Subscriber David McCartney wrote to ask about a problem he experienced using an SD memory card in his Windows Vista computer:
David McCartney again with another problem.
When I boot my laptop I am able to recognise the sd card as another drive letter, however if I remove the sd card and replace it there is no indication of the drive shown.
I am using vista
Every time I reboot the laptop the sd card is showing ok
your advice will be greatly appreciated
I wrote back to David to explain that Windows sometimes gets confused. In this case, it was his action that was confusing Windows Vista.
When you use any kind of removable memory device, before removing the memory device, you need to use the “Safely remove hardware” function. There are two major functions performed by the link — it tells Windows to finish writing any data that it still has stored in the Windows cache, and it tells Windows that the drive will be disconnected. Otherwise, if you just disconnect the card (or other removable drive) Windows seems to get confused.
An SD card is a removable drive, just like an external drive, a floppy disk, and a flash drive.
Starting with Windows 98 (perhaps earlier, but it’s been a long, long time since I used Windows 95 or earlier versions), you can find the Safely Remove Hardware link in the in the Windows Status Bar (bottom right-hand corner of the screen).
If you forget and remove the removable device without using the Safely Remove Hardware link, it’s usually not a big problem. Rebooting will get Windows to recognize the device again.
The big problem that can occur is that, if you remove the device while some of the data is still stored in the Windows cache – before it’s written to the drive, you can have anything from a corrupted file to a corrupted “drive.”
Been there, done that. Lost everything on that flash drive. It was a “learning experience.”