Monday, January 08, 2007

2Gb SD cards are far too awkward for their own good

I received a nice 2Gb Kingston SD card for Christmas. Lovely.

Formatting it, then getting it to work with my various devices is a problem.

Canon Ixus i (the original 4MP version): formats FAT with 981Mb free. Not good.
Treo 680 formats FAT32 with 1.91Mb free, a good start...
Windows XP SP2 formats FAT 32 with 982Mb free, doesn't want to consider FAT. Says it's has 1.91Gb capacity, but only half free. No good.
Mac OS X 10.3.9 won't format it FAT or FAT32, and I need that to make it work in other devices (which like FAT).

So, format in Treo. Insert into XP, recognises full 1.91Gb, and reads/writes all ok. Mac doesn't like it. It'll mount usually, else it'll throw up errors in system.log if it won't, usually 'disk corrupt' kind of stuff. If it does mount, you get lots (and lots!) of write errors when copying to it.

Two things to check:
1 - that I can ignore the write errors, on assumption Mac is going too fast for card
2 - the card reader

I use a cheap 8-in-1 USB 1 thing. I'm suspicuous to be honest. It may well be the write errors can be ignored, and it's just going to take a lot of time. XP took 25 mins to copy a 700Mb video over...

I do have a card reader in a Western Digital 250Gb external firewire/usb drive, and that SD card reader ignores the card altogether. A 64Mb card lights up and mounts happily, the 2Gb card doesn't even give me a green light on insertion...

Lesson: stick with max. 1Gb SD cards.

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