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Card reader error?


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#1 saluqi

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 01:07 AM

Dell XPS 8700, Windows 10 Professional.  I do a lot of photography, these days mostly with a Nikon D600 digital SLR.  It has 2 memory card slots, in which at present I use 32 GB SDHC Class 10 memory cards.  To upload pictures from my camera I've been in the habit of removing the card from the camera and inserting it in the appropriate slot in the front of the computer.  The card then appears as an additional drive on the computer and I can upload pictures to the hard drive.  This has worked without problems many times over the past couple of years

 

This past weekend I did two fairly major photo shoots - and the computer would not recognize the card.  I was able to upload the pictures by connecting the camera to the computer with a USB cable - but why is the card reader suddenly not working?  Uploading via a USB 2.0 cable is noticeably slower than directly from the card - quite noticeably when you have a couple of thousand shots to upload at one time.

 

Is this something stupid I'm just not understanding?  Or is there some diagnostic procedure I can use to figure out what the problem is?

 

Thanks as always for enlightenment



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#2 cat1092

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 01:59 AM

 

 

Is this something stupid I'm just not understanding? 

 

saluqi, great to cross paths again! :)

 

My XPS 8700, which was purchased in September 2013, has 4 OS's & the only one the card reader doesn't work on is W10. I tried the Dell driver to no avail, some stated to update to A11 BIOS (which I already had), have had to resort to using a Transcend USB 2.0 card reader that I've had for years. While I also have the USB 3.0 version, runs hot after a few minutes & don't want to damage my motherboard. 

 

While not the ideal solution, because the native card is supposed to work, plugged into a USB 3.0 port, the SDHC card runs considerably faster than on the native card reader & well worth the $5.99 I paid for it on Amazon. :)

 

Maybe an idea to try until you can find the 'solution', which is upon the list of items that has dogged XPS 8700 owners running W10. BTW, did you try plugging that USB cable into a USB 3.0 port? Most of the time, regardless of device, the speeds will be better, the XPS 8700's card native reader is a USB 2.0 version. 

 

You can try opening the Device Manager & checking to see what's installed & try & update drivers, didn't work with mine, at the moment mine's down & will be for some time, have used the Intel  i7-4770 CPU for a new PC build & will replace with an i3, the 32GB RAM has also been gutted & will be replaced with 8GB total (four matched 2GB DDR3 modules). A high cost PC with low cost Motherboard, not having two sets of 4 pin CPU power ports causes W10 to freeze in motion (no BSOD, everything freezes in place). 

 

There are many other issues that the XPS 8700 & W10 has, though don't want to get carried too far away. Unfortunately, it's successor, the XPS 8900, didn't bother to include a Gen 3 M.2 SSD port, despite these has been out since at least 2014 (months after the debut of the XPS 8700), Dell decided to go with Gen 2 M.2 port instead & now it's users must decide between a discrete GPU & top speed M.2 SSD's, when there should be no sacrifice of either. 

 

Dell has shown flashes of having the ability to rock the world again with their PC's, yet keeps fumbling the ball away over the little things that doesn't add to the cost, or at most, less than $5 for a $1,000+ PC. In your & (for now, paused) my case, the SDHC card reader should simply work. I just got tired of messing with it, especially once I seen that connecting via USB 3.0 is faster anyway. 

 

Hopefully someone will post an answer as to why these doesn't work with Windows 10. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#3 saluqi

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 11:00 AM

The curious thing in this case (no pun intended <G>) is that the card reader has functioned perfectly for many months since I upgraded to Win 10 (directly from 7 which is what the XPS 8700 came with).  I've used it dozens of times without a hitch.  It only quit working this past weekend.  Can't quite remember whether before or after the latest Win 10 update, but I think the update came after I had the card reader problem.  Yesterday I think - and the card reader problem first appeared on Saturday afternoon when I tried uploading from a botanical shoot (desert plant adaptations) on behalf of a BLM project.

 

Those cards have a lock switch, and I gather that sometimes causes problems (it is supposed to engage with a switch in the reader).  When I get a chance this evening I'll try playing with that.

 

I have an external card reader that connects via USB (2.0, it's an older one).  I'd have no objection to spending a few bucks to acquire a newer one.  Whatever works.  Using the camera itself is a bit of a pain, though it does work.  Camera has to be switched on for that to work, so you are using camera battery power.

