SanDisk Responsible for Malfunctioning Galaxy S3 Micro-SD Cards

SanDisk is now claiming responsibility for Samsung Galaxy S3 issues that users complained are killing memory cards and randomly leaving users with dead batteries.

According to SanDisk a newly documented problem that effectively fried SanDisk micro-SD cards was in fact a manufacturing default.

Sandisk claims responsibility for malfunctioning Micro SD cards in the Samsung Galaxy S3.
Sandisk claims responsibility for malfunctioning Micro SD cards in the Samsung Galaxy S3.

After searching for a comment on the issue, SanDisk informed The Register that:

“SanDisk has been made aware of potential product issues involving a very small percentage of its 32GB and 64GB SanDisk Mobile Ultra micro SD cards. Under certain circumstances the cards may lock up and the card becomes inaccessible. The issue has been identified and a manufacturing fix has already been put in place. SanDisk stands behind its products and any customer who experiences this issue with the microSD cards is asked to contact the SanDisk support center for a resolution immediately.”

The problem, which was only recently documented by Android Central forum user Paulnptld had been causing users’ Micro-SD cards to effectively become unusable after a few months’ time without warning. After that initial post, other users experiencing the same problem as well as battery issues that they thought could be traced back to their use of SanDisk’s cards chimed in:


“Initially reported by Samsung Galaxy S3 users – the symptom is that the card repeatedly remounts, causing the host device to rescan it and hence hammer the battery. A colleague was showing me logs of this happening 200 times a day. I’ve experienced two such failures with SanDisk Ultra SDHC 32GB Class 10 cards being used in GoPro Hero3 cameras.”

Users looking to have their defective micro-SD cards replaced will have to mail their card back after receiving a return authorization number from SanDisk Support.

As device manufactures move to compete with each other in a smartphone market that favors the thinnest, and most affordable devices, micro-SD cards have become a common way of passing on the cost of media storage to users. This isn’t unique to smartphones either — slots for micro-SD cards routinely show up on tablets as well, making them one of the few near universal storage methods for mobile computing.

Since micro-SD cards have increased in storage capacity and decreased significantly in cost over the past six years, it isn’t uncommon to purchase a smartphone with only 8GB of storage and a micro-SD card slot to enable users to add as much as 64GB of additional storage.

Travis Pope is a Reporter-at-large for GottaBeMobile. He's currently enjoying a romp in the dangerous quicksand that is Microsoft's Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and Xbox ecosystem.


  1. This has happen to me with my 32g card. But now it works fine. Not sure why but its been a month with no issues.

  2. Pls tel me how to access my Memento 32g class 6 micro sd card after it promted ( sd card removed unexpectedly) now its totally inaccessible at all. My s3 seems to corrupted it somehow. I bought a new micro sd n it can read on my s3. But i afraid it might get fried too. Pls help me get back my data !!! Pls !!! Stop advicing me to back up in future etc. Now i jus need tat data back !! thankz much !!

  3. This same card failure isn’t limited to the s3. A lot for Motorola Droid Razzr (M, HD, Maxx, others?) are having this problem. I’ve had one card last 2 months in my wife’s M and one last 6 months in mine.

  4. Has happened to me too, GS3, SanDisk Ultra 32 GB microSDHC Class 6 Memory Card 30MB/s, data was backed up but card is trash now, bought through Amazon with receipt, will SanDisk replace? Purchased in 8/12.


    This just happened to me. I have a 32Gb Sandisk. All my photos are automatically saved to SD card instead of the phone’s internal memory so naturally they are at risk of being lost forever.

    Turn on “Camera Upload” in Dropbox and every time the SD card mounts, a few will be transferred to your Dropbox account. This may take a while depending on how many pictures you have, but eventually you’ll get all of them in between the SD crashing. Naturally this won’t work for all your data, but at least you have the photos taken with the phone’s camera.

  6. its the stock ROM, i use custom ROM and haven’t had an issue. if you still have an issue with custom ROM then that’s another question.

  7. Has this been documented anywhere? Not a big fan of disabling security features to solve what looks like a hardware problem. It’s like disabling the airbags in my car to solve a Navigation system problem ;)

  8. Problem solved! SanDisk sent me a replacement microSD card and it has been working flawlessly for a week and a half.

  9. Fake card! Do not buy on eBay and other online stores. How to buy through ebay, all flash was fake. Buy the card, check its spaciousness with a special program. Do not write good reviews, it is satisfied that the card is not a hoax, it is confusing to other buyers. If the 2000 purchase at least one fake, keep buying from this seller.

  10. My SD card is Toshiba and Same problem happened to me. S3 Killed my sd card and all of my important files.

  11. Man, I’m glad I read this post. I always blamed the battery, but now it’s the SD card. I knew I was having issues, but didn’t know it drains my battery so rapidly. I almost made a $50 mistake to buy a battery. And I thought I had a SanDisk but as it turns out, I have a PNY 32GB Class 10 SD card. Maybe I should contact them. I don’t know.

  12. In a period of three months, I have got three Kingston SD memory cards fried on two different phones: a Huawei Ascend and a Samsung Galaxy. Same symptoms: the card is not recongnized anywhere. Given that this problem is happening on cards and phones of different manufacturers, I can only guess three possibilities:

    A – The SD cards of different brands are all caming from the same OEM manufacturer, or at least all of them are sharing the same hardware design, whis is faulty.
    B – Some firmware component common to the roms of several phone manufacturers is faulty.
    C – There is a faulty hardware component devoted to the SD card management, which is used by many phone manufactures.

    I think that this is a VERY SERIOUS issue that might jeopardize the evolution of Android-based phones. GOOGLE, as the parent of Android, should realize that this situation is working against his interests, and should urge all the involved agents (phone manufacturers, memory manufacturers and Android developpers) to collaborate to find and fix the problem as soon as possible.

  13. It’s samsung and the s3 4 pny sdcards 32gb and one 64gb dead and also i kingston 64gb dead so explain that samsung custom rom and no promblem so att and samsung can keep their rom i’m rooted and taking advantage of it.

  14. This is NOT a SanDisk problem!
    My S3 has killed FOUR cards, four DIFFERENT brands!
    I saved up a long time to finally get a 64gb card and now it’s dead and unreadable by any other means. As is a 8gb and two 16gb cards.
    Samsung support is a joke and T-Mobile actually asked to talk to my husband and said in a not so roundabout way… I have a vagina so it must be my fault.

  15. Just noticed my Galaxy S3 seems to have killed my Patriot 16gb class 10 micro sdhc card. Unable to gain access thru any other means. Everything lost. I will try contacting Patriot for a replacement.

  16. At least I know why I have fried 4 cards. My last one just fried, after a reboot while on charge and long time using it (the 3 first one resist some monthes only). Canot say if now new cards resist more to S3 strange behavior. Hopefully using dropbox solution, no lost, but what a shame :-(.

Leave a Reply