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My Fake 4GB MP3 Player - Detailed Findings!
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  #1  
Old 8th Jun 2006, 1:42 pm
Zaidon Zaidon is offline
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Default My Fake 4GB MP3 Player - Detailed Findings!


Hey everyone,

It seems a few people have had troubles getting what they really paid for with their players, and i have run into the same problem, so i thought i would post up all of my findings. It's a bit long but it should answer a lot of questions for people with the same problem as me.

I received my 4GB nano clone in the mail this week (looks exactly like -this- one), off ebay from Hong Kong. I never thought there would be anything fishy about 4GB players because i knew Apple had them (didn't realize they use two chips), but after finding this site, thought i should check it out straight away.

The first thing that caught my attention is that most of the flash based players all operate with a FAT file system and specify that they should only be formatted with this type. Of course that means a limitation of 2GB. When i hooked up my player, i noticed it was FAT32 (therefore able to support drive capacity greater than 2GB) and after formatting it as FAT32 again, it worked just fine. I couldn't format it with the "MP3 Player Utilities" program though, obviously because it saw it as FAT32 but wanted to format it as FAT. Windows reported is as being 3.99GB after the format.

The next thing i did was fill it up with more than 2GB worth of stuff. This worked no problems. However, when playing songs on the player, i found that once it got to an mp3 that was transferred on after the 2GB mark, it would restart (as mentioned in some other threads). I played around with the amount of files on there, and found the limit to be just under 2 billion bytes, ie: "2GB", or 1.86 real gigabytes.

I thought i'd give the hardware the benefit of the doubt and put it down to a software issue whereby the player couldn't support more than 2GB of data in the mp4 directory, so i created a new directory in the root and chucked mp3s in there aswell. Functionality of the mp3 player was fine, (ie: no restarting), but after transferring those files back onto the computer, they sounded all over the shop, as though they were playing random bits of the previous mp3 i had listened to. Windows seemed to think they were properly sized though.

This left me with the option of physically checking the memory, so i pulled apart the player tonight and checked it out. The memory is:

SAMSUNG 616
K9WAG08U1M
PCB0

Looking at Samsung's site, there are 3 versions in the family of flash. You can download the specification data sheet -here-

The base chip is the K9K8G08U0M, which is 1G x 8bit, and the K9WAG08U1M (2G x 8bit) and K9NBG08U5M (4G x 8 bit) chips are based off that. The website is -here-.

So basically,
K9K8G08U0M = 1GB
K9WAG08U1M = 2GB
K9NBG08U5M = 4GB

The part number decoder can be found -here-.
8G stands for 1GB, AG stands for 2GB, and BG stands for 4GB

Looking at pics of a 4GB Apple ipod nano, i noticed that my chip was the same. But looking closer you can see that the daughterboard which houses the flash has a chip on both sides, ie: 2x 2GB chips to make up 4GB. Pics -here-.

So it turns out my 4GB player is really a 2GB player
I am going to put it back together and contact the ebay guy and see how i go with that. I am not expecting much, but i forked out an extra $75 to go to 4GB so i have nothing to lose.

What i would like to know is how Windows (and the player itself) thinks it's a 4GB drive, even after formatting, and how i was able to transfer data to a space that didn't really exist, and how the assumed size of the files was able to remain after they were transferred back (even though they were stuffed). If anyone knows the story behind that it would be great to hear it.

So there you have it, the 4GB chips do exist, but be very careful about what you actually get. (Seems the price of the chip alone is a little over $AUD 100, check out www.multiarcade.com ). As for 8GB chips, there is no mention of these on Samsung's site so i would stay well clear any advertised on ebay and the like. They are most likely 8gigabit chips, ie: really 1GB.
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  #2  
Old 8th Jun 2006, 10:35 pm
Iridium Iridium is offline
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Default Re: My Fake 4GB MP3 Player - Detailed Findings!