 

I haven't so far had any other issues with Win 10 on this machine.  I upgraded to Win 10 on 2/13/2016.

 

More later, when I get home from work.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 11:57 AM

Download and burn a linux distro such as Mint 18 or Ubuntu 16.04. If the distro has the reader driver and you can access a SD card then it would be a Windows 10 problem and not hardware. Windows 10 updates drivers as default. Possibly an update of drivers or the OS caused the problem.

 

https://www.linuxmint.com/rel_sarah_cinnamon_whatsnew.php

 

http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop



#5 saluqi

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 02:49 PM

I see the point about driver or OS updates possibly causing the problem.

 

I'm a complete novice w/ respect to Linux - so I download it, burn it to a DVD? and then boot from that, or how does that go?  Change the boot sequence?

 

I suppose it's high time I got acquainted with Linux anyway.

 

Thanks



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 04 October 2016 - 02:59 PM

You burn the iso file on a Windows 10 computer by right clicking the iso file and selecting Burn Disk Image. Boot the disk and plug in a SD card. You should see it appear on the desktop or in the File Manager. The live linux disk will run off of RAM and the DVD. Cat can give you more info. He is familiar with Mint so it may be a good idea to download that distro.

 

On a Dell you should be able to bring up the boot menu by tapping F12 while the computer is booting the DVD. You may need to disable SecureBoot but I believe the latest Mint distro can boot with SecureBoot enabled. Cat can confirm that.



#7 cat1092

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 02:54 AM

Yes, Linux Mint will run on the XPS 8700, however I disabled Secure Boot because it's not compatible with Windows 7, and I have a total of 4 OS's on the PC (including W10 & Linux Mint 17.3). The card reader works with the other OS's, though not W10. I suspect it's a Windows driver bug, and recommend to download & install the one on the Dell site. If needed, download the one for Windows 8.1 & using the Compatibility Tab, select to run the driver as Windows 8.1. 

 

The reason why I didn't mess with the card reader any longer is because my portable USB 2.0 card reader runs faster in a USB 3.0 port than a USB 2.0 one. Your PC is loaded with USB 3.0 ports (8-10 total, versus 4 USB 2.0), may as well use these, they're backwards compatible with USB 2.0 & 1.1 devices & will often still perform much faster. I always use my card reader & SDHC card, connected to a USB 3.0 port, for everything, photo transfers, OS installs, whatever. The same with USB 2.0 Flash drives, if there's a USB 3.0 port, am going to use it, because it's faster. 

 

A speed check of the device with the free HD Tune app will prove it. :)

 

The other thing that I don't like about the native USB card reader, is due to the way the PC was sitting, longways rather than the front showing (because of how my PC desk is built). I need to pull out a flashlight to access the card reader, or scratch up the PC/risk damage to the card, of which I don't want to chance either. The USB SDHC card, even though it's 2.0, performs better in the USB 3.0 slots & easier for me to access, so for that reason, I choose to use the USB 3.0 ports with it, OS installs are very fast compared to the USB 2.0 ports. 

 

 

 

I have an external card reader that connects via USB (2.0, it's an older one)

 

That's OK, connect it to a USB port & it'll be supercharged. :)

 

I do have a native USB 3.0 card reader of the same brand (Transcend), but it gets hot after just a few minutes of use, the USB 2.0 version doesn't. Maybe I need to invest in a better USB 3.0 card reader, as I use these across all of my computers.

 

One last question, has your XPS 8700 BIOS been upgraded to A11? The reason I ask, is this is necessary for full Windows 10 support & why it was released. You probably by now know the routine, be sure to have the PC plugged into a UPS before BIOS upgrade, and follow any instructions listed. 

 

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/product-support/product/xps-8700/drivers?os=wt64a

 

A11 BIOS Details. Don't know why that these OEM's can't call it by it's proper name, UEFI Firmware Version. BIOS refers to pre-2012 computers, UEFI refers to mid 2012 forward. How long do they think we need to be babied? 10 years or longer? :P

 

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=TDDNW&fileId=3475261868&osCode=WT64A&productCode=xps-8700&languageCode=en&categoryId=BI

 

Good Luck, and like I stated, if the Windows 10 driver doesn't work, try the Windows 8.1 one, and if needed, the Win 8 or 7 version. That's what Compatibility Mode is for, making older devices to work with newer OS's by installing one of the previous drivers. :)

 

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=0RF55&fileId=3290125298&osCode=WT64A&productCode=xps-8700&languageCode=en&categoryId=RS

 

Oddly, the application hasn't been updated much since initial release. The application was once called the Foxconn Card Reader, with Windows 10, it's called Dell Platform Tags Utility. Just another way for Dell to confuse customers. The first ones received Windows 7 & 8, I chose the W8 model at Costco because it had 12GB RAM rather than 8GB & was $100 less, plus I had (at the time) 4 sealed Windows 7 versions at home. 

