Quick'n Dirty way to Fix a fake SD Card

Jul 6, 2012

If you're shopping on eBay for cheap memory cards, you are likely to receive one of these numerous fake products. Hopefully, you can get your money back through a Claim process. But still, should you throw your 32GB card into the bin ?


If a price was so attractive that you forgot to read the buyers feedback for a shop and you end up receiving a 32GB-Class10 card that turns out to be a hacked 2GB-Class2, your first action as a buyer should be:
- read the other buyers feedback on the same item to confirm that it was not an accident and that you've been effectively scammed.
- leave a feedback to warn the others, or if you left a positive feedback too quickly, find the link "Follow up on Feedback Left" on the bottom of the eBay page to review it.
- then head to the link "Resolve a Problem" which will start the procedure to get your money back through a Paypal claim.
Proceeding this way, you will minimize the damage to only a waste of time in the end.

Now you may be tempted to see if you can use the fake memory card for its actual capacity (likely 2GB at best).
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Putting in the balance how valuable is your time compared to the real value of your now-free eBay item will probably convince you not to waste more than 30 minutes trying to make this card usable (not for taking photos or keeping backup of course, but might still be good enough for mp3 players).
So, rather than spending hours reading forum and specialized web sites, here's just a quick'n dirty procedure that you could try first:

Procedure:

Get the following 2 small freeware tools:
The popular tester H2testw 
A simple paritionner that can be used on SD cards: MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition

1. Finding out  how much capacity is actually usable with h2testw
- Start h2testw.exe, click Select Target and select your SDCard
In Data Volume, specify a reasonable limit to test: your card's real capacity is likely to be the lowest possible so try around 2300 MByte. This phase will take about 20 minutes.
- Click "Write + Verify" and let the test run. Looking at the Writing, you will already give you an idea of the real speed index (2MBytes/s=Class 2, ...)
- When the "Verifying" phase starts, expect to see errors in red as soon as the real capacity is exceeded.

2. Setting the card to its real capacity
- With Partition Wizard Home Edition, select -carefully!- the drive corresponding to your SDcard
- Delete the whole partition 
- Create a new one of 2000MB (1.9 GByte)
- Format to your desired standard
- After checking once more that you didn't wipe your main Hard Disk, click on the "Apply" button to make the change effective.

3. checking the fixed card
- Run either a Surface test from Partition Wizard or use H2testw again to ensure that everything now works as it should.












20 comments:

  1. This doesn't correct the card's incorrect rom bios chip ID & Settings. It's better to crush the card and be done with it.

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    Replies
    1. How do you do this? Can you explain? Can you tell me what I will need?

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    2. To crush the card, I would use a vice !

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    3. That information is stored in the controller chip's firmware. For fake USB flash drives, you can usually find the controller chip manufacturer's mass-production utility online. (Google "fix fake flash drive" for more info on this.) For SD cards, AFAIK there's no way to do this, as no MP utilities seem to be available for any SD cards.

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    4. I take that back, a few SD card mass production utilities seem to exist, but not many. You'd probably have to take apart the SD card and Google the part number on the controller to be able to know which utility to use, though. (You can determine the controller with software only on some but not all USB flash drives.)

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    5. *exist on the Internet, I mean

      By the way, if you're wondering the sites that usually have these utilities are flashboot.ru and usbdev.ru.

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  2. my card came to be 4GB....but 4k bad memory in the middle. Thanks for sharing this article. I ordered 5 32gb microSD. Hope this china man refund me.

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  3. cheers, 32gb, went to 3.7gb. lol

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  4. Thanks, went from 128 Gb to 8.... :-(

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  5. Bought a 32GB from AliExpress and as soon as it arrived, I tested it and it was crap. Disputed the order and got my money back. The guy didn't even contested me. He knew it was crap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The remarks on the seller was good. I think people didn't bother testing the whole card. It turned out to be a 4GB (unformatted) card

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    2. many, if not all, of such "positive" raving reviews are by the sellers themselves.

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  6. I did it on my 32gb sd card. and it said to be 25gb. but at the end, there's unallocated 6.1gb partition that seperated. how do i fix this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/

      Delete
  7. Whew, I got lucky. Bought a fake 256GB MicroSD from China and it turned out to still be a 16GB card with 16MB/s read/write speeds. Only paid about $4 for it. =D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Nice :P

      Did you dispute it and get it for free?

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    3. No, hadn't opened it for a year, lol.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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