(Fake) Transcend 32Gb Flash Disks now in South Africa

From the Eish! Department

Yes, yes, I know that if something is to good to believe then it is probably…and yes I know that by from the street vendors at the robots is a risky business at best, but this time I was really taken…

As I pulled up to the robot near Woodmead during the December holidays, we were on our way to TopTV to buy an extra remote control, the smiling street vendor flashed his goods (the stuff for sale) and there was a very professionally packaged Transcend 32GB Flash drive.

I opened my window just enough to ask him how much. R150 for one and R250 for two.  Checking if the robots were still red for me I opened my wallet and low and behold I had R150 in it. The exchange happened, the robot turned green and off we went to TopTv.

At TopTv I purchased two extra remote controls for the house (yes you can only buy them currently directly from the headoffice for R50 each) and then explained the lady that I had just purchased a 32Gb drive from a street vendor and wondered if she would please check it for me on her PC (just in case I need to return it).   No problem she said as she plugged it into her Windows XP PC.

“Windows has found new hardware” OK this is looking good I thought. “Disk Drive Detected – G:” OK lets see the capacity. 32Gb Free space.  OK time to format the sucker and see if there are any issues. “Format Completed Successfully” 32Gb Free Space. Yah! For once I have scored a bargain!  Time to go back the street vendor and get another one!

Driving home there was this voice in the back of my mind saying “Something is not right here dude”.  At home I took the flash disk out its packaging again and this time decided to read the paperwork inside also.  At the bottom it stated:

Ordering Information JetFlash V30

Transcend Part Number   –  Capacity   –  Color

TS512MJFV30     –   512Mb   –  Orange
TS1GJFV30          –   1GB        –  Blue
TS2GJFV30          –   2GB        –  Red
TS4GJFV30          –   4GB        –  Green (wait a second this drive is green)
TS8GJFV30          –   2GB        –  Purple
TS16GJFV30        –   16GB      –  Lavender

Wait another second why is the 32Gb not listed here??  Panic starting to set in…

I did a search on the Transcend website – nope there is no “JFV30 / 32GB” listed and definately no 32Gb that looks like the one that I have…

OK time to do a Google search for this model.

FakeFlash confirms what I have been dreading – this is a fake. But how is this possible surely it can’t be if the computer is detecting it as 32Gb?

Well according to another website – fake-memory.com –  the reason is this:

Most memory chips are manufactured in China. The ones that test good are bought by companies

The bad ones went in the skip. But not for long…….

The skips were raided by the FAKERS. These gangs were fitting these dud memory chips into
devices with control chips which indicate that the storage is much larger than it actually is.

The manufactures soon found out and now destroy the dud chips, but it was too late. The FAKERS
had found out that there was easy money to be made from buyers in the West.

So without a supply of dud chips the FAKERS started using 512MB, 1GB, 2GB & 4GB memory in
devices with a control chip that would lie about the capacity of the device. When you buy a device
you can read it as a 8GB, 16GB or 32GB and soon as a 64GB or even 128GB but you are not reading
the memory at all. You are only reading the control chip.

Lets just say that if you buy a 32GB device on an auction site then you will in all probability get a
8GB memory with a 32GB control chip. Once you fill up the 8GB there is no space left and then you
start recording over your earlier work.

Lets say again that you buy a 32GB SDHC card for your camera, to go on holiday with. On your
return you download all your holiday movies/shots to your PC to show your friends. If that 32GB
card was FAKED then you will have NOTHING to show. You may think that your camera is at fault or
just that you are no good at photography. NOT TRUE. Its that BARGAIN card that you bid on and

You did not WIN anything. But the FAKERS did.

Eish!  OK show how does one confirm this bad news?

Well if you are a Windows user then there is an app called  H2testw by Harald Bögeholz that can be downloaded from here.

If you are a Linux user then there is an app called F3 created by Michel Machado with download and instructions found here.

I ran F3 on the “32Gb” flash drive I had purchased…only 768Mb USABLE on the drive…lesson learnt, if it is too good to believe – it probably is…


(Update – 8 April 2011 – Check out this post on how they using this method to produce fake Hard Drives overseas…only a matter of time before it arrives here )

(Update –  17 May 2011 – Check out my post on uses your fake flash disk – or how to make lemonade from lemons…)

MadMike posted at 2011-1-5 Category: Eish!

18 Responses Leave a comment

  1. #1brian @ 2011-2-14 23:41 Reply

    nice article, got duped by the robots today, eish, totally sucks! I also had a feeling something wsnt right but hey..

  2. #2Aubrey @ 2011-3-8 19:53 Reply

    Yes very nice article, sadly these things have circulated all over in SA fast, I am located in East London and have just been caught for a sucker, this guy came around selling them, he also wanted R150 each, so I said I’m gonna test them first, “no problem” so I cut open the sealed packaging (exactly as your picture in your article) and plugged it into my laptop. OK 32GB total space thats great but does it work? I copied a few small files over ok it worked fine, great, I took 3 and managed to knock him down to R100 each, he left. I later wanted to copy some larger files over there and noticed it copies at only like 100KB/s, im like WTF should be a few MB/s, so I found the H2testw app elsewhere and tried, nope also around 100KB/s or something, I thought oh well let me try format it, tried a “fast format” for FAT32 and NTFS in windows 7, nope wont work, windows was unable to format the disk, unchecked the “fast format” option, waited several hours and gave up, I am now attempting to do a format in a command prompt to see the actual available space and will comment again…

    • MadMike @ 2011-3-9 19:14 Reply

      Sad to hear that you were also taken. I suggest you do what I did, use the lanyard ribbon somewhere (so at least you getting some “value” for your money) and throw away the memory stick; or break it venting your frustration (very therapeutic). It is not worth chancing your data on an inferior product. Do let us know how big the drive really is and what you ended up doing with it.

  3. #3Lights @ 2011-3-24 22:03 Reply

    Sounds like I got the best deal here … managed to negotiate the street vendor down to R70 on Alandale.
    Seriously though, got taken for a ride today … wish I had checked this site before buying it. Got home, failed to format the memory stick, checked the web and found this article.
    Should have went with my initial feeling that this was too good to be true, and checked the web first.

  4. #4Ross Ireland @ 2011-3-26 19:09 Reply

    well today i got caught too…..1 bought 1 yesterday and checked it and all was well…. never coppied a thing though… went back today and bought ten for R740, thought it was a deal of a life time and i could sell them off for a profit….. later today my friend informed me it was fake and sent me a link to this page….. i couldnt believe it! though the one i purchaced yesterday is wierdly different.. it came with a silver trancsend lanyard .. coppies at +-3mb/s and ran the app to test it and it filled over 20gb when i left home to go out…. so now im confused….but it was the worst feeling that i was going to scam my friends without even knowing… going to the police tomorrow to report it so hopefully no one else will b scammed…..

    • MadMike @ 2011-3-26 20:48 Reply

      Please take some pictures of yours so that we can post on the site.
      Also please let us know how much usable space there is. Remember the app will write to the drive even on the “fake” or “missing” sectors but then it will try and read the files back and then that is when you will see what the usable space is on the drive. It will be interesting to see what actual chips are being used.
      Best thing is to try and take it back and see if the vendor (if you can find him again) will give you a refund or exchange it for something else he is selling (like a car charger or flag or something).
      Sorry pal, the best thing is to spread the word that way other people will not also be caught.

  5. #5Garrith Cronje @ 2011-3-28 15:06 Reply

    Yup, a friend phoned me and told me he bought a flsh drive like this, he used it on his DVD player and it worked well, however he tried to copy a movie file ( I assume it’s larger than 700meg) and bam, there the shat struck the fan. Tried formatting, no go, useless.

    Sorry to say it, but he got scammed with a al cheapo flashie……


  6. #6Ettienne @ 2011-4-7 02:14 Reply

    Yup, got scammed as well… Just shows you: if it looks to good to be true, it probably is!!!!

  7. #7Shaun @ 2011-4-8 16:54 Reply

    WAHAHA, how flippen kak is that. Also thought a deal of a life time. Only bought 4 though.

    Deal Of A Life Time – Let’s buy 4 Need I say more, nope.

    • MadMike @ 2011-4-8 22:45 Reply

      Worse thing is that there are now Fake “Hard Drives” appearing overseas – guess it will be just a matter of time before that pitch up here! Check 8 April 2011 post for more details!

  8. #8Antz @ 2011-4-18 12:30 Reply

    Yeah same stupid thing happened to me too, i haggled the guy one for 100 bucks and he looked way to eager too sell the cheap product. I got home in excitement and checked that it was what it said it was, yep, 32 gb of usable storage. So i later went to my friends place to copy a 1.2 GB movie. and so it did. so i was convinced i struck a bargain. little did I know that when i wanted to play the movie back home, only 6 minutes of it could be viewed…

    it just proves the expression “YOU get what you pay for…)


    • MadMike @ 2011-4-18 18:37 Reply

      Please run the app and see what your usable size is, lets see what the average is.

  9. #9CLINTON @ 2011-6-13 15:53 Reply

    I was caught for a fool.
    Driving in Sandton, Johannesburg, this Hawker comes up to my window.
    Between all the useless stuff he was selling, he had a Tanscend 32GB memory stick.
    So, I managed to get it for R80 from this guy.

    Wow, I thought what a bargain! Until I got home, and this thing does not work? (I tried for hours, even tied to get the drivers!)
    So I go back to the same intersection, to look for the Hawker, and lo and behold, he has disappeared?

    So here I am, and yet AGAIN, another hawker comes to me and sells me a Memory stick, but a Kingston one for R50 and yet AGAIN I get home and yet AGAIN I am fooled! ANOTHER FAKE!

    The day I buy something off the street that actually works, hell will freeze over.
    BUT that is NOT today

    • MadMike @ 2011-6-13 23:08 Reply

      Please take photos of the Kingston and the packaging so that we can upload and warn others. Sorry you were also scammed. 🙁

  10. #10Ash @ 2011-7-19 22:11 Reply

    Wish I had found this info before I actually went and bought one, I knew that it was probably fake and I felt sorry for the guy so bought it for R120.When I came home tested it and it read 32G free,after trying to copy stuff on it it went dead,no pc or laptop even picks it up.Its now just a R120 donation I would say and the flash is just my receipt.

  11. #11Premkumar @ 2013-4-12 11:34 Reply

    i bought Transcend 32GB USB Flash drive 5nos for Rs.250X5=1250 inr yesterday at mound road, chennai, india. after i came to home and use to my computer, all are Fake and not working ;(

  12. #12H@ns @ 2014-12-23 16:06 Reply

    I bought one (16GB) in the Philippines, and put it in the computer. It did nothing.
    It showed up before the formating, then it kept hanging in the format process. I brought it back to the shop and they gave me a new one. I noticed that the girl put it back between the other products to sell. Strange.. The new one could be formatted, and i can copy files to it. But when i put it in my tv it wont play the movies that i had copied to it. The tv detects broken files, and the files wont play on my pc too. So the stick wont accept any movie files. I have tried several types. And that was why i bought it in the first place.
    Would this be a fake too? The shop was no real shop, it was a stand in the shopping mall.

  13. #13Brinjal @ 2015-9-28 15:26 Reply

    They are in Durban too. I bought two 32 GB flash drives for R100 (Bargain right?) off a street vendor at the Beach Front. Nothing happened when I put it into the computer.

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