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idata
Community Manager
5,414 Views

Detection of Counterfeit/Fake Intel X25-M 80Gb (G2)

Hi,

I recently purchased an Intel X25-M 80gb SSD from an online retailer. When I received the item there was several issues with missing packaging/accessories, the drive itself has some marks (possibly some type of corrosion).

1) Has anyone had issues with counterfit or fake drives? I ask because of the Intel sticker is an (Intel Inside - like sold with CPUs) rather than the Intel logo shown in all Internet publications.

2) Is there any good way to prove (by visual or hardware identification) that it is authentic/geniune? I assume the BIOS or the Intel SSD Toolkit would be a good starting place, but I'd like an informed opinion. Also the sticker on the back would be easily enough faked, so I don't think that is a valid method of verification. Not to mention that a lot of internet images of these SSDs have the model sticker on the top of the drive and it comforms to the contour of the moulded top plate - not sure if this might have changed or be different between oem or retail versions.

3) Is there any way to determine (assuming software/hardware) how much a drive has been used ie. like an internal usage counter? In case this item is legit, but used.

The retailer has just responded that although their ad specified a different model number and that the item would have the Intel packaging and accessories the product is (BULK) not retail.....

Thanks in advance,

Jason

Tags (1)
18 Replies
idata
Community Manager
214 Views

So according to this thread I can find out if the drive has been used by looking at the wear indicator in the SMART attributes:

/message/61106# 61106 http://communities.intel.com/message/61106# 61106

So that probably answers the question about determining if the drive is used or not.

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

The wear may not be the best clue to whether the drive is counterfeit or not. Some new drives are reported as showing a significant amount of data being written. Check the product code also. The code will have a letter and number after the G2. A C1 indicates an OEM version and R5 the retail. The OEM version comes with no accessories, and is packaged in a small, plain, brown cardboard box. The Intel logo sticker should be on top, although some light oxidation is normal on the bottom of the housing. Only the top of the drive is polished. Did it come with the plastic spacer attached? The Intel Inside sticker (on the bottom) sounds a bit suspicious and I would query Intel about this. Probably best to send photos too.

Did you pay a lot less from this particular retailer? Too good to be true prices generally are just that and often a good indicator that a product may be counterfeit. Have you tried running the drive yet? Fake flash memory typically performs way below spec and is often the biggest giveway.

So I'd say get in touch with Intel and provide them with as detailed a description as possible. It may be that they have simply changed the stickers. Sorry I can't be of any more help with that but I'm taking delivery of another Intel SSD today and will let you know if there is any change in appearance to my existing one which was purchased some months ago. Good luck and I hope that the drive you received is a genuine one.

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Sorry you may have misunderstood a couple of my points.

1) I wasn't saying that the wear indicator was an indication of a counterfeit drive, only that if the drive turns out to be legit, that the corrosion on the bottom which seems completely out of place on a 'new' drive makes me think that the alternative is a 'used' drive. So I wanted to check that the drive is not used as a fallback position.

2) My model is: SSDSA2M080G2GN (the GN seems different to your C1 or R5)

3) No plastic spacer or other accessories.

4) The Intel sticker is on top where the engineering diagrams and all internet photos indicate. However it is different from all of those in that they all show just the Intel logo and appear to be embossed on the drive rather than plain stickers (correct me if I'm wrong)

5) I paid $250USD from a seemingly reputable online store.

Thanks for your help.

I think I'll get in contact with Intel support and see what they come up with. In parallel I think I'll hook the drive up and see what the BIOS and SMART attributes return. Then do some performance tests.

Regards,

Jason

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

My model is: SSDSA2M080G2GN (the GN seems different to your C1 or R5)

Could be a regional difference? I ordered my drives in the UK. I'm having the new drive delivered here at work today. Will open it up when it arrives and have a look at the logo and let you know if it's printed or a sticker. Can't remember off the top of my head but maybe someone else will? The oxidation on the bottom is most likely simply due to being handled at the factory. Sweat / fingerprints will do this and not uncommon on other components that use the same materials. Let us know how you get on after you hook it up. The performance should provide some clues in the event it is counterfeit or used. Hope all goes well.

Edit: Just found this thread relating to your GN product code. Hope that helps.

http://communities.intel.com/thread/7185

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Drive just arrived! The logo is printed and therefore very slightly raised. Sealed in an anti-staic bag, code is C1 and spacer attached as before. Like my existing drive there is some light smearing / oxidation on the underside which I'll wager is from mucky fingers.

Oh and let's not forget it came with the all important "My SSD Rocks!" sticker!

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Thanks for the response Ziggy.

I'm glad to hear in some ways that there is some oxidization on the bottom. On the other hand I'm also disappointed. You would think that a 'sensitive' electronic device would only be handled with static free gloves etc and therefore should not ever get oxydization (at least from that).

