ValiDrive

  • SpinRite v6.1 is Released!
    Guest:
    That's right. SpinRite v6.1 is finished and released. 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:

    This forum does not automatically send notices of new content. So if, for example, you would like to be notified by mail when Steve posts an update to his blog (or of any other specific activity anywhere else), you need to tell the system what to “Watch” for you. Please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for details about that... and other tips!

    /Steve.
  • Announcing “BootAble” – GRC's New Boot-Testing Freeware
    Please see the BootAble page at GRC for the whole story.
  • 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.)


Fuzzball

Crumudgeonly Old Astronomer
Sep 8, 2023
27
11
California, USA
Hi Steve,

A question re: ValiDrive. I downloaded v0.6.3 this morning. Seems to work OK.

In the process of characterizing the inserted USB drive, can you also characterize the USB port into which it is plugged? For instance, let the user know if it's USB 2/3/etc?
 
As ever, Steve does not regularly appear here, and provides NO support here for apps under development. The only reliable place to interact with him is on his dev newsgroup, which you can learn more about at https://www.grc.com/discussions.htm . In that newsgroup you can learn about the GitLab instance he maintains where you can join to report bugs, and open tickets to make suggestions (although those would normally be discussed first in the newsgroup.)
 
FYI ValiDrive version 1.0 has now been released so I think it unlikely that Steve will make any more changes.
 
I know that Steve likes his windows based things, but there has been a Open Source project on github from a couple of years ago to do exactly this https://github.com/AltraMayor/f3
And yes there is a another reason in that the work on ValidDrive will contribute to SpinRite so there is some use in it.

And one more thing is that it contains f3fix which will rewrite the thumb drive to report the actual amount of storage so you can use it safely.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4ensic
I know that Steve likes his windows based things, but there has been a Open Source project on github from a couple of years ago to do exactly this https://github.com/AltraMayor/f3
And yes there is a another reason in that the work on ValidDrive will contribute to SpinRite so there is some use in it.
I think every fake flash drive detector that exists has been discussed in Spinrite development newsgroup. And this one was too.
And one more thing is that it contains f3fix which will rewrite the thumb drive to report the actual amount of storage so you can use it safely.
I personally recommend you simply get rid of any device that is detected as fake however tempting to keep it around and use real capacity of the drive. That drive is probably assembled from the crappiest, cheap components that were available.

To squeeze any last bit of usable capacity out of it, to hide the fact that carp NAND was used, I would not be surprised if any ECC error checking was disabled, overprovisioning disabled, etc..

It's unlikely any decent quality checking has been done on a device that was intended as a fake anyway.

It's like playing Russian roulette with the data stored on the device.

Even if you don't intend to seriously use it, as long as it can be grabbed, the moment will present itself where you or someone else will use it.
 
Hi Steve. Long time Security Now fan. Thanks for all you do.

I was just drafting up an email for my organization to warn them about the Fraudulent Flashdrive Epidemic. When I do this, I try to put myself into the mindset of the user so I can "dumb it down" for the non-techs.

During this process, and in reading the ValidDrive page, I noticed that it doesn't mention one behaviour in these drives that I found in a drive I had. That is that, as long as it had memory to use, it actually did write the lastest file(s) to the drive, and they could be read back successfully.

Through trial-and-error I found that the last 30GB or so stored were retrievable on a supposedly 128GB drive. That's actually a lot of video (when it's not HD), so if I hadn't been doing some speed testing, I wouldn't have known for quite some time, since I really only revew the most recent stuff to make sure it was saved properly.

This was about a year ago, and I figured I just got a bad drive. But I kept the drive, and when ValidDrive came out, I tested it, and it really only had 32GB. (I suspect that the file system didn't need much because they were big files.)

The reason I mention this is that it shows a more insidious mind at work. Many users really only look at the last few files they've stored, and just keep adding them a few at a time. So using this nasty trick, one could use this drive for years without knowing it's trashing your older files in FIFO-style order. (Maybe FIFT - First In, First Trashed?)

Anyway, thought I'd mention it. Thanks again for all you do to make ME look good at work! :)

- Dayton
 
Thank you Steve!
I am a commercial sUAS (Drone) pilot, my workhorse drone will fly for 32 minutes and record 4K video at 1GB per minute
2 in 10 SD cards would show <recording> for 30 minutes - when reading the cards back around 15GB of video, uggh.
the 2 problem cards show 32GB
actual storage 16GB.
searching purchase records now.

Great App!
 
I am a commercial sUAS (Drone) pilot
@hoochtech Just a thought, you might want to consider "high endurance" or "pro grade" or "extreme" memory cards. They should have a longer lifespan when used for video recording. I'm a big fan of Samsung and Sandisk flash memory.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron