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Frequently Asked Questions



Q: How does a memory card operate?
A: Unlike some storage devices, flash memory cards are completely electronic, with no moving parts required to read and write data. Data is written to and read from the card as electronic pulses by electronic devices such as digital cameras, video recorders, PDA's cell phones and computers. The pulses are stored on non-volatile media inside the card and the devices translate them into usable data on retrieval. Data can be partially or completely erased so the card can be reused over and over.
Q: How do I know which memory card to purchase for my devices?
A: Memory cards are categorized by size, speed and capacity. It's important to consult the manual for your devices, to determine which cards are compatible. The size will be determined by the card type, i.e. SD, MicroSD, CF, etc. Once you know what size card your devices will accept, choose the speed and capacity according to your needs. Note that speed and capacity may be limited by the age and type of device. It's important to consult the device instructions before purchasing a memory card.
Q: My device isn't recognizing my memory card. What should I do?
A: Make sure your memory card is clean, dry and inserted correctly and completely into the device slot. Check to make sure the card you are using is compatible with your device. Try another card to make sure your device is functioning properly. If so, try formatting (erasing) the card with your device's software. If your card isn't recognized after trying all of the above, contact MicroDisk.
Q: Why can't I use the full capacity of my memory card?
A: A small amount of memory card capacity is always required for storage of formatting information. This is normal and no cause for concern. If your memory card shows substantially less space available than its designed capacity, it is possible that the device you've installed it in may be designed for smaller cards. Consult the owner's manual for your device. In other cases, you may be able to reformat the card, using the device or a computer to resolve the issue.
Q: What special handling precautions are there for memory cards?
A: Avoid touching the metal contacts on the card to prevent damage from static discharge. Be sure your card and the device are both clean and dry before inserting the card. Always insert the card in the proper direction. Do not force or bend the card. Avoid using the memory card when device batteries are low.
Q: Why do I have missing or corrupt files on my memory card?
A: The most common cause of missing or corrupted files is removal of the memory card while files are being saved. Always be certain that read and write procedures have stopped before removing the card. Loss of device power while files are being saved is also a common cause. Do not use your memory card when the device batteries are low.
Q: Is there a way to recover files that were accidentally erased from my card?
A: As long as your card is recognized by your system or device, you may be able to recover lost data with commercially available file recovery programs. Please note that you should not save new files to the card before attempting recovery.
Q: What does the X-speed rating mean?
A: Generally speaking, the higher the X-speed value of a card, the faster data can be written to or read from the card. The X speed is a benchmark reference representing the file transfer speed of a card. X is equal to 150 kB per second, so card speed is calculated as follows: X times 150 = kB per second. For instance:


133X = 133 x 150 = 19950 kB/second = 19.95 MB/second
(1 MB = 1,000 kB)

So, as shown in the example above, a card with a rating of 133X will transfer approximately 20MB of data per second. Manufacturers normally use X in reference to the write speed, that is, the speed with which data is written to the card.

