How to Mount an SD Card As a Hard Drive

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

A Secure Digital card (SD) is for all practical purposes a hard drive. The only differences between it and hard drives commonly found in use with computers is that the SD card uses solid-state memory to store data, rather than a mechanically spinning platter, and is many times more portable. Mounting a SD card on a computer to use as a hard drive requires that it is formatted so the operating system can recognize it. This does not require any programs to be installed as the operating systems of both PCs and Macs come equipped to format a SD card.

Mounting SD Card On PC

Step 1

Insert the SD card into the SD card reader's slot. Plug the SD card reader's USB cable into a USB port on the PC.

Step 2

Go to "Start," "My Computer," "Devices." Right-click on the icon of the SD card that is beneath the "Removable devices & storage" tab in the middle of the window that has appeared on the screen. Select "Properties" from the pop-up menu. Click on the "Format" tab at the top of the new window that appears

Step 3

Uncheck the "Quick format" checkbox on the window. Select a format from the "Format type drop down menu, for example, "FAT32" which will enable the SD card to be used on both Mac and PCs.

Step 4

Click the "Start" button at the bottom right corner of the window. Click the red "X" in the upper right corner of the window once the progress bar that has appeared at the bottom of the window has filled in completely from left to right. Close the other window that is still open by clicking its red "X" button

Step 5

Right-click on the icon of the SD card that is now on the desktop when you are done using it as a hard drive. Select "Eject" from the pop-up menu. Remove the SD card from the SD card reader's slot. Remove the SD card reader's USB cable from the USB port of the PC.

Mounting SD Card On Mac

Step 1

Insert the SD card into the SD card reader's slot. Plug the SD card reader's USB cable into a USB port on the Mac.

Step 2

Launch the Disk Utility program by double-clicking its icon inside of the "Utility" folder which can be found inside of the "Applications" folder. Wait for the Disk Utility program's main window to appear.

Step 3

Click once on the icon of the SD card that is in the left side of the Disk Utility program's main window. Click the "Erase" tab at the top of the Disk Utility program's main window.

Step 4

Enter a name in the "Name" field that is beneath the "Erase" tab. Select a format from the "Format" drop down menu beneath "Name." For example, "MSDOS" or "Mac Extended."

Step 5

Click the "Erase' button at the bottom right of the Disk Utility program's main window. Click the "Erase" button on the confirmation pop-up window. Wait as the confirmation pop-up window goes away and a progress bar at the bottom o the Disk Utility program's main window fills in from left to right.

Step 6

Quit the Disk Utility program when the progress bar has completely filled in. Drag the icon of the SD card that is now on the desktop to the "Trash" when you are done using it as a hard drive. Remove the SD card from the SD card reader's slot. Remove the SD card reader's USB cable from the USB port of the Mac.

Tips & Warnings

  • A computer that has a SD card slot will not need to use a SD card reader.