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SanDisk Responsible for Malfunctioning Galaxy S3 Micro-SD Cards

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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.

28 Comments

  1. jnt

    03/20/2013 at 9:53 am

    I’m glad they’re owning up to this – it wasn’t just an issue on the S3.

  2. Peter Nel

    03/20/2013 at 12:04 pm

    What about those of us who threw their sd cards away thinking it had failed??? Is SanDisk simply going to wash their hands of this?

    • soul stealer

      03/21/2013 at 1:31 am

      Your screwed.

    • G-Rock

      07/31/2013 at 7:52 pm

      You threw it away without bothering to call the manufacturer and see if they would replace it? No one’s fault but yours.

  3. soul stealer

    03/21/2013 at 1:34 am

    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.

  4. San Disk Affected S3 User

    03/22/2013 at 2:56 pm

    What about the data on the card? Will San Disk recover that data?

  5. Anita

    03/22/2013 at 4:48 pm

    Happened to mine. I read this article, called SanDisk, they are replacing the defective one. Score!!!

  6. vincent

    03/23/2013 at 12:19 pm

    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 !!

  7. kenny

    04/03/2013 at 4:56 am

    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.

  8. Gary (@number1coug)

    04/14/2013 at 9:51 pm

    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.

    • Dizpo

      04/21/2013 at 1:44 pm

      Were I you, I’d contact SanDisk.

  9. Shammyshoo

    05/09/2013 at 7:04 am

    Crap! Happened with my Kingston card too. Its a default with the Samsung phone!

    • Lucas

      05/20/2013 at 11:28 am

      My 16Gb Kingston card just died as well.

  10. Justin

    05/21/2013 at 7:00 pm

    RECOVER YOUR PICTURES EASILY:

    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.

  11. El Chico

    05/27/2013 at 5:45 am

    To people who have received a replacement SanDisk card: Has the problem been fixed?

  12. AKA

    05/29/2013 at 6:55 pm

    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.

    • Willie Turner

      08/04/2013 at 7:48 am

      I have a custom ROM AND I’m having the same issue. Must contact SanDisk.

      • Willie Turner

        08/04/2013 at 7:57 am

        As it turns out, I thought I had a SanDisk but I have PNY! Arggh!!!

  13. El Chico

    05/30/2013 at 9:22 am

    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 ;)

  14. El

    06/20/2013 at 4:58 am

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

  15. Stop Fake Cards

    07/05/2013 at 12:21 pm

    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.

  16. Kadir UG

    07/08/2013 at 11:29 pm

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

  17. Willie Turner

    08/04/2013 at 7:54 am

    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.

  18. XFM

    08/15/2013 at 2:40 pm

    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.

  19. reallyrandy

    09/29/2013 at 6:55 pm

    I have the same problem with aSan Disk 32GB and a T-Mobile MyTouch 4G running MIUI.

  20. Mark

    11/08/2013 at 1:46 pm

    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.

  21. thatgirl

    12/03/2013 at 8:23 pm

    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.

  22. smleist

    04/02/2014 at 3:31 am

    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.

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