Q: What X-speed is correct for my device?
A: The correct card speed for a device varies according to the type of device, date of manufacture, brand name, and other factors. In general, using the fastest speed appropriate for your device will ensure top performance, since write speed can determine such things as how fast your DSLR can shoot repetitively, how much data is lost in recording video, etc. It's important to know, however, that using a card rated faster than the device is designed for will not improve performance. Consulting the owner's manual for your devices may help you save money by not buying cards with speed ratings your device can't utilize.
Q: Is my data safe on a flash card?
A: Generally speaking, yes. Since data cards have no moving parts, it's less likely that data will be damaged by mechanical failure. MicroDisk's Adventure series cards are designed to protect your data in extreme situations. Data cards are smaller than optical devices, such as CDs, and less prone to breakage. Like any storage device, memory cards may be susceptible to infection from viruses, power surges or outages and other outside influences that can damage data.
Q: I inserted my data card into the device the wrong way. Is my card or the data on it damaged?
A: Memory cards and the devices they are used in are designed to allow the card to be inserted only one way. Unless you used excessive force when inserting the card, chances are no damage was done to the card or your data. It is possible, however, to cause damage from static discharge if you touch the metal contacts on the card. Always be careful to handle memory cards properly.
Q: Can I adapt different memory cards to fit my device?
A: Adapters are available for a number of data card types. It's typical for a computer data card reader, for instance, to be able to read and write to a number of different types and formats. Many digital cameras have slots that will accept more than one type of card. Check the device instructions and be aware of speed and capacity limitations.
Q: Can I use the same memory card in more than one device?
A: Basically, yes. Portability is one of the advantages of flash memory cards. It's important that the devices are capable of using the same type and size of data card and that the data is written in a format usable on the devices.
Q: How do I transfer files from my memory card to my computer?
A: Many modern computers come with built-in data card readers. For those that don't, readers are available as aftermarket products that can be connected to your computer, commonly through a USB port. Normally, when a recognized card format is inserted into a card reader connected to a computer, there will be a momentary delay while the computer firmware verifies the format of the card. After initial recognition, the card can usually be seen as an added storage device and will be assigned a drive number. This enables drag-and-drop capability on most systems, so you should be able to transfer files to and from the card easily. Note: in order for files to be recognized by your computer, they must be written in a format that the operating system or installed software recognizes.
Q: Why can't I find the write protect switch/tab on my memory card?
A: SD form factor cards are the only type with a manual switch to enable/disable writing to the card. This includes the roughly postage stamp-sized cards with types SD, SDHC and SDXC. Other card formats can be write protected with software on the devices they are used in.
Q: How many files will my memory card hold?
A: There are a number of factors that determine the number of files a given memory card can hold, including, but not limited to:
• File type (image, text, etc)
• Data format
• Amount of data
• Quality of data
An image, for instance, may typically be stored as JPG, BMP, RAW, TIFF or any of several other formats and the format used greatly affects the size of a given image. Also, no matter what format, the resolution of the image determines how much data is required to record it. Compression ratios also affect image file sizes.

Music files may also be stored in different formats and factors like stereo or mono recording and sampling rates greatly affect file sizes. Likewise, video files may be standard density or high density (HD) and sampling rates, quality and many other factors as well as any audio tracks also make a difference

In short, there are too many variables to state simply how many files can be stored on a data card. If having enough capacity on hand is important, we recommend having multiple cards on hand.

Q: What's the difference in SD, SDHC and SDXC?
A: These are three designations for SD form factor cards, according to their capacity ranges:
• SD stands for Secure Digital. It refers to the type of data format used in the card technology for SD, MiniSD and MircoSD memory cards. SD is also commonly used in place of SDSC (Secure Digital Standard Capacity) when referring to standard cards.
• SDHC stands for Secure Digital High Capacity. HC cards are capable of storing more data than SDSC cards.
• SDXC stands for Secure Digital Extended Capacity. XC Cards have higher capacities than SDSC or SDHC cards.
Q: Can I use an SDHC or SDXC card in my SD-capable device?
A: If your device is older and specifies that it uses SD or SDSC memory cards, it's likely that SDHC and SDXC cards won't be properly recognized and if used, you could experience data loss.
Q: Can I use an SD or SDSC card in my SDHC or SDXC device?
A: Standards for the SD card industry call for backward compatibility. Provided your devices are standards-compliant, you should be able to use memory cards in your SD devices as follows:
Q: Where can I find more information about memory cards?
A: The SD Association is a group of companies responsible for setting standards for SD memory cards. Comprehensive information about card technologies can be found on their website:
Q: Trademark Notice of SD Logos
"SD, SDHC, miniSDHC, microSDHC, SDXC and microSDXC Logos are trademarks of SD-3C, LLC.”
Q: Who is supporting MicroDisk