SD card problems

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scottydl

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In moving to a new cell phone & carrier, I'm trying to swap over the SD card (actually micro-SD card) from the old phone to the new one.  It's used for storing mp3's and photos, to be played/displayed on the phone.  I'm getting a "this card needs to be formatted before using" message now, but it won't format no matter what I try.  Here's what I've tried:

- Connected the card through card reader, two different laptops, and two different cell phones just to see if connection method matters (it doesn't).
- Tried to format / check for errors through Windows utility (W7 and Vista), SD Formatter (from sdcard.org), CHKSDK utility in Command prompt, and Disk Management utility after changing the drive letter just to rule out a conflict there.  All failed.
- Attempted quick format, full format (erase), and full format (overwrite).  No change.

I have also confirmed that the card is NOT locked or in write-protected mode, which Windows has claimed in a couple of their error messages.  :p

Is this micro-SD card toast?
 

scottydl

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Thankfully, data recovery is not really an issue.  All the files were duplicates that are stored on my laptop and backed up on an external drive.

Is there any particular brand of these cards that holds up better than another, or are they all prone to eventual failure just based on their hardware?
 

Kim (skyking4ar2) Bertram

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Personally, I prefer SanDisk, have many different sizes, and have used them for years. Have yet to have one go bad.

I have, however, had one hiccup, like you described, but I reseated it in the reader several times and it started behaving.

Just a word of caution, be careful in handling them. Static electricity is the worst enemy of memory devices.
 

SeilerBird

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scottydl said:
Is there any particular brand of these cards that holds up better than another, or are they all prone to eventual failure just based on their hardware?
No there is no brand that is more reliable than any other brand. Usually failure of a memory chip like that is usually caused by mistreatment rather than by manufacturing defect. If it works right out of the box they generally don't fail.

However, the biggest problem with memory cards now a days is counterfeiting. When purchasing memory you should make absolutely sure you are buying from a reputable dealer, like Amazon or B&H. If you buy the memory card on eBay you have a very high possibility it will be a counterfeit. Counterfeits are generally chips that have been rejected by a major manufacturing company and relabeled. One source claims that one third of all Sandisk memory chips are fake:

http://www.petapixel.com/2011/05/20/one-third-of-the-sandisk-memory-cards-on-earth-are-counterfeit/
 

Ned

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I've had good luck with Kingston cards, but SanDisk is good too, as Kim mentioned.
 

Lady Fitzgerald

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skyking4ar2 said:
Personally, I prefer SanDisk, have many different sizes, and have used them for years. Have yet to have one go bad.

I have, however, had one hiccup, like you described, but I reseated it in the reader several times and it started behaving.

Just a word of caution, be careful in handling them. Static electricity is the worst enemy of memory devices.

There is no way I will ever buy SanDisk products again. Several years ago, I had a 16GB card go belly up on me two years into a five year warranty. I emailed SanDisk for an RMA under the warranty and they started playing twenty questions with me. Eventually (it took several days of back and forth emails) they found the answer they were looking for and denied my claim because I had bought it from Amazon under the guise of frustration free packaging; in other words, it didn't come in the difficult to open Sandisk packaging. At the time, nowhere on SanDisk's website did it say that the product had to be in their packaging to avoid voiding the warranty.

I can understand SanDisk being concerned about counterfeit products but they didn't even bother to look at the card before blowing me off. To add insult to injury, in the middle of the questions game they were playing, they asked for my name, address, and phone number. When I tried to decline giving them my phone number (I don't give it out anymore because of companies abusing it), they insisted that they had to have it for shipping purposes (why they even asked for my info before they had decided whether to honor the warranty or not is beyond me). I gave it to them and told them it was to be used ONLY for shipping. After they decided not to honor the warranty and I informed them there was no way I would ever buy the weasels' products again, some moron from SanDisk had the gall to call me (all communication up to then had been by email), which I didn't appreciate since I was asleep at the time (I worked night shift at the time). Since then, when anyone seems to think they just have to have my phone number, I give them mine with the prefix replaced with 555. That way, if anyone calls it, it goes directly to directory assistance and no one gets disturbed other than the person calling the number (and they richly deserve it).
 

