darnubiz Ebay Fake Flash Seller Alert USA – Mystery Of a Kingston DataTraveler USB Flash Drive

Posted on January 1, 2009 by


What behavior is worse than being an eBay seller of fake flash devices on eBay? An eBay member victim of fake flash devices who tries to sell the counterfeit drive(s) bought to other eBay members.

The FrankenFlash project has see this a few times in the last six months. It is extremely rare but it has happened. Here is the most recent case.

darnubiz is an eBay seller recently caught selling a Counterfeit (Fake) Flash USB Kingston DataTraveler Drive. Based in the United States, darnubiz sells electronic goods – occasionally. The drive sold to an eBay Member was a Kingston DataTraveller advertised as 8GB.

A review of what darnubiz buys shows that this seller/buyer is no stranger to computer products and recently bought several flash drives.

darnubiz drives bought


The KINGSTON DT100 USB PEN DRIVE 2.0 16 G FLASH MEMORY 16GB drive darnubiz purchased from ebay seller homeshop*

KINGSTON DT100 he bought


is documented to be a fake in homeshop*, see homeshop*’s feedback

and the drive sold to the new eBay member victim, FakeFlashHot was shown as:

Kinston He sold


The photo appears stock, clean and professional.

FakeFlashHot said:

Counterfeit falling apart Flash Drive; having Kingston Logo and 16GB label with actual size of 8GB (that size was given in the auction, to be fair).

Has NO serial number. PC wouldn’t recognize it as Kingston. Drive does not hold USB connector retracted as you try to insert it into PC. The circuit board does not even fit properly inside of its casing & the holes in it do not match the holding pins inside. I have my finger burned with hot and electric charge on chip trying to disconnect the drive from PC when its plastic shell felt off.

Total disaster.

What a fake!

SOSFakeFlash had TechInspector investigate this case. It is pretty hard to ignore the evidence. darnubiz bought the drive from homeshop*, realized he had a fake, took the drive apart (explaining why it came apart too easily for FakeFlashHot), located information to reprogramme the drive to make it a lesser capacity fake (8 GB). He was clever enough to make sure that he did not use a picture showing the 16GB that FakeFlashHot reported was on the drive in his ebay listing. darnubiz was trying to cover his tracks.

FakeFlashHot was quite puzzled by the drive. The information sent to SOSFakeFlash was very detailed, allowing InspectorTech to do what InspectorTech does best – investigate. The results received from InspectorTech were disturbing. SOSFakeFlash does not spare fake flash sellers of any kind.

eBay is a reflection of the world. Good. Bad. Victims are often very noble – they fight for the cause, they help in reporting fake flash sellers, they warn others. Many in the early days gave up their possibility of a refund by leaving immediate negative feedback (it much easier now to get a refund when leaving negative FB) – a personal financial sacrifice made for their fellow eBayers. But not all victims of fake flash are noble – darnubiz has demonstrated this to all. Fortunately those like darnubiz are rare.

This mystery of the Kingston DataTraveler usb flash drive occured in the United States. The volume fake flash seller, the eBay victim buyer/reseller and final fake flash ebay member victim all in the same region. So do not think that all fake flash shady doings are in the Orient. There is no region of the world being spared – except Antarctica?

If you buy a flash device from a person who does not generally sell such a product and find you have a counterfeit, do some research on what the seller buys – it could be an attempt to hand over a fake purchased to someone else. If you need help – contact us and we will try to dig for details to determine if your seller is reselling fake flash purchased from another Major fake flash seller.

For the record, FakeFlashHot’s data for the drive in question:

output from H2testw 1.4
The media is likely to be defective.
985.0 MByte OK (2017408 sectors)
6.8 GByte DATA LOST (14362496 sectors)
Details:5.1 GByte overwritten (10771872 sectors)
0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
1.7 GByte corrupted (3590624 sectors)
1.5 KByte aliased memory (3 sectors)
First error at offset: 0x000000003d910000
Expected: 0x000000003d910000
Found: 0x00000000aa55aa55
H2testw version 1.3
Writing speed: 8.50 MByte/s
Reading speed: 10.2 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4


Chip Genius v2.64 – Chip Database Rev. 2008-12-18
Device Name: + [D:] +USB Mass Storage Device (USB2.0 Flash Disk USB Device)
PnP Device ID: VID = 0000 PID = 0000
Serial Number: 2008081611210981
Revision: 2.20
Device Type: Standard USB device – USB2.0 High-Speed
Chip Vendor: (No match record)
Chip Part-Number: (No match record)
Product Vendor: USB
Product Model: 2.0 Flash Disk


It is hard to tell what the orginal size was. The results indicate that whatever tool used to reprogramme the drive was not an exact match. The wipe out of the VID and PID is easy to achieve, you just need to enter whatever identification or non identification you want when you do a low level format. It was not a very good reprogramming job.