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Opening Files on SD Card

I put a SD card in the slot and I can't get my information on the card. I think there are photos and music on it. How do I find the right program to open the files so I don't lose them?Celeste Stewart

SD Card Types

SD cards come in many different types including standard SD (Secure Digital) and SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) as well as miniSD and microSD. SD cards come in three physical sizes (standard, mini, and micro). Despite their size differences, the electrical contacts of all three card types is consistent, making it possible to use an adapter to ensure that the smaller cards fit into the standard SD slot.

In addition to the physical size differences, SD cards have varying capacities. Early SD cards had relatively small capacities in the 24 to 32 megabyte range. Today, high capacity SD cards are capable of up to 32 gigabytes.

SD Card Readers

Unfortunately, older SD card readers are not capable of reading high capacity SD cards. SDHC cards are backward compatible with SD cards, but SD cards and card readers are not necessarily compatible with high capacity SD cards. This could be why you cannot view any information on your card. For example, if you have a 4 GB SDHC card, you will need to use a card reader capable of reading the high capacity cards. If your computer is older, then your card reader may be incompatible. If you think that compatibility is the problem, consider buying an inexpensive USB SDHC card reader. You can find them online for under $10.

Viewing SD Files

If you don't think the problem is a compatibility problem between your card reader and the card, let's make sure that the card is properly inserted into the slot. Did it slide in as it should? Is it in the correct slot? Right-click the Start button, choose Explore and look for a new drive letter. The SD card should be listed as its own drive such as the "e:\" or "f:\" drive. If so, click the drive letter and see if you can view the SD files.

Another option is to connect the device that the card came with, if any, to the computer directly. For example, if the SD card is the card that you use with your digital camera, you may be able to access the files by hooking your camera up to the computer directly using the camera's supplied cable and software. If so, this could get around any compatibility issues between the card and the card reader.

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