Zaidon,

BRAVO!!!
Thank you!
There you have it indeed.
I have been singing this song for a month now ever since I received my 1st mp4 player.
No I have not been stung yet (to my knowledge), but I have taken my own advice (see posts), and if I had noticed anything fishy, would have returned the unit right away. If enough of us do this, eventually it will get back to the manufacturers, and they will find a more inventive way to spoof the firmware into showing more capacity.
No, I don't know how the coders do it, but here is my guess:

The firmware is spoofed to read a bit as a byte (8X) real capacity. Or there is a new compression algorithm out there that will effectively do the same thing.
That's it in a nutshell. you can read my Wikipedia edit here:

http://www.s1mp3.org/wiki/index.php/...e#The_solution

This is a wonderful ExPOSE` that I hope all you newbies will read before bidding on the new 4, 8 ,16, 24, 36Gb flash players out there that don't really exist quite yet.
Thank you again Zaidon for your valuable contribution, and good luck w/ your seller.
Post back how it goes.....
I
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  #3  
Old 9th Jun 2006, 3:26 am
admin admin is offline
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Zaidon

Thanks for your write up and contribution to this topic. I will put it as a sticky.
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  #4  
Old 15th Jun 2006, 1:54 am
sandy4u007 sandy4u007 is offline
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I NEED THE CAPACITY OF VD101N3NC 13-L6 MANUFACTURED BY VDATA. my player reported a capacity or 2 gb initially, which later came down to 1gb. can anyone tell me what is the true capacity of this flash??
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  #5  
Old 3rd Jul 2006, 11:10 am
javad javad is offline
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i am getting 475MB in my 2 GB player.

But i can also load 2 GB data. and i presume problem is somewhere else and not new compression a mentioned by "Iridium" above - because if i know correctly no compression tech can do much better to jpg or mp3 files, and i even tried o copy a zip file and get it back properly.
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  #6  
Old 12th Jul 2006, 7:57 am
ComedicCook ComedicCook is offline
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Default Re: My Fake 4GB MP3 Player - Detailed Findings!

Hey there i am having a similar problem as you.
all the same issues you had as well. Including buying it on Ebay.

My problem was compounded because i synched it with media player so it was continually dumping new songs. Well my player didn't like the and was putting files that made no sense nor could they be deleted.
So i used the Hp usb formatter and it ended up formatting it as a 512 mb player.
When i checked the flash chip the and further checked the Hynix website the chip code actually says its a 4 gb player.
So now i am stuck with a 512 mb player by the looks of it.
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  #7  
Old 9th Aug 2006, 10:43 am
chandnichowk chandnichowk is offline
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Default Re: My Fake 4GB MP3 Player - Detailed Findings!

I bought a 2gb player. had problems with loading files above a certain limit and had to format the player as it played garbled numbers. After formatting , I learned that the player was actually 475 mb (reported by windows Xp)
I promptly complained to the seller who gave me a new player with guarantee that it will be actually 2 Gb when formatted on the computer.

I was being clever and carried my notebook along. Formatted in his presence on the notebook (windows XP). and Viola - it showed 2 gb. I thanked the seller, shook hands with him and came home.

Yesterday i happened to read Zaidons article and filled up my player to its 2 gb capacity. Sadly it turned out that it supports only 1 gb capacity.

My question , as Zaidons, is How does windows XP show the formatted capacity as more than the actual capacity.
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Old 17th Sep 2006, 2:26 am
0wned 0wned is offline
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Default Re: My Fake 4GB MP3 Player - Detailed Findings!

I was also just ripped off by powersellerturbo, aka marklarson007@aol.com. I didn't know about all this until I purchased my player, and even sent him an e-mail before it shipped warning him not to send it if it was a fake. I found this web site and all and it's a great resource, I only wish I found it sooner.

