Warning about fake SD cards Warning about fake SD cards

Warning about fake SD cards

Thomas S. Thomas S.

Recently we have experienced several customers having problems with the camera due to having bought fake SD-cards from other sellers. Unfortunately, there is a large market of fake SD cards. Often the fake SD-Cards do not perform as stated and are of a smaller size than stated on the product. 

Here is our recommendation on how to avoid buying a fake SD-card and how to identify a fake SD-card.

General advice to avoid buying a fake SD-card

  • Only buy from trusted resellers - or buy the SD cards directly from the Paralenz webshop. Read here about the recommend SD cards.
  • eBay is known to have a large problem with sellers distributing fake SD cards. 
  • Use your common sense. If the price is much lower than the general market price, there is a high chance that the SD-card is not genuine. 


Identifying fake SD-cards

  • Inspect the packaging and print on the SD card.

    Fake SD-Cards will often have poorly designed packaging with print errors or contradictory information. 
    The SD card will also look different from the genuine one. In figure 1 below is an example of a fake SD-card vs a genuine one. In this case, it is difficult to spot the fake one, but still, there are noticeable differences. An example is the size of the U3 logo. Notice that the genuine SD card is identical to the official picture from SanDisk.

20180412_123416.jpg20180412_123457.jpgSanDisk Extreme<sup>®</sup> <i class="no-caps">microSD™</i> UHS-I Card
Figure 1: Fake vs genuine SD-card and an official image from Sandisk.com.

(The genuine SD-card is just worn)

  • If in doubt whether the SD-card is genuine software can be used to analyze the SD-card. 
    • Download the software h2testw, from this site. (Windows only, sorry Mac people)
    • Follow this guide to analyze the SD card. Note this process can be very long and slow. 
  • If the software reports errors with the SD-card size or the write speed is much slower than the stated speed, there is a high chance that the SD-card is fake. In figure 3 the SD-cards shown in figure 1 were tested. It is clear that the fake SD-card was approximately four times slower than the genuine and far slower than the SD-card speed class rating. See figure 3 for the speed class specifications. 
  • If you are in doubt of the result please don't hesitate to contact us. 


Figure 2: Difference in speed between the above shown fake and genuine SD-card. 

Figure 3: Class minimum requirements. Source: https://www.sdcard.org/developers/overview/speed_class/

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