HOWTO test SD cards and identify fake ones (mostly sold on ebay)

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SD-cards, specially microSD cards, are very popular sine they can store a lot of information on a very small thing which can be read by most devices such as phones, tablets, notebooks and desktop PCs with a $2 card reader.

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[edit] Fake SD cards

SD cards are becoming rather cheap, specially the smaller-sized ones, but there is still a price difference between a 8GB card and a 32GB card. This makes it profitable to reprogram a 4 or 8 GB card to say it is a 32 GB card when it in fact is not. These cards are found in both normal stores and webshops and are specially common on e-pray (pray that you get something remotely resembling what you actually ordered).

[edit] How to test a SD card

f3[1] is a great tool for testing if your SD card is a fake or not.

Simply mount the fat filesystem and run f3write /run/media/you/disk/ and wait hours. Then unmount the filesystem and eject the card and wait 5 minutes before you plug it back in. Now mount the filesystem and run f3read /run/media/you/disk/ and it will test the card.

f3read from a fake "32GB" card with a 8GB flash chip. This card came from "FIVE STAR STORE" under the e-bay username "sseariver2009". They also operate under e-bay users "beautyzz2009" and "victoryduanshop.

If the card is fake then f3reads output will look like this:

                     SECTORS      ok/corrupted/changed/overwritten
Validating file 0001.fff ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
Validating file 0002.fff ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
Validating file 0003.fff ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
Validating file 0004.fff ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
Validating file 0005.fff ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
Validating file 0006.fff ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
Validating file 0007.fff ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
Validating file 0008.fff ... 1553440/   543712/      0/      0
Validating file 0009.fff ...       0/  2097152/      0/      0
Validating file 0010.fff ...       0/  2097152/      0/      0
(...)

This is the output of a fake card sold by "FIVE STAR STORE" which operated under the aliasas "sseariver2009", "beautyzz2009" and "victoryduanshop" on e-bay.

You may also want to try https://github.com/flagsoft/sdspeed

[edit] What to do if the card is such fake

If the card turns out to be a fake and the real size is like 8GB then you can use fstab and create a filesystem on it by entering a size such as 15480000S which is slightly lower than the amount of sectors you would find on a normal 8GB SD card. You can use the "actual" size of a "fake" supposedly larger card but you may not want to store important things on it long-term.

[edit] E-Pray sellers who are scammers and sell fake SD cards

  • PAYPAL 孔岩 "*KONGYAN" using e-bay user "abigdealstore1"[2]
  • PAYPAL "*FIVE STAR STORE" using e-bay user "sseariver2009"[3], "beautyzz2009"[4] and "victoryduanshop"[5]

[edit] References

  1. https://github.com/AltraMayor/f3/
  2. www.ebay.com/usr/abigdealstore1
  3. www.ebay.com/usr/sseariver2009
  4. www.ebay.com/usr/victoryduanshop
  5. www.ebay.com/usr/victoryduanshop
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