You may see them floating around Shopee and Lazada. Be careful. We bought one of them so you don’t have to.
Having a way to back up your files is not only a brilliant idea but is also becoming more crucial as files become bigger and bigger. Storing them on your PC is simply not enough. You need a third-party storage medium to store them from. Say you need to back up 1TB of files to reformat your PC. There are many ways to do it.
However, you found out that cloud storage options that high are stupidly expensive. So, you go to Shopee or Lazada (whichever you prefer) and try to find a way to store some of those files. All of a sudden, you come across flash drives costing a quarter of hard disk drives but also have double the storage. Impressed, you order them. You even checked the reviews and most of them are positive, so you thought you have no problems with it.
When the flash drive arrived, you plugged it into your PC and sure enough, it read “2TB” or something close. Now, you copy those 1TB files into the drive. Everything seems fine. Sure, there may be slowdowns from time to time but you thought that was normal. After a while, all of your files seem intact and are successfully copied. Now, you formatted your PC as you were confident your files are in the flashy (hehe) flash drive you bought.
However, now trouble comes to play. Suddenly, your files are corrupted. Windows could not open any of them and you checked the drive. It still has half the storage left so now you’re left frustrated with the flash drives that ate your important files. Gone.
This is what we’re going to explore in this two-parter article about these so-called “2TB” flash drives floating around Shopee and Lazada.
DISCLAIMER: Before I get sued to death by the seller, let me just say that they did NOT make this product. They are just reselling it. So before you complain to them that they lied, please note that they aren’t the manufacturer and you cannot contact HP either because this is a counterfeit drive which HP did not manufacture. The box is nicely designed and almost resembles HP’s but it’s not theirs. My PC even registered the flash drive as “VendorCo” not HP.
When I was purchasing the flash drive for testing, I came across this so-called “HP” flash drive. See, it even has the logo on it. It looked metallic and premium. It was also extremely affordable for a so-called “2TB” device. So I purchased it in Shopee and it actually arrived fast in our studio, so that’s a pretty good job.
By the way, I did look into the specs in the listing. It mentioned USB 3.0 speeds. We’ll test that legitimacy later. The listing also mentioned write speeds of about 10Mb/s which is not terrible but nowhere close to actual USB 3.0 speeds of about 600Mb/s. However, this is theoretical and many legitimate flash drives actually are USB 3.0 but don’t reach those speeds.
The drive itself is actually nicely packaged. This hard plastic closely resembles actual HP flash drive packaging. This can trick a user into thinking they got a real HP flash drive. The drive itself is made of metal all around. It has the HP logo in the center imprinted as well as the assumed 2TB capacity written at the bottom. It has a blue USB connector to further trick you that the drive is USB 3.0.
The reason why it is blue, it’s because USB 3.0 and 3.1 connectors usually come in blue but they could also come in other colours like green and red. USB 2.0 is often grey. Of course, it will open when you plug it onto a USB 3.0 port. One major red flag I noticed is that the port also worked on my USB 2.0 port wherein my actual USB 3.1 drives don’t.
HP does sell flash drives but they are far more expensive than what I bought and definitely have less storage. Of course, they are 100% legitimate. The package claims that this tiny drive has 2TB storage and USB 3.0 speeds. We’ll have to test out those claims using CrystalDiskMark 8 (for read and write) and H2Testw (for actual storage space). I’m using a Windows 11 PC for the test. The packaging claims it supports Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and MacOS 10.3 or later. It doesn’t say it supports Windows 10 or 11 but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem
Sadly though, I lost the original packaging before I could take a picture of it but it closely mimicked actual HP flash drive packaging which further increased its deceptive capabilities.
That’s it for now. Please head to the next page so we can get to actual testing.