how to avoid fake bargains and make sure you don't go wrong

how to avoid fake bargains and make sure you don't go wrong

A 512 GB microSD card sold for less than 20 euros on Amazon? Or less than 10 euros on other sites? The temptation is great to buy as the price is attractive. But what are these offers hiding and what are the precautions?

Too good to be true …

First of all, you simply need to compare with other models and other sales sites to see if the price and features are not suspect. For example, a Huawei microSD card is a blatant scam because the Chinese manufacturer only offers NM owner format cards.

Then, as always, beware if the case looks too good. Good plans exist, but when they are too good, it is often that there is a freelance … Thus, on the e-commerce site Wish, we found an offer for the microSD PNY Elite card. The 512 GB model was thus sold for 18 euros … per batch of two units. The good deal if you are looking to get ripped off! The official card is sold for more than 100 euros on Amazon …

Read also : Buying guide: how to choose a microSD memory card for your smartphone

The devil is in the details

Before checking out, pay special attention to the printing details on the product photos – hoping that the pictures of the products sold are good. Have a little game of differences. The color, the fonts used and especially the nomenclature can put you in the ear. Take a look at the official website of the manufacturer and compare with the photo of the card you want to buy.

Read also : SDXC, UHS-I, Class 10 … what do the acronyms displayed on SD cards mean?

In this case, as you see below, the differences exist and are numerous. The information presented on the official card is not all found or in the same way on the alleged PNY card sold on the e-commerce site.

To get to the bottom of it and show that the matter was a draw, we ordered and received, a week later, the microSD card, with an SD adapter and a USB drive.

The latter is in microSDHC format, which is strange because the 512 GB card is supposed to be in microSDXC format. Normally, the card should not be read by the reader. And yet … it is recognized, which means that it is actually a microSDHC card, so in theory 32 GB limited.

Make sure you have not been misled at reception

Inserted into the computer, the card nevertheless displays a total capacity of 500 GB. So this purchase would have been a good deal? Not necessarily.

First, aWith the CrystalDiskMark test software, we see that the bit rates are rather low: around 19 MB / s in reading and 14 MB / s in writing. Weird for an announcement card on the site 100 Mb / s.

512 GB card does not reach 15 GB of storage

Next, to test the capacity of this card, we used the H2testw software, which performs writing and verification operations. In order to speed up the procedure, it usually suffices to test the first 64 GB.

How to check the capacities and performance of your microSD card

Launch the program and click on English to switch from German to English, then click on the button Select target and choose the unit corresponding to the microSD card. only and enter the value to test (64000, in our example).

Finally, click on the button Write + Verify to launch the test (click on the image below to enlarge).

The result is final: only 14.7 GB can be used! It is therefore actually a 16 GB microSD card whose capacity has been manipulated to make believe 500 GB. Precisions that this small verification operation can also be carried out on a USB key whose capacity seems dubious to you.

Also to discover on video

Try reformatting the card

You should therefore not use it as it is because you risk losing data. With any luck, you did not use the card as soon as it was received and did not take photos or videos which were never recorded due to lack of space.

The best thing to do is to return the product until the withdrawal period has passed. If it is too late, however, you can try to reformat it.

In the Windows 10 search box, at the bottom left of the toolbar, type score creation and launch the disk management program. Right click on the 500 GB partition of the microSD card and select Delete volume.

A new, unallocated space appears in black. Select it, then right click. Choose New Simple Volume. An assistant is displayed. Click on next, then enter the size that interests you (we recommend a multiple of 1024). This size must be less than the valid size indicated above by H2testw. Double click on next and choose FAT32 as the file system.

Then click on Next then on finish to start the formatting operation.

Attention, it sometimes happens that the cards bought in this way are of poor quality and that they do not like this treatment. It may therefore happen that they give up the ghost during these operations.

Anyway, if they have survived, we then advise you to test all of the new capacity of the microSD card with H2testw, to verify that it is reliable. If not, all that remains, alas, is the trash!