Archive for February, 2008

Testing Thumb Drives

February 23, 2008

I bought an 8 GB thumb drive from Kensington, and was happy with it for a month or so, but recently, while trying to copy a whole mess of files over to a new laptop (yeah, I know: I should have used my network; but, in my experience, networks just don’t work at ALL with microSoft Windows), many (most!) of the files and directories were corrupted (something you almost never see with an NTFS file system).

I asked Kensington for software to test the thumb drive, figuring I didn’t want to bother them if I wasn’t sure that the drive was defective.  Astonishingly, they have no software to test their products.  I guess they just take them back and put them in a land fill if any customer has the slightest question.

So, of course, I wrote a test program.  It is not brilliant: it is “quick ‘n’ dirty”, but it does work.  Well. At least I think it does.  It says the thumb drive is not defective.  The program writes a series of large (2 GB) files to the drive, first writing patterns of all “1” and then patterns of all “0” and tests to verify that each of those patterns can be read back successfully. It’s slow, but at least now I have to look elsewhere for the corrupted files culprit.

If you want to try the program, go to and  click on the Software menu entry.