ValiDrive is a free tool that validates the true storage space and Read Write errors of USB flash drives. In this post, we will see how to download and use the tool on a Windows 11/10 PC.
Mass storage devices often offer alluring deals, but what’s the guarantee they are not fraudulent? You may spot a 2 Terabyte drive online for a price as low as $20, which may turn out to be only a 64GB flash drive! When you start using the drive, it stores the file system’s directory listing, but once these 64 GBs are filled, it will not store the contents of any additional file. You wouldn’t even notice this until you attempt to read back a stored file.
So, while everything appears to be fine, the file contents will be empty as they were stored at the location where ‘no storage’ existed. Unfortunately, the market is flooded with such deliberately fraudulent drives that never report any errors but simply discard any data write operation where no storage is available.
Validate the Storage Capacity of USB flash drive with ValiDrive
In the following section, we will take you through the step-by-step process of checking the true storage capacity, readability, and writability of any drive connected to a Windows 11/10 PC’s USB port using the ValiDrive tool.
ValiDrive runs a short, random-sequence spot-check throughout the whole declared storage capacity of the drive. It checks that random (unspoofable) test data is successfully stored and retrieved at every site.
Download and launch the tool
ValiDrive doesn’t require any installation and can be launched simply by double-clicking the downloaded file.
Once you double-click on the file, a User Account Control prompt will appear. Click on the Yes button in the prompt to run the tool.
Connect the USB drive
Next, connect the flash drive in question to the USB port of your PC. ValiDrive can check USB flash drives of any size.
If the drive was inserted before the app was launched, you need to physically remove the drive from your system and allow ValiDrive to recognize the removal of the drive. Then, reinsert the drive and wait until ValiDrive recognizes the drive (it takes just a few seconds).
Validate the drive
ValiDrive will show the declared size of the drive. Click on the Validate THIS drive button to begin the drive verification process.
ValiDrive will perform a 576-region spot check to validate the drive’s storage. It will first read the original content of the drive. Then fill the region with random test data and read back the region’s content to verify if the data was stored. Then place the original content back to the drive. It will also check the drive for read/write errors.
Once the validation finishes, ValiDrive will show a map. Each cell of the map represents one of the four results:
- Validated: If the presence of storage on the tested location was fully verified, the cell will appear Green in color.
- Read Error: If ValiDrive cannot perform the read operation successfully, the cell will appear in Blue color.
- Write Error: If ValiDrive cannot perform the write operation successfully, the cell will appear in Yellow color.
- No Storage: If the tested location does not store data, the cell will appear in Red color.
You may also switch to the Monochrome Map view using the checkbox available in the bottom-left corner. To exit the map, click on the Close button.
View detailed report
The next screen on the ValiDrive tool shows a detailed report that summarizes the drive’s access-time statistics. It also provides additional information about ValiDrive’s interaction with the drive.
ValiDrive is available as a freeware that can be downloaded from the official website of GRC.com.
How do I check the true capacity of my USB drive?
Open File Explorer and click on This PC in the left panel. Your PC’s devices and drives will appear in the right panel. Right-click on the USB drive and select Properties from the menu that appears. The ‘Capacity’ option under the General tab shows the stated capacity of your drive in bytes/GB.
What is the typical storage capacity of a USB flash drive?
USB flash drives come with varying capacities ranging from 8 gigabytes (GB) to 1 terabyte (TB). However, 8 to 256 gigabytes USBs are more popular as compared to their 512 GB and 1 terabyte counterparts. Future capacity levels are expected to reach 2 TB.