SD card reading problem
January 4, 2010 3:06 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me solve this J drive/SD card reading problem?

When I insert the SD card from my digital camera into my computer's card reading slot, the photo program (Canon) comes up automatically, and I have no problem reading or storing my photos. But when I format the SD card and click "safely remove", the "safely remove" icon promptly disappears along with the drive letter of the card reader. If I shoot more photos and re-insert the SD card, the reading program will not come up, and several of the card reading drives (J is the one I want) have disappeared from "Computer". If I reboot, everything is back to normal, and drive J reappears in "Computer" along with several others.

How can I fix this so I don't have to reboot the computer every time I want to read another memory card? I have an HP Pavilion running Vista. I know from Googling that others have this problem, but I haven't found a solution yet in the forums.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Best answer: It's because the sd card reader is behaving like a floppy drive and not removable media. Don't click "safely remove". Click "Eject".
posted by GuyZero at 3:13 PM on January 4, 2010

Response by poster: Bingo. That seems to do it. Thanks, GuyZero.
What happens if I just pull the card out after formatting without clicking "eject"? Can I bork the card?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:45 PM on January 4, 2010

Yeah, it's a mystery. Doing a proper shut down ensures pending writes are flushed but for a format I don't think there will be any pending writes, though I can't say for sure. If you disable write caching for that drive letter then it's always safe to pull as long as it's not in the middle of a write operation. It's really just a UI trick to make users who don't know much from pulling it while it's busy. But if you know how stuff works it's generally safe to simply remove if it's not busy writing. Where "generally" is less than 100% of the time.

If the format is really done then you can probably pull it safely without an eject.
posted by GuyZero at 4:54 PM on January 4, 2010

Response by poster: Good to know, thanks again.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 4:59 PM on January 4, 2010

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