Problems reading SD cards

  Pineman100 17 Feb 12
Locked
Answered

My Windows 7 laptop has an SD card reader slot that I use regularly (I am a photography enthusiast). Recently I've been having trouble getting the slot to recognise a card when it's plugged in "hot". Normally, plugging in a card would - after a few seconds - open up the Autoplay menu, and the card could then be opened in Windows Explorer.

Recently, however, when I plug in a card, nothing happens. I get lots of activity on the HDD drive light, and an intermittent hourglass against the cursor, but Autoplay fails to open. When I click on the drive letter in Windows Explorer, it asks me to insert a disk, even though the card is already plugged in.

However, if I plug in the card then restart the computer, I can then access the card successfully in Windows Explorer.

I've tried several different SD cards and the problem is the same with all of them.

Any ideas on how I can get hot-plugged cards recognised, please?

  Pineman100 17 Feb 12

One further thing that I've noticed since posting this problem. When I want to remove an SD card from the reader, my normal procedure is to right-click on it in Windows Explorer, then click on "Eject".

Now when I do this, I get a report that "the drive (F:) is currently in use", even though it's not. I guess this is a symptom of the same problem.

  Pineman100 17 Feb 12

^

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17 Feb 12
Answer

Uninstall and reinstall the card reader is my first choice.

However I'm willing to bet its connected by USB header to the motherboard, have a look in device manager make sure you tick Show Hidden Devices - these will come up in light grey - uninstall all instances of the card reader before doing a scan for new hardware then windows should find and reinstall it.

Lots of instances of the same driver occurs with devices that are regularly plugged in and out, after a while they start to clash causing the symptoms you have described.

  Pineman100 17 Feb 12

Many thanks for your response,Fruit Bat /\0/.

I've looked in Device Manager and found two devices that might be the card reader - I wonder if you could please tell me which to reinstall.

Under Disk Drives there is an entry for "Generic Multi-Card USB Device".

Under Portable Devices there is an entry for "F:\" This is the drive letter that is always allocated to the SD card.

Which of those should I uninstall/reinstall - or should I do both?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17 Feb 12

Do both windows will reinstall if you reboot or Use Action - scan for new hardware

  Pineman100 17 Feb 12

Thanks for that. I'll do it and report back.

  Pineman100 17 Feb 12

Success! I started by uninstalling the Generic Multi-Card USB Device and found that, when that disappeared from my Device Manager list, drive F: disappeared too.

I then scanned for new hardware and reinstallation took seconds. The card reader is now behaving normally.

Huge thanks as always, Fruit Bat /\0/. Goodness knows how many scrapes you've got me out of, over the years!

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