Memory cards for laptops: Laptop Memory |

What Are SD Cards Used for in Laptops? (Answered!)

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Secure Digital (SD) cards are small memory cards used for computers. You might have used one in the past, like in an old digital camera, to transfer photos between devices. Though some think they don’t need SD cards anymore, your laptop can still benefit from them. 

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Types of SD Cards

In the 1990s, many laptops and other devices used a MultiMediaCard (MMC). Then, Sony came up with the Memory Stick to help consumers. It led to the later release of the CompactFlash card. 

However, those cards almost disappeared overnight with the introduction of the SD card, which hit the market in 1991. Not only was it smaller than the other cards, but many also found it easier to use. In addition, SD cards can store up to 2GB of data.

Other Memory Cards

Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHD) cards emerged in 2006 and quickly became popular among computer users. This card is compatible with faster systems and can store up to 32GB of data. 

Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDEC) cards arrived in 2009. Though roughly the same size as other cards, it has a capacity of 2TB. You’ll also find Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) cards that hold 128 TB of data.

SD Card Uses

The most common reason to use an SD card is its extra memory. Cheaper computers usually do not have as much hard drive space as others do. Plus, it can take a lot of money and time. You also risk damaging your computer if you’re unfamiliar with the process. 

SD cards were once so popular that Dell and other brands made laptops with built-in card readers. Using one is as easy as removing the card from your camera or other device and sliding it into the SD reader. Most of these laptops placed the reader on the front.

Few devices today use SD cards because new technology is available. In addition, some brands stopped making them because they are susceptible to viruses. That they then carry and affect other devices. They can also fail for various reasons. 

Instead, buy a mini SD card or an SD card from an electronics store. The mini cards are small enough to fit in a tablet or phone but give you much more memory. There are also different types of adapters that work with these cards. 

One is a small case that wraps around the mini card to make it the same size as an SD card. The other is similar to a USB hub in that it has a slot where you insert the card to make your system read it.

Data Transfer

Have you ever wanted to move files from your laptop to your desktop? Maybe you have a computer you use at home and need to send files to your work computer. You can email the files, but this takes a lot of time. Using cables is another option, but it’s easy to trip over them and disrupt the transfer. 

An SD card is a convenient way to transfer data between two devices or systems. With an SD card, you insert it and choose the files you want to save on it. 

Many systems even allow you to drag and drop those files. As a bonus, your computer should instantly recognize the card. Once you remove it, insert the card into the other computer to transfer the files. 

You can use an SD card in the same way you would a thumb drive.

SD cards also allow you to transfer data between devices, such as gaming consoles and cell phones. 

If you have a mini SD card in your phone, you should invest in an adapter to ensure your computer can read it. Many consoles have slots on the back or side that allow you to insert a memory card. It comes in handy if you want to save your game progress or when you want to access your game on a different system. You can also use an SD card to transfer photos and videos you took with your camera to your computer.

Backup Storage

Few things are worse than turning on your laptop and seeing an error message that stops it from working. Corruption within the Operating System (OS) can cause a hard drive failure that keeps you from accessing your files. While there is a chance that tech can recover your files and get your laptop running again, you cannot guarantee this will happen. 

Many people who experienced hard drive failure in the past find ways to back up their files. An SD card allows you to save copies of the files and folders on your hard drive. You should back up your files at least once a month, but you may want to do it more often. 

Once you move copies of the files to the card, store them in a safe spot. Most brands include plastic cases that protect their cards from dust and moisture. Keep the card in a place you can easily remember and access.

Formatting an SD Card

Whether you buy a new SD card or want to use an old one you found, you need to format it first. Formatting an old card removes any stored data and gives you more space. Always review the files first to ensure you don’t need or want them. Formatting a new card is also essential because you want to remove any errors it might have and ensure it can work with your laptop.

To format your card:

  1. Insert it into your laptop.
  2. Open your settings and go to Windows File Explore to select This PC. If you do not see This PC, choose My Computer.
  3. Look under the “Devices” and “Drives” to find the SD card.
  4. Right-click on the card’s icon, pick the Manage option, and then the Format option.