 

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverId=NMR90

 

Hope that things works out for you, this should be a simple fix in Compatibility Mode. :)

 

Cat


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#8 saluqi

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Posted 05 October 2016 - 09:28 PM

Well, I mentioned the locking switch on the card.  A couple of days ago, when this thread began, I flipped it (well, slid it back and forth) a couple of times.  This evening, a couple of minutes ago, I found time to try it in the card reader slot.  Lo and behold, the card and reader now talk to each other, and the card appears as an additional drive letter on the computer.  Go figure.

 

In fairness I should say I got this idea from a YouTube "essay" on how to make cantankerous memory cards work.  The SD cards have a little switch (a slider) on the left hand side (the opposite side to the beveled corner).  Its normal position is "unlocked" - that is "up" toward the contact end of the card, the end that's inserted into the camera or the reader.  Apparently there is a matching little slider inside the card reader, which is somehow actuated by the card slider when it is in the correct (unlocked) position.  All I did was move the slider down (to the locked position) and back up again, three or four times (and I did that days ago, when this all first started).  Put the card into the reader just now, and it immediately came up on the computer.  Maybe oxidized contacts, cleaned by moving the slider?

 

The video in question is at https://youtu.be/LBXP8EpItSg

 

So, problem solved, at least for the moment.  Seems to have been a "hardware" issue after all <G>.

 

Will have to look into the "BIOS"/UEFI firmware upgrade, and the other interesting suggestions.  Hope I'm not too old (85 next January) to learn <G>.



#9 cat1092

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 04:51 AM

 

 

 Hope I'm not too old (85 next January) to learn 

 

As long as your health permits, there's no such thing. :)

 

Plus the A11 BIOS was released to prepare the PC for a better Windows 10 experience & allows for the install (or upgrade) of unlocked CPU's, such as the i7-4790K that I installed. Unfortunately, as noted in Post #2, the firmware upgrade is not a substitute for proper power support, modern CPU's that's high powered needs two 4 pin CPU power plugs (even the OEM provided ones), why I'm using it on a new build, will install an i3/i5 that meets my budget & requires less power later, 1150 socket CPU's aren't going away for at least a couple of more years new from online retailers. Note that I skipped the first two UEFI firmware updates, because in the changelog, the issues 'fixed' didn't apply to me. With later BIOS releases, beginning with A08, I needed every one. There's a Dell Updating app that can do these things for you. There were also later firmware updates for Windows 8.1 & 10, however I had troubles with the native wi-fi after upgrading, if the driver is working, may want to leave alone. 

 

As far as that goes, unless you're having other issues, you don't have to upgrade the BIOS. The only reason why I did was because it stated it was needed for best W10 support, as well as having support for unlocked CPU's. Something that you may not care about spending $340 on for troubles. :)

 

I say if you or anyone is going with an unlocked CPU on that PC, go with an i5 to prevent sudden freezing. Dell should had thought about this & performed extensive 'real world testing' before declaring 'support' for the i7-4790K, otherwise would had not purchased it & would had went with my original plan a 'budget' Intel i7-5820K 6 core build (including DDR4 RAM support) that would had cost only $50 more ($389 at the time & today) & would have had more PCIe lanes to work with 28 versus 16 for the 4th gen Haswell quad core CPU's, as well as a 15MB L3 cache (almost 2x the 8MB L3 cache that I have). I'll never again make purchases based on 'support' that an OEM provides, was an upgrade intended to last me 10 years. And yet it may still, just in this PC & not the XPS 8700. Though will never match the below CPU, other than a max of 4.4GHz clock speed. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-i7-5820K-Processor-Hyper-Threading-Technology/dp/B00MMLXIKY

 

Anyway, am glad that you found the issue, and that your card reader is working. :)

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#10 saluqi

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Posted 09 October 2016 - 10:58 PM

I just wanted to update this to say that after a photo shoot today I stuck the fairly full 32 GB card in the slot and it uploaded all the pictures without a hitch - at a speed that varied from 45 to 55 MB/sec.  If it matters, these were all 6016 x 4016 pixel full-frame images (FX format in Nikon terminology) at 24 bit color depth.  File sizes are around 12-13 MB with JPEG compression.

