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back to article SanDisk cops to malfunctioning Micro SDs in Galaxy S3s

Certain Samsung Galaxy S3 users will barely have noticed the rollout of the S4 uberphone, they've been too busy concentrating on the flash card problems in their current smartmobes. Flash-card shuffler SanDisk, meanwhile, has told El Reg that it has issued a fix. User paulnptld talked about this on the Android Central Samsung …

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May explain why Apple don't let users have them

see? Its just good customer service by Apple :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: May explain why Apple don't let users have them

Oh, the deluded!

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Bronze badge

Had this happen with my boss's phone. Didn't even think about the device damaging it at the time, you expect SD cards to die occasionally and you expect devices to be able to handle them properly by now.

Shame I threw the duff card away - I ended up giving him one of my own in replacement.

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Class 10 32GB

It seems this problem is only with the 32GB Ultra cards. Can't say it's really a surprise that the problem is only with the fastest and largest capacity model. I suspect SanDisk we're pushing the hardware to it's limits, and are now manufacturing them to a higher tolerance to eliminate the issue.

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Headmaster

Re: Class 10 32GB

I suspect SanDisk we're pushing the hardware to it's limits ...

I suspect SanDisk were pushing the hardware to its limits ...

There: fixed it for you.

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Re: Class 10 32GB

Ugh! Sorry for that travesty!

I hadn't had my coffee!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Class 10 32GB

Has anyone tried nuking an affected card with Winhex to see if that fixes it?

AC/DC 6EQUJ5

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Not new

I bought a 64 GB card about 6 months ago. After 3 weeks, it died - completely un-usable even with low-level formatting using a linux box and a brand new uSD card reader. Returned within the 30 day period from Amazon.

Glad they finally got round to admitting it was a problem - I might risk buying another one now.

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Seen it happen on a 64GB card

My colleagues just went dead after 3 months, no warning. Can't confirm the exact make, but it's not necessarily just 32GB cards

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Re: Seen it happen on a 64GB card

sorry, potentially off-topic my comment, but it was for a Galaxy Note. I'm guessing it's not limited to the S3, but not done research on this one...

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Happy

Re: Seen it happen on a 64GB card

"My colleagues just went dead after 3 months"

I hope you didn't just leave them slumped at their desks?

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Devil

Re: Seen it happen on a 64GB card

I hope he did - downsizing workers is meant to be a HR job.

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Happy

Re: I hope you didn't just leave them slumped at their desks?

Awesome. And peeps moan at us grammar 'nazis'. Oops - Godwin's law self-fail :(

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WTF?

Re: Godwin's law self-fail

Admittedly haven't had (enough) coffee this morning, but I fail to see the fail.

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IT Angle

Re: I hope you didn't just leave them slumped at their desks?

They probably are the model for those drawings/pictures of a skeleton sitting at a desk, ......

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Re: I hope you didn't just leave them slumped at their desks?

okay, okay. Typo. I meant my colleague's went dead. It they all were dead, I'd not have a job, but rather an interesting discussion with the police methinks

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Re: I hope you didn't just leave them slumped at their desks?

Do you mean: "it died" by any chance?

"Went dead" is incorrect in many ways.

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Unhappy

Re: Godwin's law self-fail

'I fail to see the fail' - err, you may want to re-read. I said 'self-fail', as in I incurred Godwin myself with the word Nazi. Poor joke admittedly but blimey...!

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I've got a Lexar 32GB Class 10 in my S3, no issues at all and had it in phone almost since launch :)

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MrT
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YMMV...

...my S3 has just killed a 16GB Lexar class 10 card. Since the LL2 or LL3 software update around Christmas, the card has been corrupted on about 8 occasions, with folders and files being randomly renamed etc, and then the card locking to read-only. Up until a week ago it responded to DISKPART but now is not recognised. I agree that the phone pushes any card as hard as it can go - after aligning the card I was getting 7.9MB/s write and 17.3MB/s even in exFAT - FAT32 yielded 2-4MB/s more depending on sector size.

