SDHC Flash Card Reader Annoyances

I’m a techie… I’ve come to expect certain things when it comes to technology. Specifically, backwards compatibility.

 In the old days, you pretty much expected that when you got a new gadget or piece of software, that it would be painful, if not impossible to make it work with your old technology. Nowadays, it’s pretty much the opposite. New wireless networking hardware almost always works with what’s existing. The new version of USB works with the old. The new versions of software generally work with the old.

This is why I’m currently rather annoyed with the next generation of the SD flash memory cards called SDHC or Secure Digital High Capacity. I got a new Canon Rebel T2i digital camera for Christmas. To go with it I bought two Kingston 8gb SDHC cards from Amazon as they were on sale for about $15 a piece.

I popped my new cards in my camera and took a bunch of Christmas pictures. All went well until I tried to take the card and pop it into the built in card reader on my new Dell Dimension 9200 computer with a 19-in-1 TEAC media card reader. My pc started acting buggy and wouldn’t read the card.

I started trouble shooting, rebooted the computer, reseated the card, etc… all to no avail. I took the card and popped it into the built in card reader on my Dell 2405FPW monitor. Same result. I test other cards I have in both readers and they work fine. Time to turn to google.

The long story short is that the SDHC cards, while identical to SD cards physically, use a completely different format for reading and writing data and are NOT backwards compatible with SD card readers or devices not specifically programmed to recognize SDHC.

Who the hell does this anymore?? So now I’m miffed at Dell as they have no updated firmware for either the reader in my new PC nor the reader built into my monitor, I’m miffed at TEAC for not creating the firmware, and I’m miffed at whatever genius came up with the new SDHC standard and didn’t bother to let anyone know that it won’t work with legacy hardware.

Now I have had to by a new (THIRD!!) card reader just to read these cards and will now have an extra piece of basically unneeded hardware cluttering up my desk. Meh!

The good news is that I found the Kingston MobileLite G2 Card Reader for about $20 on amazon. You can drop in several different types of flash memory cards into it, pop it into a USB slot, and it will act like a thumb drive. Two devices in one, basically. The nice thing is that it also comes with an 8gb SDHC card for free. 

 **UPDATE: JawnyG found a  new firmware update for the built in card reader on the Dimension 9200. Still no hope for the 2405FPW monitor though. Thanks JawnyG!

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21 Responses to “SDHC Flash Card Reader Annoyances”

  • I had the same problem. At least I know I’m not alone! Thanks!

  • My 2405FPW now has useless card readers as well. Can’t believe there isn’t a firmware for the SDHC update

  • Okay, I was looking for the SDHC card upgrade ability for the same computer… the dimension 9200/xps400. That’s how I found your page. I was disheartened too, until I FOUND THE UPGRADE! 🙂

    It’s here for XP/VISTA:



    ENJOY! I’ve installed both the firmware and the driver via XP, and they both work perfectly!


  • I tried both these on my system with a 2405FPW and the firware simply reported that it was not for this system. I wonder if you need a 9200 to run it from? I am using my D620 laptop.

  • Fantastic! I was annoyed because of this problem, then I found this site, installed the drivers and now sdhc is no problem any more.

  • I installed the driver but the firmware does not work, same problem like user “Rich”

    Any clue how to install correctly? anyone?

  • I probably should have clarified more. The fix that JawnyG posted is for the card reader that comes with the Dimension 9200 computer and does NOT fix the 2405fpw monitor.

    Dell still has yet to issue an update for the monitor and unfortunately, probably won’t. They’d rather us buy a new monitor that supports SDHC.

  • what a pitty…

    Maybe someone can twaek the driver/firmwar to bypass the check routine?

  • Thank you for the article and thank you JawnyG for the links to the fixes and firmware upgrades. It worked perfectly well on my Dimension 9200 where I had exactly the same problem as described with an SDHC card I bought… Thnks!

