PINE64
On counterfeit SD cards - Printable Version

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On counterfeit SD cards - tkaiser - 04-18-2016

Fake/counterfeit SD cards are a real concern for anyone trying to buy a reliable SD/TF card. You get them from every retailer since they sometimes don't even know that they sell fake cards. And trying to make 'good deals' almost always ends up with a fake SD card.

Compare with this nice article here:
Quote:I recently got about 20 64GB Micro SD cards for some project at various online sources (eBay, Ali, etc). 17 of those cards are fake.

17 out of 20. Hey, that's only 85 percent! Wink

Fake/counterfeit SD cards have less real capacity than the controller signals (most of the times they are also way slower than they should be). So if you insert this card into your PC it shows 16 GB capacity while it might be just 8 GB in reality. This card will work more or less fine until you exceed the 8 GB limit.

What does this mean for burning Linux and Android/RemixOS images.

You will be able to burn any Linux OS image that doesn't exceed this size without any errors. You can also later resize the rootfs to the faked capacity still without getting any error. But you will get in trouble for sure if you start to write data on the card the moment you exceed the card's real capacity since data that will be written beyond the card's real capacity is lost. Filesystem errors will occur, the FS will be turned read-only, applications and the system might crash/freeze. But this will happen later when you try to use the Pine64.

With Android/RemixOS it's different. Android images are meant to be burned using Phoenix Card. This tool tries to detect the card's capacity, then formats and partitions the card in a way that the whole capacity will be used. The size of all partitions is fixed except of the data partition. This will be resized to the max. Since the data partition is somewhere in between the other partitions Phoenix Card will move some partitions beyond the card's real capacity if you got a counterfeit card. In this case Phoenix Card will already fail burning the system partition so you will end up with the last message "[boot]Burn success" followed by a single line containing "Error" (when the Error is thrown Phoenix Card has tried to write the system partition and then tried to verify a successful burn by verifying checksums... and fails here):

[Image: attachment.php?aid=107]

So if you run into this situation think about testing your card now. Most probably you use a fake card and in case you used it before simply didn't take notice due to the different useage/partitioning. A fake card could be used with a Linux image on a Raspberry Pi since years without a single error but will fail already when trying to burn an Android image with Phoenix card due to the totally different partition scheme used by Android.

This is all well known since years and the Pine64 folks should create a quickstart guide that recommends testing every card prior to useage. It's easy and will save you time and hassles.


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - jl_678 - 04-18-2016

(04-18-2016, 02:56 AM)tkaiser Wrote: Fake/counterfeit SD cards are a real concern for anyone trying to buy a reliable SD/TF card. You get them from every retailer since they sometimes don't even know that they sell fake cards. And trying to make 'good deals' almost always ends up with a fake SD card.

Compare with this nice article here:
Quote:I recently got about 20 64GB Micro SD cards for some project at various online sources (eBay, Ali, etc). 17 of those cards are fake.

17 out of 20. Hey, that's only 85 percent! Wink

Fake/counterfeit SD cards have less real capacity than the controller signals (most of the times they are also way slower than they should be). So if you insert this card into your PC it shows 16 GB capacity while it might be just 8 GB in reality. This card will work more or less fine until you exceed the 8 GB limit.

What does this mean for burning Linux and Android/RemixOS images.

You will be able to burn any Linux OS image that doesn't exceed this size without any errors. You can also later resize the rootfs to the faked capacity still without getting any error. But you will get in trouble for sure if you start to write data on the card the moment you exceed the card's real capacity since data that will be written beyond the card's real capacity is lost. Filesystem errors will occur, the FS will be turned read-only, applications and the system might crash/freeze. But this will happen later when you try to use the Pine64.

With Android/RemixOS it's different. Android images are meant to be burned using Phoenix Card. This tool tries to detect the card's capacity, then formats and partitions the card in a way that the whole capacity will be used. The size of all partitions is fixed except of the data partition. This will be resized to the max. Since the data partition is somewhere in between the other partitions Phoenix Card will move some partitions beyond the card's real capacity if you got a counterfeit card. In this case Phoenix Card will already fail burning the system partition so you will end up with the last message "[boot]Burn success" followed by a single line containing "Error" (when the Error is thrown Phoenix Card has tried to write the system partition and then tried to verify a successful burn by verifying checksums... and fails here):

[Image: attachment.php?aid=107]

So if you run into this situation think about testing your card now. Most probably you use a fake card and in case you used it before simply didn't take notice due to the different useage/partitioning. A fake card could be used with a Linux image on a Raspberry Pi since years without a single error but will fail already when trying to burn an Android image with Phoenix card due to the totally different partition scheme used by Android.

This is all well known since years and the Pine64 folks should create a quickstart guide that recommends testing every card prior to useage. It's easy and will save you time and hassles.

Hi,

I see all these comments about counterfeit cards and it makes total sense.  However, there is one thing that confuses me.  It is clear that if you purchase cards from questionable sources (asian online marketplaces, eBay, etc...) that the likelihood of counterfeit goes up astronomically.  However, what if you only purchase brand name cards directly from reputable sellers like Amazon and the like.  Obviously, there is no guarantee, but I think that the likelihood of counterfeit goes way down.  Right?

My $.02 is that it is worth spending a few bucks to buy a card from a known vendor and avoid the headaches later, but that is me.


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - tkaiser - 04-18-2016

(04-18-2016, 07:47 AM)jl_678 Wrote: However, what if you only purchase brand name cards directly from reputable sellers like Amazon and the like.