The ebay auction:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN%3AIT&rd=1

The e-mail I sent to him, and his reply shortly after I paid for the item and began researching it (doh!):

Quote:
In a message dated 9/12/2006 11:49:28 P.M. Central Standard Time, iamlepperts18@yahoo.com writes:
I've been doing some research on this player since my purchase and have found there have been some issues relating to the truth of the capacity of the player by some sellers. In your auction you stated the player has 8 GB (8,192 megabyte - MB) capacity. Based on this and after a review of your previous feedback, please confirm if this is true or not; if the player is not truly 8 gigabytes please do not send the item and promptly return my PayPal payment.

Thank you,

Pamela

They are 8gb. , we don't care to get tangled up in the fake stuff. To many headaches.
I received the player today. On the outside of the box is an "8GB" sticker, on the back of the player there were two small round holographic shiny stickers, one that said "8G" and another that said "FM".

First thing I did is look at the properties of the drive, and sure enough it stated 8 GB. Looks good, maybe its true (hah)? Still I decided to format the drive. I tried first with the included MP3 player disk tools, which reported the capacity as 4 GB with matching number of sectors. I tried a low, full and quick format and they all failed stating "Volume too large" at the end. Not good so far.

Then I tried to format using windows, first trying a fat32 format. This formatted ok and oddly still reported 8 GB capacity. The drive has always been reading FAT32 file system. I then tried a regular FAT format and it completed ok.

I turned the device off and back on and went to the drive and windows reported it was not formatted and needed to be formatted. So I decided to format it regular ms dos style fat again, it formatted to reveal the true 2 GB size (about 1900 MB). The disk tool is now also reporting the correct size.

I never did anything to the firmware so I beleive the trick is in how they format the flash, using some kind of FAT32 trick to fool the OS into thinking its a higher capacity. It only switched to the real size when the FAT32 format was destroyed by a regular FAT style format. I've since loaded files, turned off/on, etc. to ensure the file system integrity.

To be sure, I opened up the player to examine the flash chip. Sure enough it's a Samsung K9WAG08U1A, which is a 1G x 2 (two chips in one). So my player is really only 2 GB after all, 75% less than what the seller claimed. Also in this case there is no confusing the GB with Gbit, as 8 Gbit = 1 Gbyte, however this player is in fact 2 GB.

Here is my angry e-mail fired off tonight:

Quote:
Hello,

I just got the player and it is 2 GB. Two GIGA BYTES. A byte is equal to 8 bits!! I reformatted the player and sure enough it is reading the true 2 GB capacity!! Just to be sure I examined the flash chip and it is a single Samsung K9WAG08U1A. This is a 1 GB x 2 chip. 2 GB!! Not 8! This is a very serious difference.

You lied in both the auction and the e-mail. If I wanted to purchase a 2 GB MP4 player, I would not of spent over $100!!! Either you do not know your products well or you lied in the auction on purpose to raise the bid price.

Now, I am giving you the chance to make this right before I go to PayPal and eBay. Either send a true 8 GB player (which I really don't think exist) or refund my money. I'm not asking for a free player but there is no reason why I spent $100 on this player when I could have got a 2GB buy it now for under $50.

Regards,

Pamela
I've not yet posted negative feedback or done anything to maintain a good position with the seller. However it is clear that this player is only 2 GB. It's a nice player and I do like it and will mod it etc. but I wanted an 8 GB player to hold my entire music collection. I wouldn't be so mad if there was a way to upgrade the player but in this case there is not...

That and the fact I paid $100 when I could have got a real 2 GB nano for only $50 more....
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  #9  
Old 17th Sep 2006, 3:31 am
Que Que is offline
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Default Re: My Fake 4GB MP3 Player - Detailed Findings!

That's too bad, Owned. May I know the real names of the persons you all bought it from, showing in your paypal history?
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  #10  
Old 17th Sep 2006, 5:10 am
tadad1 tadad1 is offline
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ComedicCook,
Your chip is most likely a 4 Gigabit not 4 Gigabyte chip.

1 Gigabit=128MB
4 Gigabit=512MB
8 Gigabit=1Gigabyte
16 Gigabit=2Gigabyte

I do not think Hynix do a 4 Gigabyte
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