Using the Quick Format choice allows your laptop to format the card for you.

If you have a Mac, insert your SD card and open the Finder. Enter the “Utilities” folder and pick the Disk Utility. You can then choose your card and the Erase feature. Make sure you select the correct format option and then let the Mac erase the data on the card.

Why Can’t You Format Your Card?

You might have difficulty formatting your SD card because of an error. Corruption is one of the more common problems, especially if you have an old card. 

How you store it is crucial to how long it will last. High or low temperatures can easily corrupt these cards. When you insert the card and follow the above steps, you should get a message that lets you know you formatted the card. 

Try moving all the files from the card to your laptop and then deleting them. It should fix the problem if there is a corrupted file on the card. After that, try a few different things to improve the SD card.

How to Fix a Corrupted SD Card

Look for write protection on the card before you do anything else. Manual protection is standard on new cards and may include a small piece of adhesive paper that keeps your laptop from reading the card until you remove it. This piece of paper can also stick to the side of the card. 

Some cards come with write protection that requires software removal. You need to go into “Utilities” and select the card. Different brands have different steps you need to follow to remove that protection.

How to Read an SD Card on a Laptop

Reading and using an SD card on your laptop is easy if you have a memory card slot. Some models have a place right on the front, but you might find that your notebook has a space on the back or the side. 

Keep in mind that this slot should have a plastic piece that is the same size and shape as a memory card. You need to lightly push in on the card until you hear a click, which will cause it to come out. Once you remove the plastic, you can insert your SD card.

SD cards are common in tablets, laptops, and notebooks because they don’t add much weight to the device but can hold a lot of memory. In addition to SD card slots, some computers have smaller slots designed for mini or micro SD cards. Pick up an adapter and a standard slot if you have smaller SD cards.

These adapters hold micro and mini SD cards and put the chip near the front where your laptop can find it. When you insert the adapter, your computer will read it as quickly as it reads standard SD cards.

I Don’t Have a SD Card Slot. What Should I Do?

Many people buy new laptops without checking whether they have an SD slot. You do not need to worry because there are good alternatives to those slots, such as a USB hub

USB hubs come in designs that you plug into a USB port on your laptop. Others have an AC adapter that works with a wall outlet. They have multiple USB slots as well as other ports.  

Many models also have a card reader that works with SD cards. When you connect the hub to your laptop and insert your card, you can view the files on your screen.

A USB card reader is another easy way to view the data. These readers are compact enough to carry. They have a dedicated slot for your card and a USB cord that plugs into your laptop. 

Once you plug it in, wait for your system to find and recognize it. You can then add your card and bring it up on your screen. It lets you transfer any files you want to keep and delete old files and see what data is on the card.

You can also use an SD card adapter, which comes with either a USB-C or a USB-B adapter. Not only are these pretty handy, but they are also relatively cheap. 

Though it looks like a standard thumb drive, it has two plastic caps that pop off. Remove one and insert your SD card into the side. Then, remove the other to plug the adapter into your laptop. Snag one that uses different adapters on each side is often helpful because you can use them with more devices.


An SD card gives you more memory for your laptop and a handy backup for your system. You can also use one to transfer data, even if you don’t have a dedicated card slot. Use a new or old SD card to get more out of your laptop.

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Insert or remove an SD card in your PC

An SD memory card is an ideal way to save your PC’s data, such as photos, music, emails, software, documents, and apps. You can also transfer the data to other devices, such as digital cameras or smartphones, and then store the data for future use. Once the SD card is placed in your PC’s dedicated slot, you can begin saving and moving your information.  

Inserting an SD card is simple; you’ll know it’s been properly inserted when you hear a clicking sound.

  1. Insert the SD card into the memory card slot.

  2. Push in the memory card until you hear a clicking sound.

  3. You can save, move, or delete data on the memory card.

Remove an SD card from your PC by pressing it into the card slot.

