Genuine Verses Fake Counterfeit USB Flash Drives – A Guide – USB Flash Chips Used In USB Flash Drives – Grades A B C D
Posted by flashchiptutor on March 22, 2009
Is the quality or grade of a flash chip important to a usb flash drive, memory card or MP Player? Is it a factor in the wholesale and retail price? Does it really matter? What does a genuine usb flash drive from a brand name use, MP Players and memory cards. What do generic no name brands use? What do fraudsters and scammers use in their counterfeit fake false capacity items? Is it worth the effort to repair a fake counterfeit? If you repair a fake, what do you need to know? Why is this information important to buyers and resellers?
There is an old saying – you get what you pay for. Most people including this author have been bombarded with too much advertising over the last 20 years promoting the myth of “more for less”. It has entered our subconscious. There is always a range in price windows but the truth is: “pay less, get less” , “pay more – get more”. Victims of a fake flash devices such as MP Players, USB Flash Drives and Memory Card learn this the hard way. There is a rock bottom air price for everything – go below it and you will not get what you expect. See USB Flash Drives Best Price Bargains Fair Value To Sell Or Buy 8GB 16GB 32GB
The price of an MP Players, USB Flash Drives and Memory Card is not only related to the features the item might have, it is related to the quality of the flash drive chip(s) used. There isn’t a lot of information available to the public on the subject, but the FrankenFlash Project found some on the grading system. It is not exactly the sort of thing manufacturers want people to know. They would prefer consumers ogle the prices, not why the “prices” are what they are.
The following information is being reprinted here from an old site flashdrivedirect.com The new site for flashdrivedirect is now at http://blueloyal.com/ The old site published the information back in 2007. While the flash drive sizes they quoted are dated, the grading system for flash chips has not changed.
Reported by flashdrivedirect:
The Scoop on Chips
USB Flash Chips are divided up into 4 different classes/standards.
Grades A, B & C. And unofficially, Grade D
Tier 1. These are bona fide premium chips with the flash chip manufacturers name & serial number imprinted on the chip itself. These chips are produced by manufacturers such as Samsung and Hynix. They are the most expensive, but also the most reliable offering a lifetime warranty. These are the chips that Flash Drive Direct uses exclusively.
Tier 1 OEM flash chips. These are made by legitimate chip manufacturers but are without the manufacturer’s name imprinted on them. These chips are reliable but are not of the same standards that the manufacturer would consider putting their name on it.
Here’s where the quality issues & problems begin. These will be some of the least expensive flash drives but have a very high failure rate. These chips are called recycled or reclaimed flash chips. They are the chips considered waste from the “wafer” that the original manufacturer does not want and considers to be garbage. These have a 30% – 40% failure rate. They are sold by the pound.
The unscrupulous flash drive supplier will actually imprint an original manufacturer’s name on the Grade C chip. It may read Samsung or Hynix, etc. but is most definitely junk. In a country that is infamous for knock-offs such as jewellery, watches and handbags……..why wouldn’t here be knock-off flash drives?
Payment: All off-shore purchases are pre-paid to a Chinese bank before shipment. What is your recourse if the product fails? A reputable supplier such as Flash Drive Direct gives you protection by US commerce laws and the insurance provided by Visa or MasterCard.
Conclusion: You may find flash drives cheaper than at Flash Drive Direct, but they won’t be better….or even the same! As the old saying goes………The taste of a bargain is easily replaced by the bitterness of being fooled.So if you think you can buy cheaper please go ahead, it is at your own risk. If you want quality please consider working through your distributor and a reputable supplier.
So Grade A chips are used by brand names. They are the best. Consider them the first cold pressing for Virgin Olive oil. The best quality, the most reliable,. The chips that will last the longest and fail the least. They are carefully tested and screened. If a chip doesn’t make it, it goes into Grade B through D.
Grade B chips are still good, but brand name manufactures don’t want their names on them. Says something doesn’t it? But they are good enough for general use and they go to generic no name brands or ohms.
You can expect to pay a lot for any item using Grade A chips. There is a lot of testing overhead factored into the cost. The sorting out for the other two official grades will be factored into the price for finding the best chips. You will find these in well known brand names. So now you know one of the reasons they cost so much. Grade B will be middle of the market and lower end, used for consumers who are price conscious.
Grade C, the bargain basement bin. A target for cheap flash based items. Most of these chips won’t have a long life span. For those wanting to make fakes and counterfeits that pass preliminary inspection this is the quality they will chose.
Grade D is obvious – fake flash fraudster heaven. Profits boundless. SOSFakeFlash has come across a number of flash chips falling into this category. When victims take the item apart it will read a brand name but when they contact the manufacturer with the serial number they are told they never manufactured it. sale. In fact there are subtle distinctions that are a giveaway to the manufacturers of the real items.
Grade A is fine for data storage. Grade B is too, but long term use may lead to problems, so it is best to make sure you have a copy of the data elsewhere at all times.
Grade C and D – that is the flash drive chip quality you have if you found out you have a fake or counterfeit using the testing software H2testw 1.4 – Gold Standard In Detecting USB Counterfeit Drives
So should you repair it? Well first you need to find the software needed to repair the drive see: About VID PID Repairing Counterfeit Flash Drives – Steps To Succeed then you need to see if there is a solution available at http://fixfakeflash.wordpress.com/ If you don’t find one you will have to go to http://sosfakeflash.wordpress.com/ to read the repair posts and review comments left by victims working on solutions.
During your repair observe the repair process, what size do you get in the end? If it is close to the size reported by H2testw 1.4 (minus the usual formatting overhead) then you got a Grade C or D flash chip that is not too bad. If you have a much smaller drive you got one of the very bad ones in these grades. You can use the repaired drives but we suggest only for data transfers.
We STRONGLY advise you do not store any data on them you do not have duplicated elsewhere.
A repaired fake is not the same as a real quality flash based item. Why? It didn’t get quality flash chips but sub standard ones. It can be used but it can never be trusted completely.
When shopping for MP Players, USB Flash Drives and Memory Card part of the price is the quality of the flash drive chips used in the product. If you want or expect a bargain then you have to accept a downgrade in the quality of the flash storage chips. It is the only way the price can be delivered to you, corners have to be cut and quality materials are the first to go.
If you paid way below fair rock bottom prices for your item – the probability of you having purchased a fake (false capacity device) is almost 99% guaranteed. As fake flash victims say “If it is too good to be true, it usually is”.