I was left scratching my head after a 4G SD memory card came up as RAW formated when I inserted into my wife’s brand new Dell Vostro 1000 laptop. Windows wanted me to format the card. Knowing that the card had no pictures left on it, I proceeded to format the card. That was a huge mistake.
It formated the card as FAT32. Before I formated the card, it worked flawless in the camera and other SD card slots and USB SD adapters. It came up as FAT32 in the other devices. Why wouldn’t the brand new laptop recognize the SD card and show it as RAW formated?! And now, since I formated it with the new laptop, the card would not work in the camera anymore! BUT, the Vostro could see the SD memory without any problems now…
I tried to format the card inside the camera. I kept getting a memory and disc error. I formated the card in another PC with a USB SD adapter. The card would work fine in all computers, including the Vostro, but now the camera couldn’t see it.
I did some searching and found this life saver of a utility: SD Memory Card Formatting Software from Panasonic
From their web site “Generally, SD/SDHC Memory Card file systems formatted with generic operating system formatting software do not comply with the SD Memory Card specification.”
Caught red handed…
After I did a “Full Format” with the above utility, the camera could see the memory and all was well, or was it…
I then went back to the Dell Vostro laptop and plugged in the SD card directly and I got the same message! It wanted to format the card and the format of the device came up as RAW! Also, my brand new SDHC 8G memory card didn’t work in the Vostro either.
I did some more digging and found the SD Host Controller was running on an old Microsoft driver from 2001. I went to Dell’s support site and found new drivers, “Chip Set: Ricoh R5C832, R5C833, R5C843, Driver, Windows 2000, Windows Vista 32-bit, Windows XP, Multi Language, Multi System, v.1.0.1, A00″ – R141246.EXE
I installed this new update and it found that my drivers were already up to date. 2001 is NOT an updated driver in my book. On closer inspection I found that the Dell driver only included drivers for xD, MS, and MMC. Where is my SD driver? I then dug around for a new driver and found this. Here is the new drivers. Here is just the drivers minus the executables for all you nervous nancy’s out there.
I did not use the setup program. I updated the driver directly from the device manager. I found the SD Host Controller and updated the driver manually. Now the driver is from 2006 and all is well. I can plug in the 4G SD card directly into the Vostro and it works. I can plug in my 8G SDHC card and it works now too.
Use these drivers at your own risk and hopefully Dell will post updated SD drivers soon for all laptop users. Dell uses Ricoh R5C8xx chips in:
Inspiron 640m / E1405
Dell Precision Mobile WorkStation M90
Vostro Notebook 1000
Vostro Notebook 1400
Vostro Notebook 1500
Vostro Notebook 1700