Fake SanDisk USB device?

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I recently bought a 4gb SanDisk Cruzer mini USB flash drive from amazon‘s marketplace. Well, it finally arrived today and I was excited. I opened up the annoying hard plastic casing, then popped it into my machine. Thats when things started to go downhill. I have an older 1gb SanDisk mini, and it detects as ‘SanDisk Cruzer’. This device detected as an ‘AGL’. I was curious why it didnt show up as a SanDisk, so I put it into my linux machine. Under linux I saw the vendor as AGL, revision number as %z!Y, and total space of 1099512 MB!
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So do I have a magical 1TB usb key? As you can see from the picture above, I could partition the drive to 1TB, but errors when formatting it :( So is it completely fake? I was able to format a 4gb partition, and fill it all up. I did supposedly buy a 4gb device, and all 4gb seem to be available. But I dont think I’ll be using it that much… who knows when the flash will go corrupt or die.

I did some searching around, and others have been reporting fake SanDisks on the market. SanDisk knows about the problem, but they wont be offering you a trade-in for a legit one :(

So how good of a counterfeit are these ? If it wasnt for my initial observation when windows detected the drive, it probably would have fooled me. After looking at the device and packaging in more detail, I found a few small things that stick out.

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Here you can see that the print is not straight.

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I dont have another picture for you to compare the SanDisk logo to, because my 1gb one is really beaten up. I ended up comparing it with one my co-worker had. The text is a slightly thicker font, and the flame(?) doesnt go as high in the graphic.

The packaging seemed to be legit. It even came with all the normal stuff… lanyard, three caps, and the cruzer software was even loaded on the device.

Next thing up is to return it. Here I also ran into a somewhat disturbing thing about Amazon’s Guarantee Protection. “Buyers are limited to a lifetime maximum of five claims for Amazon Marketplace, Auctions and zShops purchases.” Oh well… one is gonna be used for this POS device.

So knowing that there are so many fake SanDisks out there, will I buy another one? I’m not really sure…. My 1gb is still working, and I hear that there are other faster (dual channel) usb devices out there.

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  1. Pingback: How To Spot Fake Memory Cards at Garrett Gee

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