How to Identify a Fake Memory Card

Fake Card 2

Memory cards, such as MicroSD cards, may not be bigger than a dime, but are capable of storing immense amounts of data. From favorite music and videos to all your photos from last summer vacation can be accessed instantly on a phone, tablet or any other device. Anytime, Anywhere. Isn’t technology just mind-blowing? On the other hand, fake memory cards are a bad investment, risky to use, and worst of all, they may cause permanent data loss. Fake memory cards come in convincing packaging and are labeled under familiar brand names, such as: PNY, SanDisk or Kingston.

We were inspired to write this post after Data Analyzers received one of these fake microSDs  for memory card data recovery. In most cases, today’s counterfeit microSD cards have much less actual storage than advertised. For instance, a card may have as little as 8GB of actual storage space, but the label on it may read 64GB and your device may also identify it as a 64GB card. Familiar firmware hacks allow this to happen. In fact, your device can and will try to write data to the gigs that don’t exist. This will either overwrite existing data or result in an error. In either case, your data may get corrupted irreversibly (just like the case we received)!

This fake card was in use in an Android phone and while person thought all the photos that they have created while on the vacation actually created virtual files. Files had their names, dates of creation and had been stored in the parent folder. While in fact neither of these files ever existed (except of course while in the RAM just after a shot has been taken).

On top of all this, fake memory card can be so painfully sluggish (slow at reading and writing data) that they may have a serious impact on a device’s performance, causing it to lag or even crash. If your device is having these symptoms, you might want to check if the memory card is genuine before it is way too late.

Fake memory cards, as well as their packaging, look almost like the real deal.

To avoid dealing with fake memory cards, one should always buy smartphone/photo accessories from a well-known retail source. Shopping from a reputable online electronics store is also a safe bet.

Right now, SanDisk’s 200GB microSD card costs $99 at BestBuy. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that a 512GB card on sale for under $10 is a fraudulent or fake memory card.

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