Then you can still get counterfeit cards: http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1RNL5P1V2FY5C/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00P3NMVVU

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Memory-Micro-UHS-I-Class/product-reviews/B00MNT86NE/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_one?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=one_star&showViewpoints=0 (read through the symptons and compare with the many reviews here that talk about the same behaviour when running Android on Pine64)

Here: counterfeit card from Best Buy: http://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=507&pid=4458#pid4458

And so on...

And sure, avoiding sources where you get most likely only fake cards is smart. But you'll never know. So always check after purchase and get a refund immediately instead of wasting your time with unreliable hardware leading to all sort of errors that are attributed to software or 'the Pine64 itself' later since you almost forgot that the card could be the real source of problems.


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - psychedup - 04-18-2016

I'll add my 2 cents, too - I don't have my pine64 yet, and haven't had to deal with any counterfiet cards, but...

I have been working on a project setting up an email & web server on my raspberry pi 2, migrating from an old x86 PC. This was my first time doing such a project on the pi. Everything installed just fine in Linux and worked, but the webserver was noticeably slower than it was on the x86. Still usable but disappointing. Then I remembered that I set it up using an old microsd card that I took out of an old cell phone - it was an old 16GB no-name card. Worked just find, but a speed test rated it at Class 2. Meanwhile, I had a 32GB Class 10 SanDisk card sitting here still in the box. So I transferred everything onto the newer, faster card, and now everything runs as fast or faster than it did on the x86 PC.

So it just goes to show, it is worth it to spend a little extra and get a good card!


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - tkaiser - 04-19-2016

(04-18-2016, 11:15 PM)psychedup Wrote: So it just goes to show, it is worth it to spend a little extra and get a good card!

Of course. But the funny thing is: You don't need to spend more money to get a 'good' card. You just have to realize how the SD card market works. There are brands that buy cheap NAND dies and questionable controllers on the spot markets, that invest in marketing a lot and sell you cheap/unreliable stuff for twice the price.

And there are just a few manufacturers where you get quality. And if you start to realize that a Pine64 or any other SBC is not a digital camera but some sort of a computer you also start to realize that the 'speed class' is mostly irrelevant when you buy cards. 

Pine64 is limited to ~22/23 MB/s sequential speed anyway (as most other Allwinner SBC) and the most important performance factor is random I/O. So take care that you choose cards that show high random I/O performance especially with small record sizes that are from one of the few manufacturers that build their retail products from both their own NAND chips and own controllers: http://forum.armbian.com/index.php/topic/954-sd-card-performance/

And directly after purchase always check the card. There is no alternative to it since you never know what you bought (see above). It's easy and worth the efforts.


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - Shady2tree - 04-21-2016

Well I am looking at new Micro SD 128g I need one for my tablet/phone/and now PINE64  [no i dont NEED that much space but as a nerd I WANT it]  so I just heard about wish.com and found this card 128G 9$  for 9$ it come to like 12$ SH and im JW what some thought are about this site and this card.

Thank you
Shady2tree


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - androsch - 04-21-2016

(04-21-2016, 11:28 AM)Shady2tree Wrote: Well I am looking at new Micro SD 128g I need one for my tablet/phone/and now PINE64  [no i dont NEED that much space but as a nerd I WANT it]  so I just heard about wish.com and found this card 128G 9$  for 9$ it come to like 12$ SH and im JW what some thought are about this site and this card.

Thank you
Shady2tree
Did you read this thread about counterfeit cards you are posting in? Think about getting a 128gb card for an unbeatable price twice...

Mine is a Sandisc 32gb for about 12EUR, but its tested and it works.

Gesendet von meinem K00L mit Tapatalk


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - Shady2tree - 04-21-2016

(04-21-2016, 12:13 PM)androsch Wrote:
(04-21-2016, 11:28 AM)Shady2tree Wrote: Well I am looking at new Micro SD 128g I need one for my tablet/phone/and now PINE64  [no i dont NEED that much space but as a nerd I WANT it]  so I just heard about wish.com and found this card 128G 9$  for 9$ it come to like 12$ SH and im JW what some thought are about this site and this card.

Thank you
Shady2tree
Did you read this thread about counterfeit cards you are posting in? Think about getting a 128gb card for an unbeatable price twice...

Mine is a Sandisc 32gb for about 12EUR, but its tested and it works.

Gesendet von meinem K00L mit Tapatalk
Yes I did that is why I thought it would be good to ask here I have never used Wish.com and wonder if they are legit or its just a place to sell counterfeit cards on the cheap. did you buy your card off wish? if so can you link it?


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - androsch - 04-21-2016

(04-21-2016, 01:30 PM)Shady2tree Wrote: did you buy your card off wish? if so can you link it?

No, mine is from a local store of MediaMarkt, a famous hardware store in Germany

Gesendet von meinem XT1032 mit Tapatalk


RE: On counterfeit SD cards - Rhymoore - 04-21-2016

I had the same issue with errors during burning of the image to my sdcard, the card i bought was new and i couldn't believe it was a counterfeit... it turned out phoenix software just sucks.
I formatted the sdcard with windows format on computer right click the sdcard, fat32 standard. Then got back into phoenix (but you need to be an administrator in windows 10) and burned the image as startup without any further problems.

@androsch Bought mine from MediaMarkt, too. Sandisk 32gb class 10, 8€ xD