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Multicard Reader Not Reading

Posted on 2009-04-17
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I have an HPm1180n with Windows MCE 2002 SP3 which came with a multicard reader.

The drives corresponding to each media card format (e.g. CF, SD, etc.) show up in My Computer as 'Removeable Media Drives I: through L:.

When an SD card is inserted, the LED comes on, on the multicard reader, to indicate that it (appears) to be reading, however, nothing happens.  Light stays on, no app starts, selecting any of the multicard reader's slots simply shows 'Please insert a disk into ...' even when there is one in there which triggered the LED to come on.

There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the media card itself since I can insert it into a small USB cardreader 'stick' (e.g. Sandisk) and upload it to other computers.

In the past, the HPm1180n would also recognize the Nikon D80 camera when it was connected via USB cable.  Now it no longer does.

I don't have any problems with any other USB related components connected to the computer.  It's almost as though the problem is related specifically to the reading/recognizing of flashcard media (this doesn't make a lot of sense to me but it's how it appears).

The photos are recorded either on a Canon or Nikon camera, both of which have recorded images on the same media type in the past which have been able to be read on this computer via the USB cardreader 'stick'.

Now it seems neither the multicard reader nor the USB media stick are recognized as having an SD card when it's loaded into the computer.

At best the operation of the built-in card reader has been flaky from the start but I suspect more driver related issues than hardware at this point.

Some help in troubleshooting this would be appreciated.

Thx

ps.  I'll be away from the computer for the next few hours but will check back in on my return.

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Question by:qeng
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Assisted Solution

by:AllTelNetworking
AllTelNetworking earned 300 total points
ID: 24170168
Check device manager for yellow "!", specifically under the USB category.  If that's fine, it could be a resource conflict, and may be as simple as moving the card reader to a different usb port.  Since its an internal reader, you'll have to open up the case and move the cable from one usb header to another (hopefully you have one)
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Author Comment

by:qeng
ID: 24170334
Will check and get back to you later today.  Thx for reply.
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by:
KrisTheComputerGuy earned 1200 total points
ID: 24170499
First get the name of the USB card reader from the device manager and see if you can find 3rd party drivers for it (or throw the name up here and I can look for you). Unfortunately, HP doesn't list the name / manufacturer of the card reader.

I agree with AllTelNetworking, that resouce conflicting is a possibility. You can remove a device from the device manager (right click-->uninstall), then reboot the PC and let windows reinstall it. This way you won't have to open the case. [Control Panel]->[System]->[Hardware]->[Device Manager]. The yellow ! indicates a problem with the device driver.

You can also try updating the drivers for your USB and Card reader from the HP website. The HP site doesn't have any card reader software listed for your machine. However, you can try the HP software updater, and/or windows update.

After uninstalling the card reader, etc, let windows search for drivers from windows update. You can do this through the install hardware wizard that pops after you reboot.


Windows Updater:
windowsupdate.microsoft.com

HP Software Updater
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=pv-66744-1&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&product=432781&os=228&lang=en

All Windows XP Drivers for m1180n:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?os=228&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=432781 


Lastly, make sure the media cards you are using are compatible with the PC. Since its an older PC this is a possibility.

Supports the following cards: (from HP's official product description)
Compact Flash I
Compact Flash II
SmartMedia
Memory Stick
Memory Stick Pro
MultiMediaCard
Secure Digital (SD)
Micro Drive
XD Picture Card (xD = extreme digital)
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Author Comment

by:qeng
ID: 24402059
Please keep this question Open.  I simply had to leave the topic but have returned to it.
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Author Comment