Handset is stock Samsung GT-I9300 on XXEMB5 firmware, Android 4.1.2. I've heard of other stability issues relating to RAM (the S3 and Note2 both seem prone to issues with SD cards) and also that one dev flashed ASOP 4.2.2 onto an S3 that resolved the stability issues, suggesting there are things to sort in firmware and/or drivers. Hopefully Samsung will address some of these items when they finally roll 4.2.x out.

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RMA policy

I'm currently trying to get RMAs for two 32GB Sandisk Ultra Class10 cards that have had this exact issue in Galaxy S3 i9300s.

Worth noting that Sandisk's RMA policy states: "Please note that replacing your product with us requires you to send it to our facilities in the Czech Republic at your own expense." and "you should expect a turnaround time of between 2 and 4 weeks."

"International signed for" comes out at £7.36. Still better than a replacement card (£20) but it would have been nice if I could have sent it to a UK distributor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: RMA policy

Don't forget that in the UK its the retailer you need to contact first, at least during the first year... not the Manufacturer.... and IIRC in the event of a faulty item, they are responsible for Postage for the return..

Well I've never had to pay for postage to return a faulty item, i've even had companies just refund me as it is not worth it for them to take the item back....

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Re: RMA policy

Thanks for that. I've actually tried exactly that, but the retailer in question is Amazon - and I can find no way to return an item after 30 days, their help pages just refer me to the manufacturer for returns outside of this period.

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Re: RMA policy

Just give Amazon a ring and they will help you return the cards.

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Silver badge

Re: RMA policy

So go to trading standards. They are supposed to be the policemen.

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Re: RMA policy

"Don't forget that in the UK its the retailer you need to contact first, at least during the first year... not the Manufacturer.... and IIRC in the event of a faulty item, they are responsible for Postage for the return.."

Ah, then you UKers are fortunate. Here in the United States the manufacturers leave you out to dry in regards to defective merchandise beyond the retailer return period - you must deal direct with the manufacturer, who usually make you run around chasing your own tail. Device have a serial number? "We still require your purchase receipt". Then what is the use of applying a (traceable) serial number, you IDIOTS?!

I am in manufacturing and personally created the SKU numbering system in use. Give me just about any combination of the following - your customer name, the style of the item, the size, the approximate date purchased or the exact SKU serial number - and I have all the information I need to locate all the balance of the information I need including how much you paid for it and on what invoice number, going back 12 years now.

Once, years ago, I was in a different business - photography - and ran a camera store. Ordered 6 Nikon cameras for one customer (the local newspaper) and pre-tested them prior to delivery. One was dead. Called Nikon...who promptly told me to send it back FOR SERVICE. Excuse me? It is a BRAND NEW item. Replacement is expected and warranted, especially considering that all 6 must be delivered to the same client. 'No, we will only service it. Send it back for repair'.

You BET I steered customers away from Nikon after *that* reply...

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Thumb Up

Re: RMA policy

I can confirm that after speaking to Amazon through the "web chat" service they are happy to refund and will even pre-pay the return shipping. They couldn't replace it as the card was temporarily out of stock (but available for a couple of pounds more from a marketplace seller). As a result, they've also issued me with credit for the difference so I'm not out of pocket if I choose to re-purchase.

Now that's customer service.

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Windows

Happened to me

I had a 64GB mobile ultra (class 10) microSD in a GoPro Hero 3 - just suddenly stopped working, card around 2 months old. Showed up as a single 30.6MB RAW partition following that. Didn't bother with retailer as I'm in Canada (card bought in UK), but I sent it of to Sandisk US for about 50p and they replaced quickly - even offered to recover data I had on the card so fair play to them. Replacement is up and working in the same camera, will see how it works over the next few months.

Didn't think it was the device - just a dodgy card, but I guess I was one of the "few %"

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Facepalm

oh noo...

This happened to me and I put it down to bad luck, threw the thing away and got another.

