Flash cards/Card Reader Questions

I have been using a Card for some time and have noticed that I can no longer save the same number of images to the card ?

This is an occasional issue that can happen after a long period of use. Some cameras when formatting the card create multiple File Allocation Tables (FAT). If the camera has formatted the card a number of times the space used by these tables will have increased and therefore the available space for saving images will have been reduced.

To fix the problem, use a card reader to reformat the card using the DOS 16bit FAT. Remember to have downloaded any images you wish to keep before hand, as this will destroy all data saved on the card.

What is the difference between MMC Cards and SD Cards ?

SD and MultiMediaCards are very similar in size and design but there are some differences.

SD Cards have some technological advancements over MMC. These include the addition of cryptographic security protection for copyrighted data and a 4X increase in data transfer rates. To help support higher-density capacities, SD cards are slightly thicker than the original MMC cards. This means that most devices designed to support SD are also backward compatible to MMC cards, but devices designed only for MMC will not support SD. To confirm compatibility please see our 'Configurator' which can be accessed from the home page of our website.

Why doesn't my flash card work ?

Before using your flash card with your digital device, you must format the card in the device. Details on how to format the card in your device can normally be found in the user manual.

What is the difference between Type I and Type II CompactFlash cards?

Type I Compact Flash cards are thinner than Type II.

Type I are 3.3mm and Type II are 5mm.

Both cards use the same connector and so Type I can be used in a Type II socket but not the other way round.

What is Compact Flash ?

CompactFlash (43W x 36H x 3.3D (mm)) is a NAND based flash memory storage device. CompactFlash does not require a battery to retain data. The cards have a 50 pin interface and comply with the PC Card ATA specification.

CompactFlash cards are solid-state hard disks, rugged, reliable and used in a variety of applications including PDA's, digital cameras and notebooks. The cards are made to operate with dual voltages (3.3 & 5V). 

What does 100X, 300X, and 1000X mean when referring to the speed of flash memory devices/cards ?

This is a speed measuring system adopted from the CD ROM industry. A 20X card is not 20 times faster than a standard card, which would be say 6X. It is in fact 2.5 times faster (1.2MB/s V 3.0MB/s). Actual speed results depend on the device.

Minimum Sustained Write Speed (1X = 150KB/sec)

I only have USB 2.0 sockets will a 3.0 device work with them?

The USB 3.0 Flash Drive is fully backwards compatible with USB 2.0 sockets. However the device will only transfer data at the speed of the sockets.

Every time I plug in the USB Flash Drive I can only see 1.44MB ?

The USB Flash Drive has two partitions on there. One is a 1.44MB size (size of the floppy disk) and the other is the remainder of the flash memory.

If your PC/MAC is not showing both partitions then there could be one of two things wrong :-

  • On the side of the pen is a write-protect switch. Move the switch to the unlock sign and plug it into your USB socket. You should now have two drives in Windows Explorer. Make sure that you eject the device safely before moving any switches.


  • Issues arise when you already have an F drive assigned for a device (hard drive, CD-ROM, external device, etc). If possible change the device assigned as an F drive to a different letter.
  • How do you set up a USB Flash Drive under Linux?

    Under Red Hat Linux v7.3 (kernel v2.4.18-3) the steps are as follows:

    • Format the USB Flash Drive (UFD) as a FAT file system in Win98SE.
    • Create a directory in /mnt called "flash".
    • Mount -a -t msdos /dev/sda1 /mnt/flash. Linux recognizes UFD as a SCSI device; therefore, you should see it listed as "/dev/sda", "sdb", etc.

    When I double-click on the Removable Disk that references my USB Flash Drive I get the message "Please insert a Disk into Drive *:".

    The reason for this error message is because a password has been applied to the USB Flash Drive using the Security Application that was supplied with the product (on the CD that was supplied and on the floppy partition of the USB Flash Drive).

    If you have put a password on the device, then you cannot access the USB Flash Drive without the password. You will not be allowed to format, or do anything with it.

    You will need to use the same software to apply the password to unlock the USB Flash Drive and gain access to the device again.

    When this device is used with the Security Application the larger partition will become the PRIVATE area and can only be accessed using the Security Application and the smaller partition will be the PUBLIC area which can be accessed at all times.

    Be warned that if you enter the password incorrectly six times it will format the USB Flash Drive and will wipe it clean. You will NOT be able to recover the data.

    Why does my Mac (OS 8.6) ask for a driver, although the manual says I do not need a driver?

    For a single-card device or Pen Drive, no driver is needed. However, both types of devices need USB support for 1.3.x or above. If using Mac OS 8.6, you can check the level of USB support by selecting USB Support in Extensions in the System Folder and Get Info (in the File menu). Please see http://developer.apple.com/hardware/usb/versionusb.html for more info.

    If my device supports standard MMC, will the MMC Plus be compatible ?

    Yes, the MMC Plus cards are backwards compatible with standard MMC devices.