  1. Push in the card gently until it disengages from the memory card slot.

  2. Grab the end of the card and pull it out of the slot.


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Which memory card to choose for a smartphone, tablet or laptop

Sooner or later, almost any owner of a smartphone, tablet, and now more and more often a laptop, the question arises of buying a memory card and expanding it using the built-in memory of your device, volume of which he ceased to suffice.

However, when many of us come to the store, we find a huge assortment of memory cards on the counter, many of which, for some reason, have the same capacity, have completely different prices, and to the seller’s question: “What card class would you like to buy?” almost fall into a stupor. Today we would like to help you understand all this.

First of all, you should know that memory cards differ not only in the amount of information (photos, videos, documents, applications, etc.) that can be stored on them, or in capacity, but also in the speed with which everything this data can be written to them (and subsequently read).

Depending on the capacity, the cards are divided into SD, SDHC and SDXC types. These cards will work in all devices that support SD, SDHC, or SDXC.

SDHC (SD High Capacity or High Capacity) cards are SD cards with a capacity of 4 GB to 32 GB. Their original format is FAT32.

SDHC cards work differently than standard SD cards and will most likely not work on older devices made before 2008.

SDXC (Extended Capacity) cards have capacities from 64 GB to 2 TB and are shipped exFAT 9 formatted from the factory0003

Most devices released on the market after 2010 should be compatible with SDXC memory cards, but not all operating systems understand the exFAT format, so sometimes they have to be reformatted to FAT32, NTFS, or another format after purchase.

Depending on the speed of their work, memory cards are divided into so-called “classes”

• Class 2, 4, 6, 10 memory cards

• UHS class 1 or 3 memory cards

• Class memory cards V6, V10, V30, V60, V90

• Class A1 or A2 memory cards

Cards with a higher class number have faster performance.

Interestingly, if the first two classes that appeared earlier than the others were characterized mainly by the speed of writing and reading data to the card, then class V determines the format or video speed (Video speed) that can be recorded on these cards, and class A is in general, the class of application launch speed on them (Aplications speed).

A-class cards have appeared quite recently (the official announcement of the first A1 cards took place in January of this year, 2017) and you will find more detailed information about them in this material.

Class A2 card specifications were published in February 2017 and the corresponding cards will have speeds within 4000 operations per second when reading, 2000 operations per second when writing, and their sequential read / write speed should be at level 10 MB/sec

How can I find out the speed class of the memory card?

The speed class is printed on the front side of the card, in the same place where its capacity and type are marked. This is how the icons of different classes look like:

A-class memory cards are marked with this icon:

How to choose a memory card?

First of all, you need to decide what your memory card will be mainly used for: recording video, storing photos and other information, or you will install games and other applications on it.

In the first case, if you use the card mainly for video recording, then the faster the card you have, the better video you can record on it.

For example, to record HD or Full HD video, you need a card with a write speed ranging from 4 to 30 MB per second. But recording video in 4K format will require speeds from 10 to 60 MB per second from the card.

The following table will help you understand what class of video recording quality card you need to buy:

If you want to store photos and documents on a memory card, then any modern memory card will do: super high write speeds are not required for these purposes. But the best thing, of course, is to choose a card “with a margin” whose class corresponds to the fourth or fifth line of the table above.

For those who plan to use a memory card to install games and other heavy applications on it, it is recommended to use A1 or A2 class memory cards, but they are still very rare today, and in case of looking for an alternative, you better be guided by the principle: ” the faster the better”. Of course, at the same time, you need to understand that the faster the card, the more expensive it is.

