I Bought 1st Amazon Drive in Steve's "Bad Drive" List

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

Roncerr

Member
The result says the highest valid region is almost the same as the declared drive size(268GB), and the validated drive size is 72.8GB, since that is the location of the first red block. There are very few red blocks and all the rest are green. To me, it seems that neither of these numbers are very meaningful, since they only tell you the the locations of the first non-green block and the last green block. It seems to me that the ratio of green blocks to the total number of blocks would tell you the usefulness of the drive. That is, unless the drive pretends to write data into the first red block, as though nothing was wrong, so any data supposedly there, really isn't there, in which case the "validated drive size" is the only meaningful number. Obviously, I could use some help interpreting the results. Should I return this drive to Amazon since it's "validated" size is too small, even though there are very few red blocks?


Report #1
test date and time 11/5/2023 at 6:36 PM
declared drive size 268,435,456,000 (268GB)
validated drive size 72,827,707,392 (72.8GB)
highest valid region 267,968,610,304 (268GB)
hub or drive vendor usb
hub or drive product mass_storage
serial number 00000000000000043e
 
In my opinion if you have a drive that reports back with information such as what you are seeing, I would be throwing it out as I wouldn't even want to rely on the "working" storage. Who knows how long it will work for.
 
Based on the replies, so far, I should rephrase my question. I 'd like to better understand the results of the Validrive test, not just for the one I bought. It's my understanding, based on my listening to the Security Now! podcast since episode 1, that no drive is perfect and that as a drive is used it continuously marks regions bad, as it discovers them, and doesn't reuse them. It also doesn't lie to Windows about it's capacity. Steve created Validrive due to his experience with certain drives that lie to Windows. As Steve says in his intro on the exe "This misrepresentation is diabolical because a drive with much less actual storage will not be detected during normal use by any operating system." So my question can be rephrased as follows: Is the true capacity of a drive with, say, 99% green blocks and 1% red blocks, determined by the location of the first red block (the "validated" size) or by the percentage of green blocks. If the location of the first red block is indeed all that's important, is the reason that the existence of this red block is hidden in such a way that if a user tries to store data on this drive, beyond the "validaded" size, it will appear to be stored, but in fact, will not be stored, which fact will not become evident until the user attempts to read something that was supposedly stored at the location of the first red block?
 
Last edited:
@Roncerr as per the link James has posted it seems intentional that the first red square controls the validates drive size

  • validated drive size – After filling-in the entire drive map, ValiDrive scans from the front of the drive to find the first non-green (non-validated) region. It uses the end of this region as the drive's validated size, which it reports in exact bytes and common units.
 
Yes, I saw that. I still would like to know the answer to the rest of my question: "If the location of the first red block is indeed all that's important, is the reason that the existence of this red block is hidden in such a way that if a user tries to store data on this drive, beyond the "validaded" size, it will appear to be stored, but in fact, will not be stored, which fact will not become evident until the user attempts to read something that was supposedly stored at the location of the first red block?"
 
I think the answer is we can't be certain what will happen as that is between the controller and the physical storage - just that it's untrustworthy.

it's likely that in this instance if data was stored in the region approximated by the red square then it possibly wouldn't attempt to store it at all.

Edit: I don't think you attached anything

if you want to go beyond what validrive can show them perhaps something like HW2test might suit to test the drive in its entirety.
 
When I tried to do that originally, the picture didn't show up. I'll try it again. See attached .rtf file.
Didn't show any attachment. I believe it will let me post the txt version. Let's see.

Yes, only the txt version can be posted in this forum.

But as I said in the first post: "There are very few red blocks and all the rest are green."
 

Attachments

  • Report for Amazon 256GB.txt
    790 bytes · Views: 99
Last edited:
these numbers are very meaningful
To me.
declared drive size 268,435,456,000 (268GB)
validated drive size 72,827,707,392 (72.8GB)
highest valid region 267,968,610,304 (268GB)
What these numbers tell me is that this drive is unhealthy, untrustworthy, unreliable. The NAND in this device appears to have serious problems. I would only expect this NAND to continue to degrade. This drive should not be used for data storage.

ValiDrive apparently uses the first red area to calculate its "validated" drive size. This works well for clear obvious fakes, but not so much for troubled drives with failing NAND.
 
Example Image Attached
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2023-11-13 025705.png
    Screenshot 2023-11-13 025705.png
    23.6 KB · Views: 72
To me.

What these numbers tell me is that this drive is unhealthy, untrustworthy, unreliable. The NAND in this device appears to have serious problems. I would only expect this NAND to continue to degrade. This drive should not be used for data storage.

ValiDrive apparently uses the highest validated green area to calculate its "validated" drive size. This works well for clear obvious fakes, but not so much for troubled drives with failing NAND.
I fully agree with your second sentence.
Example Image Attached
Thanks. I copied the rtf with snipping tool and saved it as a png. See attached.
 

Attachments

  • Amazon Drive.PNG
    Amazon Drive.PNG
    28.8 KB · Views: 86
Unless your keeping it for research I would return this drive to Amazon.
Thanks for answering my first question. The second is equally important to me, and, although long, it's phrased as a yes or no question: "If the location of the first red block is indeed all that's important, is the reason that the existence of this red block is hidden in such a way that if a user tries to store data on this drive, beyond the "validaded" size, it will appear to be stored, but in fact, will not be stored, which fact will not become evident until the user attempts to read something that was supposedly stored at the location of the first red block?"

A simpler, third question might be: Can I tell Amazon that the drive will definitely not store more than 72.8 GB, even though it was sold as 256 GB.
 
Beyond the validated size data may appear to write, but cannot be read back, the data enters a void of nothingness. Because there are a few red blocks before the end of the validated size suggests failing NAND or a FIRMWARE issue. Who knows what else is wrong with it since Validrive just checks if its a fake.
 
A simpler, third question might be: Can I tell Amazon that the drive will definitely not store more than 72.8 GB, even though it was sold as 256 GB.
They won't know what Validrive is or care. It's simpler just to return it as defective goods.