Identifying Fake SD Cards and USB Sticks
Edited Step 4 and added info about my mishap with a 64GB card
To get a good understanding I do recommend to read all steps, all tools used throughout this Instructable can be found as a download link towards the end.
It does not matter if you have a USB stick or SD card, the only difference is the connection type and the way it is addressed, in most cases you can find the same memory chips in both types.
Like a hard drive each flash memory not only contains a memory chip but also a controller to transfer the data.
Some areas of the memory can’t be accessed with normal tools as they contain the actual info on the addressing and type of memory.
This is one reason why a 16GB chip never can take the full 16GB, usually between 14.5 and 15.8GB.
So you have the controller taking your data and shifting it onto the actual memory chips. Scannable Fake ID
Here is also the point where all the fakes fool you. Memory chips are addressed in blocks.
See it as a tower with the controller at the bottom and the memory blocks on top of it.
When you start writing to it the first block is being filled, once full the second is being filled and so on.
You see it does not really what file system is used as the controller “translates” it fit for the memory type used.
Ok, I realise I am starting to sound boring here, so skip the technical crap and we move on to the next part.
A format should only be performed when really necessary, in all other case please take the time, select the files and just delete them. Fake ID
A format the wrong way can make the memory slow or in rare cases render it useless.
Never try to multitask and start multiple copy actions onto the same device at the same time!
Not only will the data end up fragmented but the controller has to work overtime and this slows the copy process down.
If you have to copy multiple times it will be faster to do it one at a time compared to several simulatnious copy sessions.
Never just unplug a SD card or USB stick! Always make sure to use the save removal options of your OS.
In Windows you can do a right click on the drive letter and select “Eject” wait for the completion massage or the drive to disappear before unplugging.
On Android you go into the storage setting to safely unmout a stick or SD.
For the Mac I have not clue but am sure there is a similar option, so please use it.
Step 3: FormattingIf you encounter serious problems with your stick / SD don’t try to format it, check the other steps on how to check the device and spot a fake. Scannable Fake IDs
If you are on old geek like me you might still remember those day where we were proud owner of 20mb hard drives.