Ultra-fast UFS microSD memory cards with up to 256 GB officially introduced by Samsung

Samsung’s new single-chip SSD drives are smaller than microSD cards, but much faster than them and conventional SSD drives


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Laptop does not recognize memory card


  1. Why the laptop does not see the memory card
  2. When the laptop does not see the SD card due to its own problems
  3. Why the laptop does not see the memory card of the camera
  4. If the laptop does not see the memory card, format it
  5. Your laptop does not see the memory card, clean its contacts
  6. The laptop does not see the memory card due to blocking
  7. When the laptop does not see the memory card due to its own problems
  8. If the card reader on the laptop does not work, update the driver
  9. The laptop does not see the sd memory card due to its erroneous letter designation
  10. If the laptop does not see the sd card, change the settings in BIOS

Modern laptops have fairly large hard drives. Nevertheless, most users of their disk space are sorely lacking. Therefore, a variety of plug-in drives have become widespread: flash drives and memory cards.

At the same time, because of their compactness, the latter are becoming more and more popular. They can save a huge amount of information, and easily transfer it from one computer to another. A great solution to the problem of storing and moving information ceases to be such if the laptop does not see the memory card. It always happens all of a sudden. It would seem that nothing foreshadowed: and here you are: on.

Caught in an impasse, many are lost and do not know what to do. It seems to them that they cannot do without involving a cool computer guru. If such a person is not among friends, then you will have to invite someone from outside and pay money. However, if you use the tips that will be outlined below, your money will remain with you.

Why the laptop does not see the memory card

In search of an answer to the question: why your laptop does not see your own sd card, you need to proceed from the fact that there may be several reasons for this. All of them fall into two categories. The first is the problem with the card itself. The second category is problems to look for in a laptop.

When the laptop does not see the SD card due to its own problems

Before you start looking for reasons why the laptop does not see the sd card, you need to make sure that the card itself is working. This can be done in two ways. The first is to plug it into a known good machine and make sure it works on that machine without any problems. The second method, on the contrary, involves connecting a known-good card to your computer. In both cases, this indicates that the problem is in the laptop. If this did not happen, then something happened to the card.

If the laptop does not see the memory card because of itself, then this can happen for reasons such as:

  • variety of memory card standards;
  • incorrect removal of the card from the usb connector;
  • contamination or oxidation of contacts;
  • card blocking.

Any of these causes can be easily corrected. It does not require special knowledge and skills.

Why the laptop does not see the camera’s memory card

The main reason for the poor compatibility of memory cards is the lack of a single standard. To date, three types of storage devices have become widespread. Including:

  • SD 32 X 14 mm;
  • Mini SD 21.5 X 20 mm;
  • MicroSD 11 X 15 mm.

Such a variety of form factors is explained by the general direction of movement towards the miniaturization of gadgets. However, all of them are quite compatible with each other, if card readers and adapters are used during their operation. However, initially each of them was created for use in a certain type of device.

So, the laptop does not see the microsd memory card intended for phones and players. What if these devices are so different. However, that is not the problem at all. Why then do card readers and adapters exist. Their weak compatibility lies elsewhere. Namely: in mismatch of file systems.

Most notebook hard drives are formatted with the FAT 32 or NTFS file system. With NTFS, everything is more or less clear; it allows you to see disks of all other file systems. But FAT 32 is rather capricious in this sense. She point-blank does not see NTFS, which, in turn, is absolutely incompatible with the Android OS file system. And under its control, almost all smartphones and many tablets work.

This is why the laptop does not see and cannot see the micro sd memory card through the adapter. Everything seems to be simple here: I took it and formatted my system disk under FAT 32. However, there is one big “but” here, which cannot be bypassed or bypassed.

The problem is that FAT 32 is not able to work with files larger than 4 gigabytes.

At the same time, memory cards were largely created for downloading high-quality video on them, the volume of which often exceeds this indicator.

If the laptop does not see the memory card, format it

The handling of memory cards, as well as with usb devices, has its own specifics. It lies in the fact that they can be removed from the connectors without turning off the computer. However, it is necessary to adhere to a special rule for their extraction.

In practice, almost no one ever adheres to any rules. Each incorrect removal of the sd card significantly accelerates its wear. Over time, the condition of the memory card becomes critical. It becomes impossible to work with her. The laptop does not see the adapter with a memory card. As a result, radical measures are required to restore it, namely: formatting.

To do this, you need to enter the explorer by right-clicking on the “start” button. In the explorer we find the memory card we need and click on it with the right mouse button. In the drop-down context menu, find the formatting line and left-click on it.

There we set the parameters for quick formatting. Including such as:

  • file system;
  • cluster size;
  • volume label.

It is important to remember that during the formatting process, all data on the flash drive will be destroyed.

Your laptop does not see the memory card, clean its contacts

One of the common reasons why a laptop does not see your micro sd card through the adapter is patina. It corrodes copper contacts. As a result, they cease to conduct electric current, and the memory cards in which they are present become invisible to the laptop. Solving this problem is easy. You just need to clean the contacts.

If you act carefully, you can do this with any tool. It is important not only to clean the contacts, but also not to damage them. An ordinary eraser can be an ideal tool for cleaning. If its use does not work, you can try to clean the contacts with a needle or paper clip. True, it will take a lot of time, but we have nowhere to hurry.

Contacts of the sd card can not only oxidize, but simply get dirty.

Ordinary dirt on the contacts, no worse than patina, can prevent weak electric currents. Therefore, it is recommended to regularly wipe the contacts with alcohol before inserting it into the card reader or adapter. If this is not done, the connectors of these devices will become clogged with dirt. Cleaning them will be much more difficult than wiping the card terminals.

The laptop does not see the memory card due to blocking

Another reason why the laptop does not see the micro SD flash drive may be the blocking of the card in order to prevent writing to it. You can block a card both deliberately and completely by accident. You yourself may not notice this. After all, to block the card, all you need to do is move the blocking switch down. Accordingly, in order to remove the lock, the switch must be moved to the upper position.

When the laptop does not see the memory card due to its own problems

A modern laptop is considered not quite modern if it does not have a built-in card reader. It greatly simplifies the user’s life, because when installing Windows 10, all drivers are installed automatically. The card reader driver is no exception to this rule. Although it also happens that the laptop does not see the sd memory card on windows 10 precisely because of the card reader: more precisely, because of its inadequate driver.

If the card reader does not work on a laptop, update driver

Actually, you should first go to the device manager and see how the corresponding driver feels there. Maybe it’s not about him at all, and the laptop does not see its own card reader with a memory card for another reason.

We press two keys at once: windows + r. The Run window opens. We enter the command “devmgmt.msc” there. As a result, bypassing the first page of the control panel, we go straight to the device manager to check the status of our driver. If there are no problems with it, it should be in its place in the tab: “USB controllers”. If it is not there or there is a yellow question mark or exclamation mark in the line next to it, it must either be updated or reinstalled. You can do this from the CD that came with your laptop. However, the required driver may not be there. Then it should be searched on the Internet on the official website of the laptop manufacturer.

The laptop does not see the sd memory card due to its erroneous letter designation

Every time a new drive is connected to the laptop, it is assigned a unique value for this computer from among the letters of the Latin alphabet.

Sometimes when a new memory card is connected to a laptop, an error occurs. As a result, it receives a non-unique identifier, already occupied by another drive.

The system allocates the memory card with a drive letter that has already been assigned to other drives. Therefore, the laptop does not see either a memory card or a card reader. The resulting confusion may seem to an uninitiated person to be an overly difficult task. In reality, everything is not so scary, and the problem is solved once or twice.

Pressing two keys windows + r at the same time. In the line of the window that opens, enter the command “compmgmt.msc”. Press ok. The Disk Management section will open. A list of disks available on the computer will open. Of these, you need to select the one that matches your memory card, and by clicking the right mouse button, open the context menu. From the drop-down list, select the line “change the drive letter or path to the drive.” Now it remains only to choose any Latin letter from among those not yet occupied to designate the disks.

If the laptop does not see the sd card, change the settings in BIOS

In an effort to ensure that your laptop sees the sd card, you tried everything, but did not achieve the result.