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1418 posts

Uber Geek


# 131136 10-Oct-2013 07:27
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I bought a brand new 32GB MicroSD card off Trademe, but its not working as I expected.

I formatted it (NTFS) and then copied over about 20GB of video files.  When I went to play it on my Windows 8 tablet, they didn't play.  To test things, I tried playing the same files from an external hard drive connected via USB, and they played fine, so the files themselves are okay.

So I reformatted the card, and this time tried FAT32.  I copied just one file, to test, and it worked.  So I figured the problem was solved.  But when I copied the rest of the files, they wouldn't play.

So I reformatted the card, this time not as a Quick Format.  It took about 3 hours to format this way.  I then tried copying files across one by one, checking each as I went.  The first 7 files played (about 4.2GB in total), but any files after that wouldn't play.  The other odd thing I noted is that the transfer speed (from the internal SSD to the card, class 10) for the files that played was about 4.5MB/s, but for the files that weren't playing the transfer speed was about 9MB/S.

Is this a faulty card, or I have made a mistake with formatting?  Or is it something else, like a fake card?  I doubt it, because it was sealed in original packaging.  But I'd like to have an idea whether I've done something wrong, or if it's likely to be a faulty card, before I contact the seller.

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2543 posts

Uber Geek


  # 911872 10-Oct-2013 08:09
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Test it with h2testW - it sounds like it might be a fake, or have faulty flash.

856 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 912045 10-Oct-2013 13:15
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Certainly the symptoms that you report are exactly what I would expect from a fake card.

The fact that it came in what looks like correct packaging is no indication that this is not the case.

That is how the cards come out of the factory.

Usually the company that is marketing the cards is unaware that fake cards have been introduced into their supply chain.

Most likely the person who sold you the card is unaware that it is fake.


 
 
 
 


3025 posts

Uber Geek


  # 912056 10-Oct-2013 13:34
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jpoc: Usually the company that is marketing the cards is unaware that fake cards have been introduced into their supply chain.

Most likely the person who sold you the card is unaware that it is fake.



That is a very charitable view. The seller would usually know that their source wasn't part of the real manufacturer's supply chain and potentially have had problems of their own with the cards.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 912091 10-Oct-2013 14:22
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Bung: 

That is a very charitable view. The seller would usually know that their source wasn't part of the real manufacturer's supply chain and potentially have had problems of their own with the cards.


Whoever owns the brand on the card, the manufacturer will normally be a contract assembler with a factory in China.

Normally, the brand owner contracts one of the big Chinese assembly houses to make, package and ship the devices. They get a few thousand devices made in an initial run and test them and ship them off to media contacts for review. If the devices test out OK, they then order a few million and have them put into retail packaging and parked in a warehouse in one of the free-trade zones at a Chinese port. They devices are then put into containers and shipped off to distributors all around the world as those official distributors place orders.

The brand owner only finds out that they have a problem when retailers report higher than usual numbers of devices being returned by dissatisfied customers. They do not get 100% returns so at first they assume that they have quality control issues and go into damage limitation mode. It usually takes them some time to realise the truth and by then their reputation has taken a big hit.

Often the contract manufacturer does not even know what is happening, some mid-level manager will pull the switch of genuine parts with fakes sourced from another contract assembler and then vanish with his share of the profits.

Funniest of all is when the genuine parts get put into counterfeited packaging and are sold through the kind of unofficial channels that you would normally expect to be handling fake products!

Back when 8G was state of the art for micro SDHC cards, I actually saw fake cards (1 or 2G) in what appeared to be real packaging in major retail outlets in Germany while it was possible to buy what appeared to be a genuine card - speed and capacity checking out - over the net. The genuine card came packed in a plain plastic zip-lock bag.

In case that does not make sense to you, the economics work out like this:

Contract assembler A makes 10 million good parts at a cost to them of $5 each.

Contract assembler B makes 1 million fake parts (with less storage and doctored firmware) at a cost to them of $1 each.

B contacts corrupt manager C who is working for A and gives him 1 million fake parts plus $1 million in exchange for 1 million genuine parts.

B sells the genuine parts through grey market channels at $4 per unit thus making a profit of $2 million.

C does a runner with his million bucks.

A sells 10 million parts - most of which are good - to the brand owner at $6 each booking their $1 million profit.

The brand owner is left with the problem.


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Uber Geek


  # 912105 10-Oct-2013 14:45
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jpoc:
Whoever owns the brand on the card, the manufacturer will normally be a contract assembler with a factory in China.



I know the theory.

One of the TradeMe problem cards at the moment seems to be Samsung 32GB with various Made in Taiwan or China markings and other problems with the packaging. AFAIK all real Samsungs are manufactured in Korea.

The fakes would be obvious to anyone in Samsung's official distribution chain.

If you have to be careful buying off TradeMe you should also be careful selling.

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