 

If anyone wants to suggest why moving that slider up and down a few times fixed the problem, I'm all ears.



#11 cat1092

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Posted 10 October 2016 - 01:53 AM

saluqi, you must have been holding your mouth the right way when performing that procedure, is all I can say. :P

 

Hopefully you won't need to do it again, as the results may not be as good, am hoping it's never needed for the lifetime of the card. :)

 

Just by stroke of luck, the first card in that video is the very same one that I have & I have a 16GB of the same one on the way Monday (tomorrow) via UPS. Transcend cards has always worked well for me (their card readers also, though the USB 3.0 version, as mentioned, gets hot under hard use), now I know what to do when these 'acts up'. Which leads me to wonder, just how many of these cards has been returned to the OEM (via RMA) & done the same, after the fix, the 'technician' likely used the HP Format tool on these cards to delete all personal content & flashed the cells to like new again, and resells as 'refurbished' or 'open box' for 50% to 75% off? At the cost of these, would have to eat the loss, as I also back these up to two different externals, am not sending my personal content to an OEM. 

 

The only other card of the type that I have that would be faster (if I opened it) is the 32GB Samsung Pro Class 10 SDHC. The price has soared upwards since I ordered on 07/09/2015 (15 months ago & still sealed), there was a typo on the site that I & many took advantage of (sold out in 30-40 minutes), was priced less than the EVO per GB, this SDHC card should never had sold for $16.99, rather $26.99, though Amazon honored the mistake. In fact, I had ordered the 16GB EVO, and Amazon had yet to ship my package after 5 days (am not a Prime member, yet soon will be), so was able to cancel the order for the 16GB EVO at $13.99 & grab the 32GB PRO for just $3 more bucks. Plus a 2x faster card. :thumbsup:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IVPU6AU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

And here's the card laying on my notebook, taken sometime back. It should be a fast card, maybe too fast for a 2008 (when I purchased) Panasonic LS80 LUMIX 8.1MP. Though I now have another 32GB card in it, however is one of those tiny cards that slides into a standard SDHC card adapter. Every picture I take with this (& similar cards of different brands on promo for under $10) when something is in motion there's blur in it, whereas the original 1GB PNY SD card didn't. Back when we took pics of the granddaughter on the merry go round, all was fine, and this is a Class 4 card. Now why would a Class 10 card perform worse, is the million dollar question? Quality for price? :)

 

P1000759.jpg

 

BTW, I've purchased many such items & remained sealed for 2-3 years, though had the Samsung EVO arrived instead (not my fault that Amazon ships slow to non-Prime members), would had opened & placed in the camera. That PRO card is going into a semi-hidden wireless security camera that'll be constantly be uploading movement to OneDrive, so a thief will be caught (the copy on the card won't be the only one available). In fact, 2-3 years back, was cleaning out a drawer, and found a HDD that I had ordered 5 years earlier for a notebook with a 2.5" IDE version, brand new & forgotten, maybe because in the meantime the notebook had failed of other causes before it's arrival. I evidently tossed the package in a drawer and for 5 years, never looked back, other than to add more. :P

 

Only after ordering the IBM T42 notebook a few years back, I was suspecting that I had one on hand, kept looking & looking, and finally struck pay dirt, a week later. It was new & sadly, the entire 5 year warranty passed by while in there, yet at the same time was lucky, because the only new ones & some of the listings were probably bogus, were also of the 5,400 rpm type, mine was 7,200 rpm & brand spanking new, even smelled like it once removed from the dusty package & unwrapped from layers of bubble wrap & then in a small box. :)

 

I'd bet that many folks would be surprised at what we have on hand & have forgotten.

 

Glad that you found the fix, have bookmarked the YouTube video! :)

 

If by chance the Transcend 16GB model does the same, will order the 16GB Samsung Pro version on Amazon, it still reads at 90MB/sec, though reads are reduced to 50MB/sec. Still not shabby. :)

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IVPU6AA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 10 October 2016 - 02:02 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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