Why won’t my microSD card work in one computer while it does in another?

valhallah February 15, 2015
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My computer will not read my SD card. It is a micro SD card, in an adapter, new, cleaned, no crusty residue. The slot came with one of those fake, plastic ones so it won’t get dirty inside, and I’ve kept it there ever since. When I first got my computer, about two months ago (as a hand-me-down), it worked perfectly fine. I used it to transfer my files from an older computer. That was the last time I used it.

I want to transfer my files again, but it’s not showing up in “devices with removable storage”. It makes that little beeping sound when I remove it, though. I went to Device Manager, and it’s not showing up. I tried scanning for hardware changes, but it’s taking forever in a usually fast computer. I tried restarting it, but that didn’t work either. I doubt it’s been damaged, since I kept it in a little plastic case ever since I bought it. Plus, it’s working perfectly fine with my other computer. It’s not write-protected, either. Halp?

  1. Doc
    March 19, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    How large is the SD card? There are currently three generations: SD (up to 4GB), SDHC (4GB to 32GB), and SDXC (64GB to 128GB). Card readers for each are backwards-compatible, but not vice versa, due to hardware changes.
    If the SD card isn't formatted in FAT32 (most are), you may also need filesystem drivers for EXFat or Mac HFS.

  2. Latests Education News
    March 13, 2015 at 10:46 am

    1. Click show hidden devices under View
    2. expand all the nods under device manager
    3. Check the grayed out entries, uninstall the grayed out entries.
    4. restart the computer and plug the external device to the computer and check if it works

  3. vane joy
    February 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    Create your backup of SD card (if it contain any important data ) . After creating the backup , format the SD card.
    If this will not work , please let me know

  4. DalSan M
    February 19, 2015 at 12:22 am

    I'll second Oron's suggestion about the driver for the card reader. You may have to uninstall, but not delete, the driver in device manager, and then restart the computer. I've had similar issues with a Windows Vista computer where every few days, the SD card reader would fail to be recognized. Uninstalling the driver and restarting the computer so that the driver can be reinstalled automatically allowed the SD card to be read and written to again, until the device failed to be recognized again.

    I'd also suggest going to the laptop's manufacturer support website to see if there is a firmware update for the card reader to see if that helps, as well. If all else fails, you may have to get an USB card reader/adapter for use with your laptop.

  5. ukatu michael
    February 17, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    you can repair the removable drive by running command prompt as administrator and type chkdsk /f:drive letter and press enter. wait for it to load

    • ha14
      February 17, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      nice, but i think first the sd card must be somehow recognized by windows otherwise chkdsk wont work

  6. Oron
    February 17, 2015 at 11:21 am

    The fact that the card works on another computer suggests that it is not faulty, and although it is technically possible that it is formatted in a way your PC doesn't recognise, there's no reason to think the problem is there. This leaves two other scenarios:
    1. The card reader is faulty (could be a dirty contact, or something else).
    2. The card is detected and mounted, but is not shown in "Computer" for some reason.

    My suggestion would be to test the second possibility first. Insert the card and run Windows Disk Management. In the bottom half of that window there's a list of your storage devices. Is the card listed there (it should be shown as Disk # where "#" is the highest number in the list)?

    If it is listed, is it shown in the top half of the window? If not, it probably needs to be mapped to a drive letter. Right-click on the drive in the bottom pane and choose "Change drive Letter and Paths...". Click [Add...] and assign it a drive letter that does not conflict with any other drives in your computer. Close all Windows and all should be well.

    If that doesn't work, your card reader may be faulty after all. In the device manager, check the "Universal Serial Controllers" branch and try to identify your reader (this may not be easy since it may be listed as a hub or a composite device etc). Double click on it, click the /Driver tab and see if you can either [Roll Back Driver] or, if that's not possible, [Update Driver...]. You may need to restart the PC for the change to take effect. If that leads nowhere, try testing the reader with another micro-SD card.

  7. Phyl
    February 16, 2015 at 7:52 am

    I guess you are not the only one with such an issue. Last November, I could not use a Transcend SD card on my laptop, it just kept peeping. Later, I realised that those SD card adapters kind of come with drivers that try to install on the computer, reason for the sounds.

    My friend's computer didn't have any problems after the adapter had installed its drivers but the speeds were too slow

  8. ha14
    February 15, 2015 at 9:32 am

    check on other usb ports
    try to format it on the working computer and then see if it will be detected again on the other computer.

    Open device manager
    1. Click show hidden devices under View
    2. expand all the nods under device manager
    3. Check the grayed out entries, uninstall the grayed out entries.
    4. restart the computer and plug the external device to the computer and check if it works

    can be your security software which comes with external drive scan option, maybe it is blocking the sd card recognition?

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