tnthub

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Regardless of whose name is on the product, there is always a possibility of a failure with any technology.  I keep several cards of varying capacities and sizes around, as well as a small bucket of flash drives just because stuff happens.  Tapes break and drives fail regardless of the detail of the technology.  Although I have seen streaks (usually a product lot dumped on the market) failures generally seem pretty random at best and often have nothing to do with the brand on the product.
 

John From Detroit

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This is somethign I did not know, and for a fact (That is presonally) have not come across... HOWEVER...

Background (Short) there is a new low-cost computer on the market, the Raspberry Pi.  It uses a MICRO-SD card for it's "Hard Drive".

HOWEVER: not just any card will work, Turns out these cards have different "Generation" levels,  I forget which one the PI takes (Think it's a Gen-5 but not sure) if your card is too old, the PI can not use it.

Appears to me the phone has the same issue.


When I got my Galaxy I was goign to use the MicroSD card I already have (It's in my alternative net connect device) but got a great deal on a new, larger card the next day so I went with it instead. 
 

scottydl

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Now I have to figure out where to order a replacement card from.  Amazon is generally pretty reliable, but even the SD cards specifically listed under "Sandisk" as the maker/seller have some negative reviews that mention suspicious packaging and possible knock-off product.  It's probably a gamble no matter what seller I choose, since I'm guessing Amazon fulfills its orders from various sources.
 

Larry N.

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SeilerBird said:
You might wish to try B&H. They have an extremely high reputation in the camera world.

Agreed- I've always had excellent service and response from B&H, and their reputation is outstanding, has been for a long time.
 

Lady Fitzgerald

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scottydl said:
Now I have to figure out where to order a replacement card from.  Amazon is generally pretty reliable, but even the SD cards specifically listed under "Sandisk" as the maker/seller have some negative reviews that mention suspicious packaging and possible knock-off product.  It's probably a gamble no matter what seller I choose, since I'm guessing Amazon fulfills its orders from various sources.

If the product is being sold by amazon, it's probably alright. Any dealings with their Marketplace vendors is a crapshoot. You can have problems with them even if their vendor reviews are good (you have to actually read the reviews and look for patterns since there are many people who do not know the difference between a vendor review and a product review) and, if you do have a problem and the vendor doesn't make good on it, it takes an act of Congress (or an equivalent) to get Amazon to do anything about it. Often, you can get a better deal from the Marketplace vendor's own website than by going through Amazon (again, caution is required).
 

scottydl

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I decided on a Buy.com purchase (from them directly, not a Marketplace seller similar to Amazon), and I have a Sandisk 16gb micro-SD card ordered for $10.49 (free shipping).  Couldn't really beat that price, so we'll see how it looks/performs when it arrives.
 

John From Detroit

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Condisering the cost of those MicroSD cards (memory is getting down right low cost) you might just wish to walk into a Best Buy, Fry's Flying-J or even a Wal-Mart.

I got mine at Micro-Center (They are on the net as well as sticks and bricks)
Mine is a Poloroid by the way.

But any savings you can get by ordering on-line will be eaten by the shipping cost. Less you get a really really b ig card, and the bigger cards (in that class) are more prone to failure.
 

scottydl

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John From Detroit said:
But any savings you can get by ordering on-line will be eaten by the shipping cost.

