Customer Review

2,163 of 2,196 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to detect fake Sandisk micro SD 32GB, 6 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: SanDisk 32GB microSDHC Card only (Personal Computers)
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!
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Comments

Tracked by 14 customers

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Showing 51-60 of 99 posts in this discussion
Posted on 18 Feb 2012 15:51:05 GMT
PD says:
There is company fulfilled by amazon who are selling the micro sd card 32GB for less than 24GPB and when i checked an the sandisk website i found the price there is alot higher.I would like to think i am getting very good value for money but this very low price is making me wary.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2012 17:51:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Feb 2012 18:01:57 GMT
Paula says:
Hi, below is my review of 2 x 8GB SDHC card bought from Amazon direct who use the company you're referring to. I believe you have nothing to worry about if buying from Amazon itself. Hope this helps:

"I purchased two 8GB SanDisk Extreme HD Video SDHC cards from Amazon who were using the merchant Indigo Starfish in Jersey.

The items came promptly. Individually well packaged in jiffy bags by Indigo, inside each bag was a cardboard envelope (labelled, so packaged by, SanDisk).

Each cardboard envelope held
a) the SanDisk Extreme card
b) a 5 year warranty
c) one-year's free subscription to RescuePro (installed and activated with no problem).

I tested each card with H2testw.exe, an invaluable - and free - little programme which is well worth using to test cards as soon as they come through the letterbox: the programme has in the past found I'd paid for a couple of fake cards (but NOT from Amazon)and I managed to get my money back at the time.

The test results were as follows:

Card 1:
Minutes writing: 11:22
Minutes verifying: 7:43

"Test finished without errors.
You can now delete the test files *.h2w or verify them again.
Writing speed: 11.2 MByte/s
Reading speed: 16.3 MByte/s"

Card 2:
Minutes writing: 11:16
Minutes verifying: 7:44

"Test finished without errors.
You can now delete the test files *.h2w or verify them again.
Writing speed: 11.1 MByte/s
Reading speed: 16.3 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4"

As you can see, the testing took approx 19 mins each card.

I will certainly buy SDHC cards from the Amazon company direct again. Because, from the beginning of the purchase:

The price was very good.

The items were so well packaged, it would have been very difficult
for them to get damaged in the post.

It was reassuring to find a written warranty and the free RescuePro
deal with each SDHC card.

My conclusion: trustworthy source, no worries and a great deal all round :) "

End of review. But another point is that, when buying directly from Amazon itself (as in not a seller ON Amazon), you can return them if by some chance you'd been sent a faulty one. The programme mentioned above - a google search will quickly find it to download - is free and recommended by many people for its accuracy :)

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2012 18:25:49 GMT
PD says:
Paula, Hi yes your reply is very helpful and detailed, thanks for the info

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2012 18:32:21 GMT
Paula says:
You're welcome :)I was really glad to read Dr Shajeev Sharma's advice in this thread which is what I relied on when deciding myself where to buy from, so I'm happy to help :)

Posted on 22 Feb 2012 07:06:00 GMT
David says:
Thank you for the helpful and informative review. May I suggest a further offering might cover how to discover whether your Doctor originates from some wheelie bin outside a Chinese factory... Perhaps there should be a star rating system (barcodes would also be helpful) to assist victims in assessing whether they have encountered a cheap cloned fake that won't live up to the packaging... Your efforts are much appreciated.

Posted on 22 Feb 2012 12:07:19 GMT
JFlo says:
Thanks for this, really helpful!

Posted on 20 Mar 2012 13:48:44 GMT
does it work?..yes
is there a serious problem?...no
then get the cheap one!!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Mar 2012 15:01:01 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Mar 2012 15:36:29 GMT
Paula says:
Hi David

The best place I know of to discover whether a seller originates from a wheelie bin is to type into your search engine:

sosfakeflash
and
fakememorysentinel

which will bring up two very informative wordpress sites on the topic to help people recognise and avoid fake selling areas. On the sosfakeflash site I believe any fake card, where from, etc, can also be reported which of course helps the site keep up to date.

I would put the web addresses direct but I believe links to outside websites don't go through in Amazon.

I think it might be a help for anyone who hasn't yet downloaded H2testw to see the result of a FAKE 32gb card I bought from a seller on eBay about a year ago.

It might have some slight typos as I've had to type it out from a screenshot I filed up, but its near enough accurate.

"The media is likely to be defective.
2.3GByte OK (4974277 sectors)
28.8 GByte DATA LOST (60528955 sectors)
Details: 0 KByte overwritten (0 sectors)
9.5 MByte slightly changed (<8 bit/sector,
19586 sectors)
28.8GByte corrupted (60509369 sectors)
0 KByte aliased memory (0 sectors)
First error at offset: 0x0000000000000048
Expected: 0xbeb4dbc6de6aebd1
Found: 0xbeb4db86de6aabd1
H2testw version 1.3
Writing speed: 1.52 MByte/s
Reading speed: 4.21 MBytes/s
H2testw v1.4 "

The test really does work.

In my mind, the best way to prevent fraud is to take action, so:

I contacted the manufacturer of the real SDHC cards to let them know that someone was selling fakes of their SD cards, and gave them the relevant info so that they could take their own action to protect their good name.

Also reported it to eBay and (eventually) got a refund for the purchase.

The H2testw utility is invaluable.

Posted on 14 Apr 2012 15:44:27 BDT
James Carty says:
Thank you very much for the information.

Posted on 2 May 2012 19:45:42 BDT
Venusproject says:
great advice ! I also bought a cheap type 4 off ebay it was full of errors all the time luckily got my money back minus postage. You may get lucky but its always best to buy new from a reputable trader like amazon. You know the old saying you buy cheap you buy twice.