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Old May 26, 2003, 7:54 AM   #1
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Default Does the Brand of the card reader matter?

I've got a Dane-Elec 64MB SD card for my Digital Camera. I want to get a card reader and some more memory.

Do I have to get a Dane-Elec reader or will any SD reader read the card no matter what brand it is?
There's a difference in price on most brands. And If I can save a few dollars I'd like to.
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Old May 26, 2003, 12:28 PM   #2
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I use a SanDisk SD card with a Dazzle reader. No problems so far.
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Old May 26, 2003, 1:57 PM   #3
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So you can mix brand names between cards and readers then without any trouble it seems. That's what I figured. But I thought I'd ask anyway cause you never know.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old May 26, 2003, 2:57 PM   #4
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From a personal choice, I'd only look at readers that ship with card re-format utilities on CDROM. These programs are reader make/model specific. I've got Dazzle. Also checkout if you want USB2 if your pc is USB2 compliant.
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Old May 26, 2003, 4:22 PM   #5
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Can't I download these utilities from somewhere if it does'nt come with it?
Also my PC is not USB 2.0 right now. But I suppose I could either buy a new Motherboard (Which I'm due for anyway), Or buy a USB2.0 PCI card.
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Old May 26, 2003, 5:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
These programs are reader make/model specific
That means the programs are written for a specific reader chipset. If you ain't got the right chips, you won't get a prog wot will run!
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Old May 26, 2003, 5:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
Quote:
These programs are reader make/model specific
That means the programs are written for a specific reader chipset. If you ain't got the right chips, you won't get a prog wot will run!
I know that. But the companies have websites! I was thinking I could just download them from what ever one I buy. Also I just assumed maybe I could find some sort of 3rd Party software comapany that makes a universal program. I'm sure there out there. Or maybe not?
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Old May 26, 2003, 9:32 PM   #8
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I have yet to hear of a universal program to do it. I'd be very interested if there was.

What would have to have happened is what (I believe) happened with CD-R/RW software about 6-10 years ago. Adaptec when on a buying spree and bought up a whole raft of software packages, each of which only worked on a few different burners. Then they merged what they got and created Easy CD Creator, which (at the time) was probably the most comprehensive software package for interfacing with all the different CD-R/RW drives.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see this happening. Technically, its possible. But I doubt it, 'cause you'll need a specific driver for the chipset in each CF Reader (I'm sure many share the same chipsets, so this isn't as bad as it sounds.) I don't believe the generic driver which comes with windows will allow complete and total access to a CF... not to the first few sectors, any ways.
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Old May 27, 2003, 4:35 AM   #9
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It sure takes a long time to get the message across! These utilities as far as I can tell are authored by SCM Microsystems, who make Dazzle Brand readers and supply some OEM's. What you have to realise, is low level format is not like formatting your floppy disc. Card makers put their own data in there like serial number batch, type etc. They don't want every T D and Harry wiping this lot to get there cards working again - then there are Warranty issues. Don't forget all cards aren't just dumb memory - they have processors and software on the chip as well!

If the programme addresses registers in the reader and writes the wrong bytes to normally inaccessible parts of a card - you end up with a very dead card. That could be a lot of cash if it's BIG 512-1Gb media. There are no 'general purpose' utilities. Like Plug and Play, they confirm the hardware/firmware first before running. The only thing general purpose is the generic vanilla low level format structure which is standardised. In addition, some data space is reserved for card manufacturer data.

So go ahead - download a programme - even from the SCM site, and I bet it won't work! The point I'm making, is some readers come with support and some don't. You pay your money and make your choice.

Media manufacturers are cashing in on card format problems which cause many to just replace cards thinking they are 'dead' whilst cam manufacturers like Olympus tinker with the data on their own cards to link them to proprietary camera features, which you can easily destroy - but not always repair easily.
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