The computer does not see the memory card: SD, miniSD, microSD

laptop-not-see-microsd Hello.

Today one of the most popular types of media is a USB stick. And whoever says what, the age of CD / DVD discs is coming to an end. Moreover, the price of one flash drive is only 3-4 times more than the price of a DVD disc! True, there is one small 'but' – a disk is much more difficult to 'break' than a USB flash drive …

Although not often, one unpleasant situation sometimes occurs with flash drives: you take out a microSD flash card from your phone or photo device, insert it into a computer or laptop, but he does not see it. There can be many reasons for this: viruses, program errors, failure of a flash drive, etc. In this article, I would like to dwell on the most popular reasons for invisibility, as well as give some tips and recommendations on what to do in such cases.

Types of flash cards. Is SD card supported by your card reader?

Here I would like to dwell in more detail. Many users often confuse some types of memory cards with others. The fact is that there are three types of SD flash cards: microSD, miniSD, SD.

Why did the manufacturers do this?

There are simply different devices: for example, a small audio player (or a small mobile phone) and, for example, a camera or photo camera. Those. devices are completely different in size with different requirements for the speed of flash cards and the amount of information. For this, there are several types of flash drives. Now in more detail about each of them.


Size: 11mm x 15mm.

microSD flash drive with adapter

microSD flash drive with adapter.

MicroSD flash cards are very popular for portable devices: players, phones, tablets. Using microSD, the memory of the listed devices can be increased by an order of magnitude very quickly!

Usually, upon purchase, a small adapter is included with them, so that this USB flash drive can be connected instead of an SD card (about them below). By the way, for example, to connect this USB flash drive to a laptop, you need to: insert the micsroSD into the adapter, and then insert the adapter into the SD slot on the front / side panel of the laptop.


Size: 21.5mm x 20mm.

miniSD with adapter.

miniSD with adapter.

Once popular cards used in portable technology. Today, they are used less and less, mainly due to the popularity of the microSD format.

3. SD

Size: 32mm x 24mm.


Flash cards: sdhc and sdxc.

These cards are used mostly in devices that need a large amount of memory + high speed. For example, a video camera, a video recorder in a car, a camera, and other devices. SD cards are classified into several generations:

  1. SD 1 – from 8 MB to 2 GB;
  2. SD 1.1 – up to 4 GB;
  3. SDHC – up to 32 GB;
  4. SDXC – up to 2 TB.

Very important points when working with SD cards!

1) In addition to the amount of memory, the speed (more precisely, the class) is indicated on SD cards. For example, in the screenshots above, the card class is '10' – this means that the exchange rate with such a card is at least 10 MB / s (for more details about the classes: It is important to pay attention to what class of flash card speed is required for your device!

2) microSD using special. adapters (they usually write adapter (see screenshots above)) can be used instead of ordinary SD cards. True, it is not recommended to do this anytime, anywhere (just because of the speed of information exchange).

3) SD card readers are backward compatible: i.e. if you take an SDHC reader, it will read 1 and 1.1 generation SD cards, but will not be able to read SDXC. That is why it is important to pay attention to what cards your device can read.

By the way, many 'relatively old' laptops have built-in card readers that are not able to read new types of SDHC flash cards. The solution in this case is quite simple: buy a card reader connected to a regular USB port, by the way, it looks more like a regular USB flash drive. Issue price: several hundred rubles.

card reader-SDXC

SDXC card reader. Connects to a USB 3.0 port.

The same drive letter is the reason for the invisibility of flash drives, hard drives, memory cards!

The fact is that if your hard drive has a drive letter F: (for example) and your inserted flash card also has F: – then the flash card will not be displayed in the explorer. Those. you go to 'my computer' and you won't see the flash drive there!

To fix this, you need to go to the 'Disk Management' panel. How to do it?

In Windows 8: press the combination Win + X, select 'disk management'.

In Windows 7 / 8: press the combination Win + R, enter the command 'diskmgmt.msc'.


Next, you should see a window that will show all connected drives, flash drives, and other devices. Moreover, even those devices that are not formatted and that are not visible in 'my computer' will be shown. If your memory card is on this list, then you need to do two things:

1. Change its drive letter to a unique one (to do this, just right-click on the USB flash drive and select the change letter operation in the context menu, see screenshot below);

2. Format the flash card (if you have a new one or do not have the necessary data on it. Attention, the formatting operation will destroy all data on the flash card).


Change drive letter. Windows 8.

Lack of drivers is a popular reason why the computer does not see the SD card!

Even if your computer / laptop is completely new and only yesterday you brought it from the store, this does not guarantee anything at all. The fact is that the sellers in the store (or their specialists who prepare the goods for sale) could simply forget to install the necessary drivers, or simply be lazy. Most likely you were given disks (or copied to your hard drive) all the drivers and you only need to install them.

Let's consider further what to do if there are no drivers in the kit (well, for example, you reinstalled Windows and formatted the disk).

In general, there are special programs that can scan your computer (or rather all of its devices) and find the latest drivers for each device. I have already written about such utilities in previous posts. I will only give 2 links here:

  1. Driver update software:;
  2. Search and update drivers:

Let's assume that we have dealt with the drivers …

Connecting an SD card via USB using a device

If the computer does not see the SD card itself, then why can't you try to insert the SD card into some device (for example, a phone, camera, camera, etc.) and already connect it to the PC? To be honest, I rarely take out a flash card from devices, preferring to copy photos and videos from them by connecting them to a laptop via a USB cable.

Do I need special programs to connect my phone to a PC?

New OS, such as Windows 7, 8 are able to work with many devices without installing additional software. The installation of drivers and configuration of the device occurs automatically when the device is first connected to the USB port.

It is still advisable to use the programs recommended by the manufacturer. For example, I connected my Samsung phone like this:

For each brand of phone / camera there are utilities recommended by the manufacturer (see the manufacturer's website) …


If all else fails, I recommend doing the following:

1. Try to connect the card to another computer and check if it recognizes and sees it;

2. Check your computer for viruses ( Rarely, but some types of viruses come across that block access to disks (including flash drives).

3. You may need an article about data recovery from flash drives:

That's all for today, good luck everyone!

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