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HP Notebook PCs - General Information About Memory Cards

Memory cards are generally used for importing pictures to and from digital cameras, but they can also be very useful for sharing files between other devices with card readers. Memory cards are small, have a high storage capacity, are reliable, and have a fast transfer rate.
To use a memory card, insert the card into a memory card reader and the device automatically recognizes the card.
To remove a memory card, click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in your system tray. Do not click Stop in the Safely Remove Hardware window because this action disconnects the memory card reader from Windows. If the memory card reader becomes disconnected, you can restart the computer to reinitialize the memory card reader.
The types of memory card readers available vary from model to model, and some computers do not have a memory card reader. Check the product specifications for your computer to determine which memory cards are compatible prior to purchasing any of the memory cards in this document.

SmartMedia (SM) cards

SmartMedia (SM) cards are removable flash memory chips that are laminated on a plastic card. They are designed for use in several different types of digital devices, including, but not limited to: digital cameras, digital music players, cellular phones, pagers, and digital voice recorders. The SmartMedia data format is based on the ATA and DOS file standards.
Figure : SmartMedia (SM) card

Extreme Digital (xD) cards

Extreme Digital (xD) cards are designed to operate in a wide range of temperatures: from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit (-25 to 85 degrees Celsius). This makes them one of the best options for use in harsh environments and punishing conditions.
An xD card can read and write data faster than any other storage media, is very economical with battery power, and typically delivers the following performance:
  • A 9 MB/sec sequential write speed, allowing you to quickly save large image files to the card.
  • A minimum of 10 MB/sec sequential read speed, allowing you to quickly view images and transfer data to the card.
Figure : Extreme Digital (xD) card

MultiMedia Cards (MMCs)

MultiMedia cards (MMC) are flash memory cards that weight less than two grams and are smaller than a postage stamp. MMCs are used in portable devices such as digital audio players, digital cameras, and PDAs. Their low power requirement makes them highly suitable for battery-powered mobile applications.
Other features include the following:
  • Less than 1 non-recoverable error in 1,014 bits read.
  • Damage-free powered card insertion and removal.
  • Up to 100,000 erase cycles per block.
  • Operating shock rating of 2,000 Gs, equivalent to a 10-foot drop to the floor.
  • Compatibility with all digital music players, digital camcorders, handheld computing devices, mobile phones, and other devices featuring a MultiMedia card slot.
Figure : Multimedia Card (MMC)

Secure Digital (SD) cards

Secure Digital (SD) cards are small, highly secure, and reliable flash memory cards that have a mechanical write protection switch. The data transfer rate and the physical size of the secure digital card is based on the MultiMedia card standard.
Other features include the following:
  • SD hosts allow MultiMedia card upward compatibility (data transfer rate and physical size are based on MultiMedia card standard).
  • Mechanical write protection switch.
  • High transfer rate for fast copy/download (average 2 MB/s).
  • High storage capacity.
  • Non-volatile, solid-state memory device with no moving parts. Data is not lost when power is turned off.
  • Low battery consumption maximizes battery life in small portable devices.
  • New devices with SD card slots also accept MultiMedia cards.
  • Operating shock rating of 2,000Gs.
  • Security level complies with both current and future secure digital music initiative (SDMI) portable device requirements.
Figure : Secure Digital (SD) card

Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) cards

Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) is an improvement on the SD card standard, allowing for much higher capacity storage and faster data transfer rates. SDHC cards have a capacity range of 4GB to 32GB, and use the FAT32 file system, which requires less space for larger files. This improved capacity allows an SDHC card to preserve the quality of high performance digital content, such as photographs and videos. SDHC readers are backwards compatible, which means they can read from, and write to, earlier SD card versions.
Figure : Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card
Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card

Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) cards

Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) cards are another improvement on the SD card standard. Like SDHC, they allow for greater file sizes and faster data transfer rates. SDXC cards have a capacity range of 32GB to 2TB, and use the exFAT file system for efficiently handling the largest file sizes. SDXC cards are designed to work with high-end consumer and industrial digital devices. SDXC readers are backwards compatible with SDHC and SD cards, but only if the operating system can read from, and write to, the exFAT file system (such as Windows 7 and Windows Vista with SP1 and later).
Figure : Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) card
Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) card

Mini Secure Digital (miniSD) cards

MiniSD cards from the SanDisk Corporation, are portable and removable memory cards that are specifically designed for use in small electronic devices, such as digital cameras and mobile phones. Mini secure digital (miniSD) cards are a 60 percent smaller version of the standard SD cards.
Figure : Mini Secure Digital (miniSD) card
Mini Secure Digital (miniSD) card

Micro Secure Digital (microSD) cards

Micro secure digital (microSD) cards from the SanDisk Corporation, are the smallest commercially available memory cards, and are primarily used in cell phones.
Figure : Micro Secure Digital (microSD) card
Micro Secure Digital (microSD) card

CompactFlash (CF) cards (I, II, and Microdrive)

Compact Flash (CF) cards are ideal for a broad range of applications, from computers and PDAs to embedded systems. The silicon disk cards offer a rugged system for increasing the amount of portable memory storage that is available for CF-card compatible computers. CF cards comply with the type I format and include the following features:
  • Ultra fast, with an up to 9 MB per second data transfer rate.
  • Available in standard speed 13x, ultra speed 30x, and industrial formats.
  • Use flash technology and 512 Kb sector erase chips.
  • Compatible with both 3.3v and 5v operation.
  • Fully compatible with DOS, Windows, OS/2, NEC OS, Dos V, GEOS, PSOS and Apple System 7.
CF cards are perfect for photographers who need high-performance cards to quickly capture many high-resolution images, or for use at events that require fast snapshot and recovery time.
HP and Compaq computers do not currently support compact flash III cards.
Figure : CompactFlash (CF) card

Memory Stick (MS)

Memory Sticks (MS) from the Sony Corporation, are high capacity and high performance memory cards with a thin design that is ideal for use in small digital electronics products, such as digital camcorders, digital cameras, and digital music players.
Other features include the following:
  • Fast average transfer rate: read 2.45 MB/sec, write 1.5 MB/sec.
  • Low power consumption: average 45mA, standby 130uA.
  • Secure protection of commercial and copyright content.
HP and Compaq computers do not currently support Memory Stick DUO cards.
Figure : Memory Stick (MS)

Memory Stick PRO (MS PRO)

The Memory Stick PRO (MS PRO) from the Sony Corporation, was designed for recording continuous real-time, high capacity, and high-resolution moving images.
The built-in MagicGate copyright protection technology provides secure protection for commercial and copyrighted content. This also prevents third-party access to personal data through the use of an embedded intelligent controller unit.
Other features include the following:
  • Maximum transfer speed of 160 Mbps.
  • Minimum write speed of 15 Mbps as a format standard.
  • Mechanical write-protect switch to prevent the loss of data.
  • Capable of preventing data loss in case of sudden power loss or removal of the media during file recording.
HP and Compaq computers do not currently support Memory Stick PRO DUO cards.
Figure : Memory Stick PRO (MS PRO)

Thumb drives

A thumb drive is a re-writable portable memory storage and holds its memory without requiring a continuous power supply. A thumb drive will fit into any USB port on any computer.
Figure : Thumb Drive
Thumb drive






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