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How to detect fake Sandisk micro SD 32GB
on 6 February 2011
Any attempt to look for some advice to buy a genuine Sandisk microSD (any strength - in my case a 32GB card for my Samsung GALAXY tab) is met by a plethora of internet-based opinions and information as regards the masses of fake cards flooding the markets these days....most originating from some wheelie bin outside a Chinese factory.
Human that I am, I looked around for a week and realised that dependable sellers (Amazon, Play.com, PC world etc) were all selling a Sandisk 32GB card for £ 70-85 while the shady ones (Amazon marketplace, eBay etc) were dishing them out at £25-40! Hence, I decided to try my luck (and money) and bought one card from eBay after an extensive search. It cost me £35.00 + £1.98 and the seller was a `power seller' with 100% feedback. Nothing could go wrong......or I assumed huh...?
As explained below, it was a fake and after a bit of wrangling (and legal threats!), I got my money refunded. Wisdom dawned upon me and I then bought a genuine one from Amazon UK for £69.99 which was delivered free inside 24 hours! Being at the receiving end of a con, and in the absence of any constructive advice available, I have made the following tips to help the next customer - hope this helps:
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENUINE AND FAKE Sandisk 32 GB micro SD: (see my self-explanatory photographs for each point)
1. Package: The genuine pack is sealed and cannot be split open. The fake is just pasted at the edges and my fake item was all loose inside. Again, as far as I am aware, Sandisk does not provide any SD adaptors (Kingston does) but nearly all eBay items have a `free adaptor' inside the same pack.
2. Check the barcode: If you have a iPhone with a barcode facility (like a Amazon/eBay app), check the barcode on the reverse of the pack. My fake eBay item barcode read 4GB instead of 32 GB.
3. Check the external details: Sandisk, currently only makes Class 2 for its 32 GB micro SD cards and I confirmed this from Sandisk helpline in the US. eBay sellers are selling fakes as `Class 6 - 10' !!!
4. Check the inner details: Once you open the pack, check the card. All genuine cards should have a serial number and a manufacturing country's identity. Fake ones neither have any such details and the external details are painted in a hazy style (see photo).
5. The Catch: When you put in a fake micro SD card for the first time, you will be surprised to find that it reads the correct GB in the properties. Apparently the goons have made a software which enables the card's storage properties to give out a false capacity. One way to check this is to copy at least 60% date of the `claimed' capacity and check the card in 2-3 days time. There will be lost data in all fake ones.
6. Finally the functionality: Download a simple programme called H2testw (ver 1.4) from the internet. It is German software and the most recommended to test all your portable media including micro SD cards. My fake one showed only 3.96 GB capacity instead of 32GB as claimed.
7. Where to buy: spend the extra bit of money and buy from genuine big dealers. Amazon is always one of my foremost places but keep away from Amazon Marketplace since the same firms also sell in eBay i.e they are mostly shady and refunds will need a lot of wrangling. Of course, you might occasionally be lucky (as yours truly had hoped!), but one would probably need to be as dumb as me to follow my steps (till I became wiser!.
Hope these steps help the next prospective buyer. Feel free to correct me if you do not agree!