Why Won’t My Computer Recognize My SD Card?

March 4, 2009

in computer hardware,computer performance,digital media,photos and video

by Tina Gasperson

SD cards are standard equipment for anyone who owns a digital camera. These tiny memory packages have become digital film, and for years, desktop computers and laptops alike have come with an SD card reader installed by default. So what’s the problem if you insert your new SD card and your computer doesn’t recognize it?

Most likely, you’ve purchased one of the newer high-capacity SD cards, also known as SDHC. These cards hold more than 2 gigabytes of information and really come in handy for those of us who own high megapixel digital cameras, when each picture can take up 5MB or more. But these new cards can cause a problem if your computer isn’t one of the latest models. If your system was manufactured before 2006, the factory-installed card reader just isn’t capable of working with high capacity cards. Unfortunately, this isn’t just a software or driver issue. You’ll have to either buy a new card reader, or swap your SDHC for one of the older, smaller cards.

Never fear, there may be another solution. One good workaround is to plug your camera directly into your computer – an easy fix especially if your camera uses a standard USB connection. It’s likely that even if you haven’t installed drivers for your camera, Windows will recognize it and be able to work with it. And if you have a photo editing application installed, you’ll be able to import your pictures directly into that application and work with them just as you would if you’d inserted your SD card into the card reader.

Tina Gasperson (tinahdee@gmail.com), affectionately known as Computer Lady by her family, has been writing about IT, home computing, and the Internet for more than a decade.

{ 1 comment }

Dusan 11.04.10 at 8:57 am

I tried to connect my camera to my MACbook via USB cable but MAC doesn`t recognize (“drive can`t be read”) it. Camera uses SDXC card (64 gb).
Nobody can tell me what`s the problem. Do you think I should by a card-reader for that? Manufacturer claims MAC should recognize the camera automaticly, but doesn`t.

Thank you for any suggestion.

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