Many people believe that they can keep using their USB flash disks forever. This is not true. Like every other type of memory storage media, the USB flash disks also have a life period. After so many thousands of read-write cycles, the USB flash disks may fail to work. This is why you should always check the integrity of a USB flash disk before storing your important data on it. You do not have to buy expensive equipment to test a USB flash disk for integrity. You can check it yourself using a simple and free tool H2testw.
The H2testw tool is developed by a German IT magazine CT. It is a very simple tool and does not require any type of installation. You can launch it by double-clicking on h2testw.exe file. The user interface is available in both the German and the English language, so you may have to change the language on the first start of the application.
You have to select one of the USB flash disks attached to your Windows PC if you want to test that disk. After that you have to choose how much space you want to test. Ideally, you should check the entire available space, but you may have to format the disk for that. Clicking on the Write+Verify button shall start the disk testing process.
The while process can take many minutes to complete. In the end you are shown all the statistics of the test – how many megabytes of the storage space was tested, what was the read speed and what was the write speed. The test creates a file with extension H2W on the disk which you can delete later.
Verdict: H2testw is a simple, uncomplicated tool for checking the USB flash disks for errors. This is an effective way of seeing if the target disk will be good enough for storing your valuable data or not.
You can download H2testw from ftp://ftp.heise.de/pub/ct/ctsi/h2testw_1.4.zip.