Windows desktop to the the USB drives. Works as expected.

Now I need USB drives with greater memory. Tried some cheap 128GB drives from China, had problems. Recently tried more expensive but still cheap 128GB drives from a US seller, same problems.

Here are some observations re the problems experienced with the less expensive (read cheap) USB drives:
- Using my batch file, the first folder copied seems to copy OK, including subfolders and files. But the remaining folders copy the top folder to the USB drive, no subfolders, no files.
- Even when I drag and drop folders to the USB drive, often times many folders/files do not get copied.
- When a folder is copied successfully, the "size on disk" folder property is generally substantially larger on the USB drive than on the hard drive.

Are there parameters within Windows that I need to set so these USB drives can be used to successfully make backups? Or are these cheap USB drives to be avoided because they are not reliable? Or something else?

Thanks.

Steve

Steve


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✔ Best Answer
February 4, 2016 at 17:00:30
Here are links with tools to test the functionality of the flash drives:

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/how-to-...

And

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/test-an...

If you wish to run any of tests it will be interesting to see what results H2testw gives you.

message edited by btk1w1



#1
February 4, 2016 at 15:24:20
If it's critical data I'd be inclined to have it on DVD besides "any" brand of sd card... And i wouldn't trust "cheap" unknown etc. sd cards anyway... Go with the well known makes?

Also be aware that drive size may be limited by the actual computer involved... They don't all handle larger capacity "sd cards/flash drives". You can get around a given computer's limits by using a usb-sd card adapter.

Overall sd cards/drives are not for long term/serious/reliable storage... More for temporary porting/carry8ng data around - knowing it's safe on more secure media elsewhere.


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#2
February 4, 2016 at 15:39:25
USB flash drives? As stated above, they're best used for temporary storage, not long term.

Did you change the formatting or are you using the default FAT32 format? My guess is the "size on disk" discrepancy is due to the difference between the NTFS 4k cluster size vs the FAT32 32k cluster size. And don't forget the file size limitation when using FAT32 is 4GB-1byte.


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#3
February 4, 2016 at 16:18:12
Have you tried to format the flash drive with NTFS?
FAT has it's drawbacks if it comes to large file sizes and high number of directories.

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Related Solutions

#4
February 4, 2016 at 16:32:37
Be aware that many of these cheap flash drives are actually fakes, that is they are small drives that have been altered to display a much larger capacity than they actually have. This is a particular problem with larger capacity drives from outlets like eBay with sellers in the orient. The packaging of these drives is often very well done.

Windows can handle drives of 128 GB and much larger with no problems at all.


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#5
February 4, 2016 at 17:00:30
✔ Best Answer
Here are links with tools to test the functionality of the flash drives:

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/how-to-...

And

https://www.raymond.cc/blog/test-an...

If you wish to run any of tests it will be interesting to see what results H2testw gives you.

message edited by btk1w1


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#6
February 6, 2016 at 11:28:48
Thanks all of you for the advice. I did the H2testw on both drives. The H2testw outputs were similar, here is one of them:

The media is likely to be defective.
8.0 GByte OK (16879544 sectors)
28.9 GByte DATA LOST (60631112 sectors)
Details:0 KByte overwritten (0 sectors)
0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
28.9 GByte corrupted (60631112 sectors)
0 KByte aliased memory (0 sectors)
First error at offset: 0x00000002031f7000
Expected: 0x00000002031f7000
Found: 0x0000000000000000
H2testw version 1.3

I have asked the Austin, TX based seller for a refund. Learned my lesson re cheap, no-name USB drives. Appreciate the help.

Steve


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#7
February 6, 2016 at 11:48:28
Thank you for the post back and the feedback it contains...

Useful lesson/confirmation for all...


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