Understanding how a fake effects us...
Fakes are mass produced these days. Anything from technology to home goods and if possible food can be fake as well. Much of this comes from overseas because rules and laws within the country does not applied to them or so they feel that way. Moral is obviously not important to them otherwise business ethics would be important. These counterfeit items come from all over the world. But lately during a research and also purchasing some micro SDHC online gave me some insight and one very expensive lesson. We all have a desire to do something new and we try to trust people as best we can in order to get somewhere in our journey until we get cut short from other peoples' doing.
Much of the goods coming from China illegally are usually fakes, the goods that are imported are usually real. It should be obvious that crap they would try to sell through auctions or other similar sites online would be fake since there are no direct say to personal selling. This happens in any country though, so just be weary about it. When a country mass exports goods to other country their reputation is at stake so chances are it will meet the expectation or exceed it. But as we all know those goods can be quite expensive hence there are buyers of fakes. Example is purses sold everywhere that are imitation name brands, they are so close to the real thing that its impossible to tell if a buyer were to check it out.
Much of the fake products can be found on Ebay and even Amazon, people selling fakes are only caught if the buyer(s) speak up, and many might be embarrassed that they were duped and rather not mention it. This is very common upon a person to keep it to themselves even if they were just ripped off. For those reading this, I hope that this can serve as an education or just as a reminder that we live among thieves and need to do your research or even speak to others online or in-person just to find more information before making a final decision.
We all know camera and cell phones are pretty popular and they all require some type of expanded storage. Micro SDHC has been popular and is a growing technology for many devices since its much more compact with some enormous storage space ranging from 4gb to 32gb and the 64gb are soon to be out as well. Some packets are fake just looking at it, some come in packages that seem like the real deal. Real deal meaning that they come in what an original chip would have.
Much of these packaged chips are on eBay and even the sellers may or may not know if they are fakes because not many order them and test them. They order them and resell them online immediately but the ones that are overseas has a 99.9% chance to be a fake and this is from experience not just being opinionated. Obviously this has happened to us, hence this hub to warn others. Much of them organize themselves fairly well, usually as a factory of some sort and offer to manufacture the chips as you buy them.
The market for MicroSDHC is very demanding and usually the sales are quite fast, when we received the chips, they all seem normal but after testing them we realized that it was not what it seemed. Here is what happens, when you request chips of certain capacity, they reprogrammed any junk chips they have to show the capacity you want and then repackage them to sell. Alibaba dot com is easily a fake hoarder for tech goods, and any site similar and there are a good amount of these sites.
How to test...
There are many different methods of testing for fakes. If you purchased a micro SDHC from ebay for a very low price, chances are it's a fake. When you start using it and it freezes or does not hold what you saved and its always asking to be reformatted then its safe to say it's a fake. A fake is a chip that is reprogrammed to show you a different value then the original. So the capacity is false and when you try to record on that space it will fail and causing the system to freeze and glitch. There are a few programs that can be used to detect counterfeit chips and might even be able to repair it, but it depends on if it is worth fixing. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you use the adapter to connect to the card reader, it has a very high chance that it will not pick it up, until it has been re-sized to the correct capacity.
There is a program call h2testw that can test the chip for the correct capacity, it could be found by googling online or downloaded here. Now the chip might not be able to be read using the adapter so using a usb adapter instead can be useful since the only way that the program can help is if the computer picks up the chip.
For linux users there is a program similar to h2testw which is f3, which can be downloaded at here as well. Other information about fixing MicroSD cards can be found at http://oss.digirati.com.br/f3/.
The above picture is what the program looks like and you can select the drive that will be tested, in this case it is the E drive. The data volume is the size that you want to test, if you have a feeling that the capacity is smaller the the actual size then you can use the "only" option and input the size you want to test.
The above picture shows the results that was tested for 110MB from a chip labeled 32gb. And on the text side you can see that there is a 9.2MByte data lost after verifying the 100.7MB which means that this chip is only 100MB and is trash for the price it was purchased for and not worth it to fix. But if it was a decent usable size then it might be worth the fix.
How to fix a fake
There are a few ways to fix the fake, one of them is to format with a genuine windows cd, this means that the MicroSDHC might need a usb adapter connected while the pc is booted up and when the format/install screen shows, you need to choose the MicroSDHC drive to be formatted and installed. Some people choose the option to remove the harddrive before formatting the MicroSDHC but that is not necessary to do, since the format gives an option of drives to choose from. This has worked for many but some had no success with this. If it does work it will set the MicroSDHC back to its original state and capacity.
Another way to work around the unusable capacity is to fence it out. This is not a complete solution because if it is formatted it will go back to its "fake" state. To do this you can use Bootice which can be googled and downloaded for free. Use this only when you know how much capacity the drive has. This is a quick solution, but remember that if it is formatted on the pc or phone it will go back to what it was.
Another method which is to reflash the chip entirely, but you need to have the VID and the PID to do this, and the program to obtain would be chipgenius which again can be googled. This will give you the needed. After getting the ID needed you can go to www.flashboot.ru/index.php?name=iflash and input the VID and PID and check if they chip has a flash that it can use to correct the capacity.
Just keep in mind that these are fixes that may or may not work, but these fixes are what many used and we all had success and failure rates with them.
What to do...
The best thing to do before buying anything is to research it, as we had our problems with fakes as well, we bought and was going to list it to sell because we figure hey why not give people chips that they can afford, with how the economy is we thought we can help but did not expected to get duped at every turn, and we had to put the products off the listings we had, taking the lost is ok, but we did not expect people to be so untrustworthy.
We used alibaba at the time since we had some luck with them, but from experience, technology is one that is hard to work with. Just in case anyone reading this runs into a company that calls themselves century-focus.com, just be careful. And if anyone has any insight for us please leave a comment.
Some links to downloads are down, I'll update it as soon as I can.
© 2012 Dave Rogers