(Fake) Transcend 32Gb Flash Disks now in South Africa
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
like SANDISK, KINGSTON etc.
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?
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…)