Alert: Counterfeit SDHC Cards

Until recently, I could roughly classify the bad movies into two categories:
Those that are corrupted during recording due to lack of “happy ending” of the process: Recording failures
Those that are damaged in a storage failure.

But now I will have to add a third category: counterfeit cards.
There is strong evidence that counterfeit cards are spreading like plague since second half of 2009. Usually sold through Internet, shipped from Asia and significantly cheaper than equivalent cards in retail stores.

You won’t notice until it’s too late

Unfortunately, you won’t notice it until it’s too late: the card works fine, then fails silently. One day, you will want to copy or watch the movies and you discover that the majority of them are unplayable.

Treasured, the diagnostic app for damaged movie files, will give some hope: Unplayable files indeed contains some video, and you can see the preview. But you will also notice that all the unplayable files seem to contain the same few seconds of video. This is the symptom of a counterfeit card.

Here is why:
The 16 or 32GB card that you have purchased on this obscure website is in reality a 2GB card. It masquerades its capacity to look and feel like a 32GB file, and at the beginning, while you are filling the first 2GB with data, everything is fine.
But once you go over the real capacity, any data that you write to the card is lost. The card doesn’t complain, the operating system doesn’t notice. Everything seems to work, but in reality your movies and photos are never written to the card. Because it’s already full!

Needless to say, such unplayable movies can’t be restored. It’s possible to repair the content of the card, but not what was not written in the first place.

Please take a look at those web pages to learn more:

and to this utility to verify your card: