30 January 2013

SD XC and XP

I got a new camera a week or so ago but it didn't come with a memory card so I bought the recommended SDXC type with a massive 64GB of memory and faster read/write speeds so that it could handle the big files created by the camera. Took a few practice shots and thought I'd have a look at how they turned out.

Unfortunately, my pc couldn't access the card data. It wanted to format the card. I quickly hit No. That would have wiped everything off which rather defeats the purpose. I tried inserting the card directly in a card reader slot but that didn't work either. Now it is an old pc with Windows XP but it has had all the updates and is SP3 so it's as up to date as it ought to be in that respect. I looked on some forums and saw that the SDXC card has a different file format system and that there were card readers available that claimed to read this new type. So I bought one of them.

I had also tried the card in my new Chromebook, thinking that Samsung might have used a later type of card reader for the device installed on that. No luck there - the Chromebook recognised a card was there but wanted to format it too.

The new card reader arrived today and I plugged the card into it and the pc recognised the various drives on it. I was thinking that it was a bit of a drag to have to fiddle around taking the card out of the camera and then insert it into this little reader every time when I had got used just to plugging a cable from the camera into a USB socket but resigned myself to having to do that. Hang on - the pc still wants to format the card! Damn. Looks like I still have a problem.

I tried a slightly different set of search terms on Google. Something like Why on Earth can't I read my SDXC card?!! and read on a forum that it was a Microsoft Windows XP thing. Things looked gloomy as I'd had all the updates so I dug out an equally old laptop which I'd put Windows 7 on. It seemed that I could at least get the photos with that and then transfer the files to the pc where I wanted them. While the old laptop was thinking about getting started I had another look at the forum and noticed a link to an update related to this someone had posted. I downloaded that, restarted the pc and stuffed the card in the old slot on the pc.

And there they all were! Picasa found all the photos, just like old times!

I should also be able just to connect the camera direct too now. So I didn't need the new card reader or the Windows 7 laptop at all. Just a little update that, for some reason best known to Microsoft, hasn't been included in updates so far. So if you're having trouble reading SD XC cards DO NOT FORMAT them! You don't need to buy some fancy new reader (although it may read them a bit faster if you have hundreds to deal with) and you can do things the way you always used to.

Get the download at this link.