Did a couple of tests last night in an external e-SATA caddy:

1) The Serial and Model detected matched the drives sticker

2) Tried to update the firmware to the new version, but the updater couldn't detect the drive - could be another issue with my system

3) Ran ATTO Performance tool and found that the performance was seemingly less than reviews had reported. Write speed was about right at a little over 70mb/s, but read speed was significantly less than the reported >200mb/s

Unfortunately the RAID which this was to replace just died and so I'm going to be a little short on testing today.

Thanks again,

Jason

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Your performance / update issues might be because you are running from an e-SATA controller. You have a free SATA port you can try it on? I just replaced a couple of Raptors in RAID with the 160GB. Thought I might miss the RAID but pleased so far. Anyway, I'd try updating on a SATA port and see how it goes. Good news that your drive appears to be the real deal though!

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

I ordered a model that has the same Model info: SSDSA2M080G2GC Is this a legit drive, I purchased as a new drive from Ebay but havent recieved yet. I wasnt aware any intel counterfeit SSD existed but now Im concerned. I will run the Intel diags to check firmware and model info as soon as I recieve this. Is there any way to be certain that a drive is legit, I would thinking looking at the drives stats using the intel software you ought to be able to verify the info. If its counterfeit I can open a claim with PayPal/Ebay but I want to make certain. I was about to pull the trigger on one from NewEgg but the price was a little lower. The seller has been very responsive on my questions and seems legit but these days its hard to tell. Any help would be much appreciated as reliability is very important to me and I dont want the drive failing early with knock off memory. Thanks

mmokk
New Contributor II
214 Views

i have heard of shady sellers selling lower capacity drives as higher ones (by replacing the circuit board of a 160gb drive with a 40gb for example; takes less than a minute to do). some people don't even notice the capacity is wrong until much later.

what i would do if i were paranoid is:

- test performance (this may be limited by your hardware)

- test capacity (fill up the drive with files and then try to copy them off)

if these check out ok, i wouldn't worry about it further. but you can take it apart and inspect the circuit board if you want.

this is not widespread. it is not like buying flash memory off ebay where the probability of getting a counterfeit is very high.

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Hi,

Contact Intel support they will be able to help you:

http://www.intel.com/support/9089.htm

SAdco
New Contributor I
214 Views

Please contact Intel Customer Support for an RMA. We are very interested in as much information you are willing to share about this purchase.

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Just wanted to clear somethings up because I bought the same drive. I bought this drive from newegg they list it as OEM but it's really a bulk drive. I have called newegg & intel support to confirm it's a legit drive. They both confirmed it's BUT it comes with NOTHING because it's sold as bulk. BTW my drive looks the same as yours but my performs to intel specs, the problem with your drive is because your hooking it up to a E-SATA port.

Please read these two threads to reaffirm.

http://communities.intel.com/thread/8492

http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/587583.aspx

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I didn't actually get it from NewEgg, but a similar supplier. I think that we are probably in the same boat.

There are two outstanding issues though:

1) The new firmware loader couldn't detect the drive. I admit it could be related to my mobo, which is a little on the old side. But Intel support suggested that it might be because the drive was OEM. Have you tried the latest update (I think its 02HD)?

2) How did you gauge performance? I ran the ATTO tool and got 70mb write (which is as per spec) but only ~120Mb/s read which is only just over half of what I expected given the average 220mb/s reported in a lot of reviews. What results did you get?

Somone suggested that my port although set for SATA2 in the BIOS might only be performing at SATA1 speeds. I'm going to try it in a current spec machine and run the same tests to verify.

Thanks,

Jason

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

actually i just saw the picture of your drive. Is there no intel sticker on it at all? that looks to be like a fake. the logo should printed on the drive, like imprinted

a) Have you been able to update the firmware to 02HD on your 'bulk' drives? yes

b) Do you have oxydization on the bottom side of your drive? yes

c) Do you have the same intel logo pictured in the zipzoomfly and other sites? no

I'm getting 251.5 seq read 81.3 seq write.

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

thanks for the response Crspyjohn.

Just wanted to confirm you said 'No' you don't have the same Intel logo on your SSD as the official web sites? Did you mean you don't have the same sticker as my drive?

Thanks,

Jason

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

See how the intel logo is engraved on the ssd? That's how my is. Actually my drive looks exactly the same as the one on newegg now

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery.aspx?CurImage=20-167-018-Z01&SpinSet=20-167-018-RS&ISList...

idata
Community Manager
214 Views

Thought I'd just finish off this posting by saying that I now believe the drive is real.

I put the SSD into another more recent PC and ran the same performance test which yeilded 170mb/s read. I then updated the firmware successfully (which I couldn't on the other machine). After the update I got about ~220mb/s.

I guess the only outstanding issue is the engraved Intel logo missing, however I think I'm just going to let it be. It seems relatively conclusive that the drive is genuine if the firmware update worked and I am now running Windows 7 successfully. I think I'll rerun the performance test on Win 7 (back in the old machine) and see what results I get.

Thanks again everyone for your help!

RGiff
Honored Contributor I
214 Views

If you run the tool box it can give you the serial number of the drive and than you could check with Intel to see if it's a valid serial number.

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