How to check if an SSD Drive is fake

03 June 2019 by Michael Nuncic

Over recent years, a number of fake SSD drives are now becoming more readily available on the market. With prices as little as £20 and the fact they are for sale on well-known sites such as eBay and Amazon, many people have bought these products with their appeal at a more affordable price. 

Some products being sold online look and sound so genuine many people fall victim to them. There's a high chance when buying a fake SSD drive that they are made from cheap materials and do not offer the same level of performance as the real ones available on the market. Furthermore, there is a very high chance that they will put the data you store on them at risk!

Determining an SSD Drive authenticity 

  1. One of the first things you can check for either before or after purchasing an SSD drive is the distribution logos on the back of the product. Furthermore, as standard these types of products include a serial number on the device, which can then be checked on the manufacturer's website. Usually, with fake SSD's there won't be any of this information available, however, with counterfeits getting ever more similar to the real drives, sometimes even this can be added to appear an authentic product. 
ssd drive with red arrows pointing to serial number and manufacturer logos



2. If you have already purchased an SSD drive and you are unsure whether it is genuine, another simply way of checking it's authenticity is to simply hold the drive in your hands and see whether it feels well made. Usually a counterfeit will be poor quality, lightweight and might have some signs of being badly constructed. 

3. Lastly the most effective and usually definitive way of checking the authenticy of a SSD hard drive is to use a type of software which can provide a health check and performance rating. If a fake SSD can not be determined by the exterior, it will definetely be 

Fake SSD drives are a global problem

Here at Ontrack, we have encountered many occasions where fake SSD drives have made their way into our offices around the world including when a high-ranking employee of a well-known German company sent us an ‘ ‘SSD’’ disk for data recovery. The disk has been purchased online for a small cost and then was used to hold company information. When our engineers opened the drive, they quickly realised why the data loss had occurred.

Instead of an original circuit board occupied by a two terabyte memory chip, our engineer found a common and cheap chip (that would have normally been found in a cheap USB stick) being weighed down with an aluminium block instead!

Further investigation of the product showed that the built-in USB stick was reprogrammed not only to display capacity of 2 TB, but also to behave as if it actually had that capacity. So every time the flash memory stick memory was exceeded, any new data added was replacing the old saved data. The result was that any data that had been previously saved had been overwritten and could not be recovered. 

Summary

So when you think that an offer or price tag is too good to be true, the chances are that it is and the product is most likely to be a fake. If you do buy a cheaper than average storage device there is a very high risk that you will lose the data you store on it. And, if your data is overwritten – like what happened in the above two cases – there is no chance of recovering that lost data.

Your best bet when buying storage devices is to buy from a well-known brand on their own website itself rather than through websites which have sellers uploading thier own products such as Amazon or Ebay. Additionally, you can check for an average price range of the product you are interested in, this way you will have more of an idea if the product is genuine or not.

For more information on the Ontrack data recovery services see https://www.ontrack.com/uk/services/data-recovery/

Load more comments


New code