About USB hardware problem

  • 1. Background

The USB stick itself must not have hardware problems in order to use Ventoy. This is a basic requirement.
However, many USB sticks are fake or faulty due to various reasons. For example, some contain bad sectors, some have a fake capacity.
For these USB sticks, there will be a high probability of failure during Ventoy installation.

  • 2. How to identify
  • 2.1 Price

You get what you pay for. Don't buy USB sticks with abnormal lower price.

  • 2.2 Manufacturer information

This is also an effective method. When you install Ventoy, the manufacturer information will be shown in the program as follows:

As shown in the red box above Kingston and SanDisk are well-known USB manufacturers.

However, if the specific manufacturer name is not displayed in the red boxes like the above, you must be careful. It may be fake or faulty.
I have received many reports about fake USB sticks like this especially thoes with name Generic xxx.

  • 2.3 Test tools

There are many tools you can use to test the USB stick, for example h2testw/urwtest/chipgenius.
You'd better do a fully read/write test for the USB stick to check that whether it has some hardware problems.

  • 3. Why I don't get any problem in normal use

Some one might say:
    My USB stick is usually used well, why do you say it has a problem?
    I can boot normally by writing an ISO file with other tools, so my USB stick has no problem.

There are two reasons:
1. Normally, we don't save enough data to the USB stick.
2. We save data to the USB stick from the beginning to the end.

For example, if a fake 64GB USB stick actually has 32GB real capacity, you will not find out that it's fake unless you save more than 32GB data to it.
When you write an ISO file to the USB stick with other tools (e.g. Rufus), all the data will be written to the USB stick from the beginning to the end.

Ventoy has a special disk layout (refer USB partition layout for details).
The 32MB EFI partition is at the end of the USB stick, so Ventoy will write to the end of the USB stick when install and this will fail for fake USB stick.

Alough there may be no problem when you use these fake USB sticks with little data in them, there is a big risk because these fake USB sticks usually have poor quality and short lifespan.