My shipping was free.  Of course I always weigh that factor into online purchases.  Generally I can find good deals on shipping, and still enjoy (for many online retailers) not paying any sales tax... which is 8% or more in my area.
 

gkas

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I would not buy a memory card from either Amazon or an unknown vendor.  I buy lots of other stuff from Amazon. The times I've checked Amazon there are far too many complaints of problems with the memory cards, in speed, size or quality.  B&H is stellar in it's reputation for quality.  I've dealt with them for many years and never had a problem memory card.  Also, their prices are among the lowest of any reputable dealer. There is a major problem with counterfeit memory cards.  If Amazon has a Name-Brand card for a lot less then B&H, it's probably counterfeit. There have been lots of discussions in the photo forums pertaining to counterfeit cards. A lot of the big resale companies unknowingly buy bad cards. Real cards are relabeled.  They may be cheap imported cards, cards with less memory, or cards with a much lower speed.  Too many times, the prices on cards are way too cheap on Amazon.

So, if a price seems a really good deal, it probably isn't.
 

Lady Fitzgerald

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scottydl said:
I decided on a Buy.com purchase (from them directly, not a Marketplace seller similar to Amazon), and I have a Sandisk 16gb micro-SD card ordered for $10.49 (free shipping).  Couldn't really beat that price, so we'll see how it looks/performs when it arrives.

Actually, Buy.com is an Amazon marketplace vendor (many Marketplace vendors do business independently of Amazon). And I had a problem with them...once. I won't do business with them again. Hopefully, you'll have better luck.
 

scottydl

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It's hard to tell these days, every company seems to be associated/merged with every other company on some level.  I don't generally boycott entire retailers just because of one bad experience, especially with individual "sellers" that don't necessarily represent the corporation as a whole.  Example would be eBay sellers... I've had a few bad experiences over 500+ transactions, but still continue to do a lot of buying and occasional selling through eBay.  Although I'm not buying this SD card from anyone there.  ;)
 

Lady Fitzgerald

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scottydl said:
It's hard to tell these days, every company seems to be associated/merged with every other company on some level.  I don't generally boycott entire retailers just because of one bad experience, especially with individual "sellers" that don't necessarily represent the corporation as a whole.  Example would be eBay sellers... I've had a few bad experiences over 500+ transactions, but still continue to do a lot of buying and occasional selling through eBay.  Although I'm not buying this SD card from anyone there.  ;)

I won't boycott retailers just over a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. It takes a really stupid mistake or poor handling of the mistake to get me to boycott them. In the case of Buy.com, I had bought a tripod from them that was supposed to have come with a carrying bag. I ordered it from them specifically (through Amazon) because of the bag they had advertised. It arrived sans bag. I contacted Buy.com about it and they insisted that I return the tripod (on my dime) and they would then send me one with a bag instead of them just sending me a bag. I did and, instead of sending me the tripod with the bag, they issued me a refund without telling me they were going to do so instead. When I contacted them about it (I had to originate all communications and getting responses from them was like pulling teeth with tweezers), they said they were out of stock and the item was discontinued. I asked them to go ahead and send the tripod back to me, without the bag, and they said they had already sent it back to the vendor. Appealing to Amazon didn't do any good (it takes an act of God or, in the case of when a Marketplace vendor sent me a cheap knockoff of an expensive paper cutter, a complaint to the BBB to get Amazon to be accountable for their Marketplace vendors). When I went to write a vendor review on the jackals, I found out others had had the same problem with the same item. They had made a mistake in their product description (there never was a bag) and tried to cover it up with B.S. like I received when people complained.

I still will occasionally buy from Amazon's Marketplace vendors but not until I carefully read the vendor reviews. You have to actually read them because many people don't know the difference between a vendor review and a product review so the overall ratings are skewed. If I see a pattern of frequent, especially similar, errors or the vendor responds to complaints with excuses, I avoid them. Curiously enough, I've had only two problems with Amazon (and I do a lot of business with them). One was a DVD that wouldn't play. They immediately shipped me another one without charge on the condition I return the other one within a reasonable time. The other time, I complained about a delayed shipment when the item was still showing in stock. Their response was contradictory but they upgraded my shipping to overnight for free.
 
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