  • I tried installing this DELL firmware and software from the DELL website to my XPS400 and my TEAC cardreader shut down completely. Contacted DELL and they replaced the cardreader and then had DELL online try installing the firmware and they experienced the same shut-down. I unplugged and re-plugged the cardreader to the system board and the reader is working again… but still does not read the SanDisk SDHC 4GB card that I have. I plug it in and it just locks up… but reads standard SD cards fine. DELL was clueless at this point and gave up stating that the fix was for SDHC 8GB cards and I have a SDHC 4GB card… This makes sense? I’ve now attempted to contact TEAC technical and see if they can offer any advice.

  • Hey guys, isn’t there usually a usb connector cable with your camera? So if your camera takes SDHC, you can just connect it directly to your pc can’t you?

  • Technically, yes we could. However, the reason we’re trying to resolve this is because it is quite annoying to have paid for a multi card reader for the purpose of not needing a bunch of usb cables all over the place.

    The more relevant reason is that card readers are usually MUCH faster than the slow usb cables and you’re not forced to install the camera maker’s software.

  • Same hardware, same problem here. I don’t have a card reader in the 9200, just the 2405 monitor. No soup. Ironically, my XPS M140 laptop that I purchased over a year before the 9200 reads the SDHC card fine. I also have an HPC7210 printer that can read it so I don’t need to do the USB reader workaround. Just sucks I can’t stick it in the monitor (that’s technically USB as well).

  • Thanks for the info – again, same monitor, struck by same problem. Sheesh. I was lucky though, the Sandisk came with a “micromate” usb device that allows me to plug it into the back and it acts like a drive. Agreed, not the solution I wanted, but it came with the card pretty cheap and I’m not SOL, so might be something to keep your eyes open for.

  • What hardware is inside the monitor, I wonder? Would that it were some module that could be replaced/upgraded.

  • I’m sure it probably is a standard module made by Teac or another major manufacturer. The problem is that I doubt if most people would have the nerve to crack open their monitor cases to try to reverse engineer it.

    If you end up doing it, take pictures and send them to me so I can add it to the post! 🙂

  • Thanks for the info, managed to get the firmware update working in Windows 7 Pro x64 and can now read SDHC cards

    At first I was stuck with “DFU” but managed to remedy it by using “Run as Administrator” on the “Updater.exe” inside the .exe archive from Dell.. after doing that and rebooting everything was fine

  • I just wanted to thank JawnyG for pointing out the firmware update. It saved me money and time. Major props.

  • I had major issues with the TEAK 13-1 Card Reader for my mom’s dell Dimension E510. My resolution was to do this for its particular model and the reader:
    1. R176587 – which was the Driver Update that was most recent on Dells site.
    2. R176603 – which is the Firmware Update on the Dell Site which was most recent.
    A. Install firmware update and reboot.
    B. Install driver update and reboot.
    C. IMPORTANT: if and when you get the dreaded error of unable to find suitable drivers, then go into device manager and remove the TEAC USB FLOPPY.
    D. After removal, reboot and you should be okay to read up to 4GB HDSC cards.

    This worked for me so I hope it helps someone else.
    My email is catgravy(at)gmail(dot)com and if you need further assistance drop me a line and I can try to do what I can for you.

  • A big thank you for the links to the updates! I recently bought a new camera with a SDHD card and couldn’t work out why the pictures wouldn’t automatically download like they had done previously. Googled the problem and your site came up with the solution – can’t ask for more than that! I’m not the least bit techie so would never have worked it out for myself.

  • Ok, Same issue here and finally bought a cheap sdhc reader that is short and plugs into usb. Instead of having unwanted usb cords on the desk, I just plugged it into the usb slot on the side of my 2405fpw and it sticks out a few inches, but is there on the side of the monitor like I am acustom to and I just reach over and slide my sdhc card into it, lol. Let me know if you ever come up with a driver/firmware solution for the reader built into the monitor.

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