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HP Desktop PCs - Using and Troubleshooting Memory Card Readers (Windows 7)

This document pertains to preinstalled memory card readers on HP and Compaq computers with Windows 7.
Many HP and Compaq computers come with memory card readers preinstalled. Memory cards are used primarily for importing pictures from digital cameras, but they can also be useful for sharing pictures and files.
Figure : Memory card reader (Yours might be different)
Memory card reader
Not all types of memory cards are supported in all computers. Check your computer specifications for supported memory card types.
List of common types of memory cards:
  • CompactFlash I
  • CompactFlash II
  • IBM Microdrive
  • Secure Digital (SD)
  • mini-SD
  • Memory Stick
  • Memory Stick Pro
  • Memory Stick Duo
  • Memory Stick Pro Duo
  • SmartMedia
For memory card specifications, see the HP support document, General Information About Memory Cards.

Properly inserting and removing a memory card in Windows 7

Do not insert or remove memory cards while the light on the reader is flashing. Doing so may cause loss of data on the card or may permanently damage the card reader.
The following steps explain how to use memory cards in a card reader:
  1. Insert a memory card.
    An autoplay window appears. If not, access the card through Windows Explorer.
  2. The memory card has a drive letter associated with it, just like a CD-ROM drive, or hard drive. Use the memory card as you would use any other drive on the computer. For example, double-click the memory card icon to open a new window showing the files on the memory card.
  3. When you have finished working with the files on a memory card, us the Safely Remove Hardware feature to remove the memory card. This feature appears as an icon in the taskbar.
    Figure : Safely Remove Hardware feature in taskbar
    Safely remove hardware feature in taskbar
    Click the Safley Remove Hardware icon and select Eject or Safely Remove to remove the memory card.
    On some computers, you can use the eject feature in the Computer window to eject or safely remove the memory card.
    Open the Computer window, right-click the memory card icon, and select Eject or Safely Remove.
    Figure : Eject feature in the computer window
    Eject feature in the computer window
    An alternative to using the Safely Remove Hardware feature is to use the Optimize for Quick Removal feature in Windows as follows:
    1. Click Start , enter device Manager in the search field, and then select Device Manager from the list. Click Continue if a UAC message opens.
    2. In the Device Manager window, double-click to expand the Disk drives list. Memory card readers are seen as drive devices in Windows.
    3. In the list of drive devices, right-click the device to display a drop-down menu (for example, Generic USB CF Reader for Compact Flash media). Click Properties in this menu.
    4. Click the Policies tab in the Device Properties window.
    5. Select Optimize for quick removal, then click the OK button.
      This setting disables write caching on the device and in Windows, so the media can be removed without using the Safely Remove Hardware feature in the taskbar. A disadvantage of doing this may be a minor drop in device performance.
      The Polices tab in the Device Properties window, with Optimize for quick removal selected

Formatting memory cards in Windows 7

Before storing anything on the card for the first time, format the memory card from your digital camera or by using the following steps:

This video shows how to format memory cards

  1. Insert the memory card into the memory card slot. If an autoplay window opens, close it.
  2. Click Start , and then click Computer.
  3. Under Removable Storage, right-click the memory card icon representing the card type inserted.
  4. Select Format.
  5. Enter a Volume label name into the label field. This is the name that will appear next to the drive letter in Windows.
    Figure : Format window
    Format window, with MEM entered into the Volume label field
  6. Click Start.
  7. Click OK on the Format Complete window.
  8. Click Close to finish.

Resolving issues with memory cards

Use the following sections to resolve issues you have with your memory cards.






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