FAKE SanDisk Cruzer USB Flash Drives Exposed - Rohan Nigam

FAKE SanDisk Cruzer USB Flash Drives Exposed

How to identify counterfeit SanDisk Cruzer Mini & Cruzer Micro USB Flash Drives

Millions of eBayers have been deceived by inferior quality, unpopular cheap drives as more than 95% of all 1GB, 2GB, 4GB and 8GB USB Flash Drives listed on eBay are counterfeit items which have fake capacities.

Since October-2006, eBay has decided all sellers could no longer hide their BAD feedbacks. Simply enter seller's eBay ID and watch for Negative/Neutral feedbacks wordings such as 'fake' and 'counterfeit' before buying at http://www.toolhaus.org/cgi-bin/negs

Since many have not seen genuine production SanDisk unit and counterfeit is now made to appear like 80% genuine, it is indeed difficult for most people to tell them apart. From the pictures submitted by eBayers all over the world, we are exposing the physcial difference in the counterfeit which you can benefit from whether you intend to purchase one or make comparison with your own. Beware of sellers that are using original SanDisk web download pictures to sell counterfeit SanDisk as they do not represent the actual item that you will receive!

This article covers all SanDisk Cruzer Mini 1.0GB (SDCZ2-1024), 2GB (SDCZ2-2048), 4.0GB (SDCZ2-4096) and SanDisk Cruzer Micro 1.0GB (SDCZ4-1024), 2.0GB (SDCZ4-2048), 4.0GB (SDCZ4-4096) models.

All SanDisk 8GB USB flash drives listed on eBay are counterfeit SanDisk.

For other flash memory product

Clue #1 SanDisk preloaded software

Counterfeit SanDisk unit does not bundle with software such as 'CruzerLock 2, PocketCache, CruzerSync & SecurDataStor'). If you explore the content of your USB drive you must see exactly 8 folders and 35 files preloaded on it. No software means it is a fake.

The fake may have the pirated CruzerLock (encryption) software, but it will not work because the fake lacks a valid SanDisk license key based on the unique serial number on the unit. So running the CruzerLock program will further indicate its authenticity.

Clue #2 SanDisk Production Batch number

On the side of the physical drive body it must have a printed SanDisk production batch number eg. 'BH0604MJB MADE IN CHINA SDCZ2-4096' for Cruzer Mini 4GB edition. Lacking this pattern of characters means it is a fake. A well-known fake 4.0GB displays this pattern on the side 'AR0502BYB CHINA SDCZ2-4096'.

Clue #3 Front main text on the drive body

- A genuine 1.0GB shows as 'cruzer mini 1.0 GB' on the physical drive body.
- A genuine 2GB shows as 'cruzer mini 2GB' (NOT 'cruzer mini 2.0GB') on the physical drive body. (The '2.0GB' cruzer mini picture shown on SanDisk web site is INCORRECT since 2004, in case you have not seen a genuine SanDisk production unit.)
- A genuine 4.0GB shows as 'cruzer mini 4.0 GB' on the physical drive body with close top digit 4. A well-known fake have open top digit 4.
All 'cruzer micro' drives have the '.0' before the 'GB' text.

The MOST important thing to note is the fakes use noticebly different 'font face' and 'uneven spacing' of the 'cruzer mini 2 GB' or 'cruzer mini 4.0 GB' wordings, so you need to zoom in a bit to differentiate, usually the '2.0 GB' or '4 GB' text on the fakes have slightly different 'font face' from genuine and fakes usually use hi-res bitmap printing while genuine use proper print ready/color controlled vertor art technique.

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Clue #4 Background of front main text on the drive body

Feel the texture of the label background with your finger. The background color is dark grey with black 'chain-lock' pattern on an uneven non-flat surface. Most fakes are cheap print on flat background with and without the pattern.

Clue #5 Verification program output of genuine Cruzer micro and Cruzer mini

Please contact us for the Windows program for authenticity verification against your existing unit. As eBay email system does not allow attachment, please include your email address when contacting us, so that we can email it to you directly.

Below is the sample printout for GENUINE SanDisk 2.0GB Cruzer Micro (SDCZ4-2048).
---===>Device Information<===---
English product name: "Cruzer Micro"
idVendor: 0x0781 = SanDisk Corporation
idProduct: 0x5151
bcdDevice: 0x0010
iManufacturer: 0x01
English (United States) "SanDisk Corporation"
iProduct: 0x02
English (United States) " Cruzer Micro"
iSerialNumber: 0x03
English (United States) "200515356307BDA1AFBD"
bNumConfigurations: 0x01


Below is the sample printout for GENUINE SanDisk 4.0GB Cruzer Mini (SDCZ2-4096).
---===>Device Information<===---
English product name: "Cruzer Mini"
idVendor: 0x0781 = SanDisk Corporation
idProduct: 0x5150
bcdDevice: 0x0010
iManufacturer: 0x01
English (United States) "SanDisk Corporation"
iProduct: 0x02
English (United States) " Cruzer Mini"
iSerialNumber: 0x03
English (United States) "20043512310A1BE37232"
bNumConfigurations: 0x01


Below is the sample printout for FAKE SanDisk 4.0GB Cruzer Mini submitted by others.
---===>Device Information<===---
idVendor: 0x1043
idProduct: 0x8006
bcdDevice: 0x0100
iManufacturer: 0x01
English (United States) "SanDisk"
iProduct: 0x02
English (United States) "Flash Disk"
iSerialNumber: 0x03
English (United States) "200607223265"
bNumConfigurations: 0x01

Clue #6 Appy to retail packaging only

All retail package has the golden metallic 'SanDisk 3D holographic sticker' at the front of the retail box with unique serial number, as pictured. However newer fakes are now being reported to also have changing serial numbers. Learn the FACTS about unique SanDisk serial number here.

Clue #7 SanDisk counterfeit hotline

Below are collection of notorious counterfeit SanDisk Cruzer Mini USB flash drives. Hope this helps everyone to identify and avoid buying them!

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posted by Rohan Nigam on 10/16/2007 04:52:00 PM

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