by:qeng
ID: 24402344
Sorry for the absence folks.  Got swamped and had to drop this one for a bit.
OK, I've done some more troubleshooting and my problems seem to trace back to incompatibilities between SD card formats, connector types and possibly outdated drivers for the built-in multicard reader:
  1. There are no resource conflicts as far as I can tell in Device Manager.  All the m1180n's built-in multicard reader's 4 drive letters seem fine corresponding to the CF/MS/SD/SM formats.
  2. The m1180n's built-in multicard reader is correctly reading a SanDisk Ultra II 1.0 Gb SD card.
  3. The m1180n's built-in multicard reader is NOT reading a Lexar Pro 4.0 Gb SDHC card.
  4. Trying to use the Lexar USB (stick type) card reader which came supplied with the Lexar Pro 4.0 Gb SDHC card to read an SD card via a front USB port on the m1180n:  the m1180n DOES NOT read a SanDisk Ultra II 1.0 Gb SD card through the Lexar USB reader.  I suppose this shouldn't be a surprise but I would have assumed the Lexar reader was just acting as a generic SD card reader.  Obviously there is a difference between the SD and SDHC formats.
  5. Trying to use the Lexar USB (stick type) card reader to read the Lexar Pro 4.0 Gb SDHC card via a front USB port on the m1180n:  the m1180n read's the Lexar 4.0 Gb SDHC card correctly.
  6. The Nikon D-80 is correctly seen by the computer using a USB-to-USB mini connector but is NOT SEEN using a Firewire-to-USB mini connector.  I connect other cameras to the m1180n with a Firewire-to-USB mini connector and inadvertently forgot that the Nikon D-80 needs is only compatible with a USB-to-USB mini.
So, I have things sorted out enough to work but still have a couple of questions which would make like a bit easier since at the moment I require at least the Lexar HDSC USB card reader or the USB-to-USB mini connector to use with the D-80 to upload photos.  Ideally it would be nice just to pop the SD or SDHC card into the built-in card reader.
The Device Manager lists the built-in multicard reader as:
"USBSTOR\DISK&VEN_GENERIC&PROD_USB_SD_READER&REV_1.00\9205291&0"
The driver for this device is listed as coming from Microsoft and dates back to 2001 (probably before the SDHC format was popular or even around).  See attached file for details.
Two questions:
a)  Is this built-in multicard reader capable of reading an SDHC card and if so, where can I get an updated driver for it.
b) After reading an SD card in the bult-in multicard reader or an SDHC card in the attached Lexar USB card reader Is it necessary to 'eject' either of those card readers when removing the memory card.  Both readers seem to stay in 'read' mode while the card is inserted.  I had read somewhere that the memory cards can be damaged if removed without being 'ejected'.  Problem is, after I eject the card reader, I have to reboot the computer in order to read another SD or SDHC card.  Not convenient if you come back from a photo shoot with a few cards to be read.  So, is it necessary to eject the card and if so, is there a better way to re-enable the card reader than to reboot the computer?
Thanks for sticking with this.

 

built-in-card-reader-driver.jpg
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Assisted Solution

by:KrisTheComputerGuy
KrisTheComputerGuy earned 1200 total points
ID: 24403624
The best solution is simply to get a different type of USB card. You could also write your files to a CD from another machine. Or hook up an external device directly to your usb (if its a digital camera for example).


About the card reader issues...

a) Your HP drive does not support SDHC cards. It only supports the following formats (taken from the offical HP listing for your machine):
Compact Flash I
Compact Flash II
SmartMedia
Memory Stick
Memory Stick Pro
MultiMediaCard
Secure Digital (SD)
Micro Drive
XD Picture Card (xD = extreme digital)


b) About ejecting the cards, the remove hardware exists to ensure that all data for your flash card is "flushed" to the card. If you write to the card and don't eject, its possible that your written files could end up corrupted. But physically, your card will be fine. Though you may need to reformat it if ever gets severly corrupted.

I do believe some cards have a 'read only' switch on them. Check to see if any of your cards have one. If the card type itself is being read, but is not on the official list, then the read only issue may simply be the manufacturer's attempt to get you file access without full compatibility.
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Author Comment

by:qeng
ID: 24403712
Kris,
Thanks for your feedback.  
For starters I didn't realize the SD and SDHC formats were not compatible (as I realized when troubleshooting).  Sounds like I can't upgrade the built-in multicard reader via firmware or drivers to be able to read SDHC cards (if I knew more about the differences between SD and SDHC this would probably have been obvious).
I'm concluding from your comment that as long as I'm not writing to the SD/SDHC card, I can yank it out (nicely) and not risk any physical damage to the memory card itself.  Worse case it sounds like I'd just have to reformat the card.
To clarify my last question, is there a way to re-enable a drive after it's been 'ejected' without having to reboot the computer?
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Assisted Solution

by:KrisTheComputerGuy
KrisTheComputerGuy earned 1200 total points
ID: 24403740
After ejection, the drive letter should re-appear if a card is removed and any card is reinserted. You can try right clicking the drive letter in My Computer and selecting eject instead of using the remove hardware icon. Or use the remove hardware icon if you were doing it via My Computer. You may have different results with these two options for ejecting.
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Expert Comment

by:KrisTheComputerGuy
ID: 24403743
By remove hardware, i mean the eject hardware that appears next to the clock in the taskbar.
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Author Closing Comment

by:qeng
ID: 31571570
Thanks again.
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