Why won't my PC read my SD card?
March 31, 2009 4:47 PM   Subscribe

My PC can't read my SD card. What gives?

I have a 4 GB SD card in my digital camera. Last night, I tried to download the pics from the card using one of those 9-in-1 card readers.

My PC had trouble reading the card and when I finally double clicked to try and access the drive assigned to the SD card, it said that it was inaccessible due to an I/O error. This same error occurred on my laptop and work computer as well. All these computers run XP.

Any ideas on how I fix this and get at my pics?
posted by reenum to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If it's 4GB it may be SDHC format, not SD format, and your computer's reader may not work.
posted by Zed at 4:55 PM on March 31, 2009

My camera has a USB interface. I access my 2G chip by leaving it in the camera and connecting the camera to my computer. When plugged in (to Vista) it looks like an external drive. I can copy picture files off of it and delete them afterwards. Your camera probably has that, or Firewire, too. Why are you messing around with the chip at all?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:24 PM on March 31, 2009

Just to clarify, the camera is still able to read the contents of the card, correct?

Chocolate Pickle, built-in card readers often offer faster transfer times and more reliable transfers than the camera's interface. No cords to mess with, either. In fact, I always use a card reader nowadays. I learned my lesson after an unfortunate static shock that occurred when my dSLR was connected to my laptop fried a chip in my dSLR, disabling in the middle of a trip to China and requiring a $200 repair bill. :(
posted by roomwithaview at 5:59 PM on March 31, 2009

If it is one of those usb card readers try putting the card in first then plugging in the usb connection. Then the computer should see it as a separate drive letter. Disconnect the same way ,shut down drive , unplug card reader, remove card. In that order. I pulled my hair out many a time till I figured this out.
posted by patnok at 6:35 PM on March 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

I should add that the computer may show as many drive letters as there are slots. So then you have to figure out which one is the card you have installed.
posted by patnok at 6:44 PM on March 31, 2009

patnok's suggestion works with my Mac as well. Put card in reader, then plug reader in.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:39 PM on March 31, 2009

Response by poster: A few details:

1. My PC and laptop don't have an internal card reader.

2. This is an SDHC card. I went out and bought a reader for it last night, which may solve the problem. SD and SDHC are identical in size and shape, so I was using an older reader to try and get my pics.

I'll post more on it tonight when I have a chance to test this theory.
posted by reenum at 6:48 AM on April 1, 2009

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