<bashes head with smartphone>

I cudda got a free one, hurumph.

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Anonymous Coward

hmm

Samsung: "Those website's [sic] or forums are not controlled by Samsung. Due to this, anyone can post anything in those websites/forums."

Translation: Samsung can't coverup an issue that may be occurring by deleting posts.

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Silver badge

Re: hmm

"Translation: Samsung can't coverup an issue that may be occurring by deleting posts."

Not just Samsung who do that. Asus and Talktalk are both pretty good at removing things which don't match the company hymn sheet (Especially links to the Ombudsman and small claims howtos)

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FAIL

Re: hmm

So are Toshiba.

Not just postings, but complete forums as well.

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Unhappy

Re: hmm

HTC US' support forum had a complete crash last spring, and when they returned all the posts in the Amaze section were gone -- weeks' worth of complaints and problem discussions. When I asked, I was informed that that data "couldn't be recovered."

Wow. If HTC can't do simple database backups, how good can their phones be? (A: not so great. My Amaze is a dud, One owners at work also report ongoing, unresolved problems.)

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Anonymous Coward

I had a similar thing with a Lexar, and media scanner rinsing the battery.. but I think it was either not seated properly, or corrupt. After I used GSAM and Watchdog Lite to work out what was nomming my battery, I formatted the card, and all seems well now.

Oh well, exciting story, etc.

Luckily syncing all the music back on only took a few clicks :)

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Anonymous Coward

There are a lot of fake cards around though.

But then, Samsung's wonderful UEFI code caused Linux to kill laptops.

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Damn.. I think I threw mine away; why hang onto a burnt-out worthless sdcard?

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Other brands of micro-SD cards

It's not just SanDisk. My Transcend 32gb card died after about 3 months in my Samsung Tab2, and seems completely fried. I put a brand new Transcend 32gb card in and it immediately wasn't recognised, and is similarly fried. I sent the tablet and cards to Samsung, who simply said the cards were defective and wanted to charge me for returning the tablet. Transcend say the cards aren't defective - or rather they are now, but they were made defective by the Samsung. Classic situation where each manufacturer blames the other, and the customer (me) ends up picking up the bill. And my tablet is now back to a mere 8gb of memory, which is next to useless.

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Happened to me too...

32GB SanDisk card, Galaxy SIII, died after about a month, was very sad... got a warranty replacement, and have been fine since (3 months), I'll keep my receipt handy though...

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Unhappy

Balls

Ordered a 64GB SanDisk yesterday for my S3. Just before reading this article, I checked my Amazon order status, and it was still being processed. Went to cancel the order, and it had changed to "dispatched".

Doh.

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Facepalm

Re: Balls

Ditto! Did just the same - ordered one from Amazon UK yesterday for the new Samsung before reading this article!

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Unhappy

RMA'd

Yep, RMA'd mine it's funny the card still works when plugged into a pc, but when in my sgs3 I randomly find it remounting and scheduled tasks failing as there's no SD card available. Hoping retailer (a play marketplace seller) will step up to the base otherwise it's gonna be returned to Sandisk (at my expense) for replacement, which seems a little rich for a manufacturing fault.

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FAIL

Anyone know what the problem is

I'd seriously love to know what the issue was/is with these cards, the actual information appears to be minimal and the story appears to be rehashed from the same sources. My main worry is when the fix was implemented and if it's likely to be affecting replacement cards?

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Anonymous Coward

Transient overvoltage maybe?

I saw this happen once on an 8GB, got red hot then failed abruptly.

Turns out that the cheap reader was feeding it 3.3V all the time, which didn't agree with it one bit.

Might be worth checking especially if its a condition that occurs only under certain combinations of low battery/etc or full charge.

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This has done it to me too but on the samsung galaxy note 2. Only on class 10 32gb cards, and different make. Mine seemed to start failing if power was still swimming round the phone. Ie if the phone was on and i removed the card, within a day it would show mounting sd card, on and off. Battery life would dive and then the card would fail soon after.

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