How to Use a Micro SDHC Card
Personal devices, such as digital camera and MP3 players, frequently use external storage cards to hold their data. The Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card is one such storage card that is commonly used. SDHC cards are the next generation of standard Secure Digital (SD) cards, and devices that use SDHC cards offer backwards-compatibility for the older format. Unfortunately, the reverse is not true. Devices designed strictly for SD cards may not be compatible with the newer SDHC cards. Micro SDHC cards are tiny versions of standard SDHC cards, which can be at their current sized or inserted into an adapter to use in standard SDHC card devices. In addition, reading the newer SDHC cards on your personal computer might present a conflict. Fortunately, these conflicts can be resolved with operating system updates.
Things You'll Need
- SDHC or micro SDHC card reader
- Micro SDHC adapter
SDHC in Personal Devices
Consult the specifications listed in your device's instruction manual. Look for the types of memory or storage cards it supports. You need to verify that it supports SDHC cards or micro SDHC cards of the capacity, or size, you have. If it does not, then you will be able to use the micro SDHC card in the device. If the device only supports standard sized SDHC cards, then you may still be able to use your micro SDHC card via an adapter.
Insert your micro SDHC card into the card adapter. This makes the micro SDHC card look like a standard SDHC card, which allows you to use it in devices that only accept the standard size. You will not need the adapter for devices that already accept micro SDHC cards.
Open the cover or tab that protects the SDHC card slot. Insert the card, oriented according to your device's instruction manual. The card should only fit in one direction, so do not force anything. The metal contacts in the SDHC card should be forward, when pushing the card into the device. However, the contacts may be face up or down, depending on the device.
Slide the small tab on the side of the card away from "lock" before inserting it into the device. This tab prevents writing to the device, which will interfere with the device operation.
Close the cover or tab and power up the device. The device should automatically recognize the card and you can begin using the device in conjunction with the SDHC card.
Reading SDHC from Windows
Insert the SDHC card into the USB SDHC card adapter. Make certain the locking tab is in the appropriate position. This is a small tab on the side of the SDHC card that prevents modifying the contents of the card. If you do not want to risk modifying the contents of the card, then slide the tab toward "lock." If you need to delete or write data to the card, slide the tab away from "lock." Some card readers will require that you place your micro SDHC card into a card adapter, so it interfaces as a standard SDHC card. This is not required for all card readers, so check your card reader's manual to see if it accepts micro SDHC cards directly. If it only supports standard sizes, then you will need the adapter.
Plug the USB card reader into an available USB port. A USB port is the small, rectangular port located in front of or behind the computer. The computer should automatically recognize the device and ask how you would like to use it. Select "Open folder to view files." If you do not receive such a request, press the Windows and "E" keys simultaneously to open Windows Explorer and navigate to the card under "Devices with Removable Storage" on he right hand side. If you still do not see it, you may need to update your operating system.
Click "Start," "Control Panel" and then "System and Security." Click "Check for updates" under "Windows update" to check for and install updates. This should fix the incompatibility issue and you will be able to access the SDHC card after a reboot. In older XP machines and some Vista machines, you may need to download and install a hotfix available from Microsoft.
References & Resources
- SanDisk: What is SDHC?
- Microsoft: Some Secure Digital (SD) Cards May Not Be Recognized in Windows Vista
- Microsoft: A Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card is Not Recognized on a Windows Vista Service Pack 1-Based Computer
- Pocket PC FAQ: micro SD
- Microsoft: Hotfix for Windows XP That Adds Support for SDHC Cards...