Flash memory in this day and age is essential for mobile data storage. With the price competitiveness of the flash memory market and their applications in a wide range of mobile storage consumer electronics, many sellers resort to faked memory capacities to earn extra profit. From the China manufacturing segment alone, a big percentage of exported flash memory products (USB drives and memory cards) have capacities that are set higher than the actual available storage in the flash memory. This causes many problems with the storage of data and can and will lead to data loss. Regardless of where the flash memory product was purchased from, it is essential for users to test the flash memory so that the user is fully aware of its condition. The last thing anyone wants is their precious data lost because of a flash memory failure!

By far the most widely used testing program for Nand flash is the  H2testw.exe  burn in program, written by Harald Bogenholz for c't Magazin (Magazin für Computertechnik), a German computer magazine. A quick Google search will yield many results from reputable sources regarding the H2 burn in program, so please rest assured that H2 is the real deal freeware for flash memory testing.

Here is a rough guide on how to test your USB flash memory drive or flash memory card:
  • Insert the flash memory device that will be tested and open the H2 program.
  • Once the device has been recognized, in the H2 program interface using the Select Target button, choose the corresponding drive letter.
  • 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. If the device passes H2, then congratulations, the flash memory is of good quality and should provide years of trouble free service less any unpredictable hardware/component failures.

In all cases that the H2 program finds errors in the flash memory, the data storage of the device can be deemed unreliable and users must proceed with extreme caution if continuing to use said flash memory device.

© 2012 CEI