Deal With Fake Memory Cards and Flash Disks

Its easy to deal with fake memory cards and flash disks. the basic requirements is literacy and your ability to follow instruction. Below is a roundup of all you need to know.

What Are Fake Memory Cards?

Fake memory cards are counterfeit or inferior products, usually referred to as clones. They usually come with the same name as the original memory card/flash disks but their performances are very poor and usually lead to data loss.

Fake memory cards are usually defected rejected products that have too many bad sectors which will cause data loss or instability of the memory card, which have been marked for destruction. These memory cards/Flash disks are then taken by unscrupulous workers or personnel who design fake labels and put these memory cards/flash disks for sale.

They make huge profit from this, while buyers experience huge important data loss. Cloning is fraudulent because you are reselling abandoned, counterfeit and fake products.

Why Do People Buy Fake Memory Cards/Flash Disks?

Everybody wants to get the best products at the cheapest possible price, without paying attention to the odds. We equally want everything at our finger tips. The main reason why people buy fake memory cards includes:

  1. The need to cut cost – So many people try to save money even when they know it is unwise.
  2. Convenience of buying from street traders – Laziness causes people to buy anything they see because it is readily available.
  3. Urgency – We fail to buy these little necessary things and then end up buying them when they are very necessary, putting us at the risk of buying fakes.
  4. Ignorance – We are aware of fakes and know we might buy fakes but still want to gamble.

Why Do People Sell Fakes?

People say that some business thrive on the ignorance of some other people. Above all, humans are naturally lazy. Reason why people sell fakes includes the following:

  1. People are lazy to go to stores and buy original memory cards,
  2. People are penny wise but pounds unwise. So many of us want it where it is cheap and readily available.

I have bought a memory card from a dealer and discovered it was fake, the difference between the fake and the original was just 500NGN. Luckily, he also knew it was bad and offered to change it for me. Extra money was spent on transportation to his store and that was the price I paid. – Matt Ndu

How can I spot fake Memory cards/Flash Disks?

Spotting fake memory cards/flash disks can be very difficult, especially the ones with an almost exact label. But then, they can be spotted if you pay attention to the following:

For reasons best known to cloners, they always leave a hint; only smart people find these hints. Most people know how to check memory cards after buying but not before buying. I will include how to spot them before buying.

Physical Check – Before Purchase

Check Design:

Disk Fake vs real notch
Disk Fake vs real notch

Take your time to spot differences in the pictures below

Check the texts/font colour, size, and type. Left – Fake, Right – Original Notice the alignment of texts

Check for Color (Tone), labels, the cuts and corners, the reverse side, text, font colour and size.

Sandisk box - Techgyst
Sandisk box – Techgyst Spot difference in certification labels

Please visit Manufacturers page for more high resolution pictures of their cards, use above tips for proper comparison.

QR code:

Some manufacturers include QR codes on memory card packs, check for the codes and scan them; they are unique codes for that particular product. An example of manufacturers with QR codes includes ADATA

Technical Check – After Purchase

Do not use your card for important data once you receive it. First test it with the following methods:

First Method

Fill it with random data or data that you can easily replace. If you encounter the following problems:-

  • Corrupted data
  • Frequent need to reformat
  • Difficulties with saving files
  • Extremely sluggish performance especially with large files
  • Over heating

The memory is defective or fake.

Second Method

You can also test your flash memory with a program on Android and on your PC.

On Android – Using SD Insight

Download the application from Play Store, run it and work your way through all the options and menus, there is much to discover.

Insert your SD card and in seconds your SD card information is displayed in a simple format.

See information such as manufacturer name and date, product name and serial number and validation of the SD Card against its class rating for the minimum data transfer rate.

SD INSIGHT – Android app test screen showing SD card information

 How SD Insight works. It’s really easy. 

  1. Download and install the SD Insight app from the Google Play app marketplace.
  2. Insert your SD card into your Android cell phone. (Note: You may need to turn off your cell phone to do this).
  3. Launch the SD Insight application. In seconds your SD card information is displayed in an easy to understand format on the cell phone’s screen.
  4. You can see information such as manufacturer name, date of manufacture, and the product name and serial number. Click the Menu button to see more detailed information about your memory card.
  5. If you have more than one memory card in your device, you will also be able to see details for each of the memory cards.
  6. You can also view validation of the SD Card against its class rating for the minimum data transfer rate (e.g. Classes 2, 4, 6 and 10.)
  7. If you need more information, please visit SD Insight FAQs

On PC – Using h2testw

This program was written in German by [Herald Begeholz and c’t Magzin for computer technik] – incomplete

How h2testw works. It’s very easy.

Screenshot of h2testw program on PC
Screenshot of h2testw program on PC

Screenshot of h2testw program on PC


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 than the actual size then you can use the “only” option and input the size you want to test.

Screenshot of h2testw program on PC - Test results and summary
Screenshot of h2testw program on PC – Test results and summary


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.

What To Avoid When Buying a Memory Card/Flash Disk

  1. Avoid online stores, except manufacturer’s official stores.
  2. Avoid street traders or hawkers – they usually buy cheap memory cards and sell them cheap too. These cards are usually fake memory cards.
  3. Avoid cheap memory cards. Cheap cards are fakes. You buy 32GB card at 1500NGN and expect it to be original? You are making a mistake. An original card sells for 4000NGN, depending on seller/store.
  4. Avoid stores or shops that are far from your home. If possible, go to stores that you can get to in about 10 minutes, stores that are very close to your home. If you buy from stores that are far, you will take much time to get there and ask for another one, and they might not collect or change it. You cannot locate a street trader, so buying from such merchant is a big risk, you must avoid this. Even when you do, they will deny so you have to avoid them too.

Where To Get Original Flash Disks

  1. Manufacturers online store.
  2. Manufacturers wholesale and retail stores.

Visit These Sites For More Information

Please note that the terms used on these sites are technical and you might get confused.

Every Finish line is the beginning of another – Mtray

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