Hao Jie Chan's Kingdom: November 2015
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built of paper.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fix a 8Gb Pen Drive

Never in my mind I thought that I would find a FAKE pendrive in my house. Here I am, holding one. My mom bought this like years ago and it broke just weeks after it was purchased. I knew something was wrong but never had the time to dig deeper. (Click on the picture for the actual size photo)

Our Main Guest today!

The gut of the flash drive. I even opened the casing to see the controller code. It was futile.

Today, I was searching for an answer for this. I thought it was just a simple corrupted sector or memory. Googled whole day, tried all sorts of formatting tools, from Windows built-in formatting tool to the HP format tool, but all were unable to complete the formatting. The Windows Formatting says that the disk drive is "Write-Protected", and changing the registry key of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies to 0 did not work at all.The Low Level Format Tool returned Device I/O Error  for Format Error Occurred at Offset 0 and so on for all 8Gb of memory location.

Then, I stumbled across the Chip Genius tool. It shows the chip and vendor information.

This is after I have fixed the drive. Before this it showed  something like "山寨黑盘" which means it might be a fake drive from China. Anyway, nothing can be worse, perhaps I can at least salvage what is left of it.

Google showed me AlcorMP, a software they used to program the controller of the USB disk before selling the disks. This is how they "fake" the memory size of the disk. ( do correct me if I am wrong, I'm not so sure about this myself)

Tried the first one, failed. Second one, failed as well. Turned out I need to find the one which will work with my Firmware. The info is listed as "F/W EF66" as shown in the picture.

Google pointed me to http://flashboot.ru/files/file/53/ , where the translation for the comments showed promising result for my firmware. But before that, I need to make sure AlcorMP recognise my disk.

Following the steps from Formating USB with Manufacturer Tool - USB Drive Format Utilities - reboot.pro , I added my VID and PID for IgnoreVIDPID and VIDPID , which in my particular disk is 00117788 into AlcorMP.ini file.

Run AlcorMP.exe as ADMIN ( this is very important as I could not load the driver without admin access) and this will pop up.

Click Start and it will start to scan for bad sectors and restore the disk to its default value.

Mine actually became 1.4GB only after the process.( verified using H2testw)
I hope this post will be useful for those who struggled to fix a broken or "possible Fake" flash drive. Until the next post, have a good day. :)


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Author: Chan HJ
An enthusiast in papercraft. Paper model designing sounds fun too! More about me at my Blog Bio or