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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:14 AM   #1
*Chaos*Theory*
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Printer won't read SD card

Please can someone help me? I have a mac mini (OS 10.4.11) and a Brother MFC-215C printer. I use an SD card in my camera (not SDHC), and this is picked up by the printer so I can upload photos.

I've bought a couple of new SD cards and the printer won't pick them up. When I insert the card into the printer the light on the printer is constant (usually when reading a card it flashes on and off). If I then try to insert one of my old SD cards the printer can't read that one either - then if I reboot it can read the old cards again, but not the new ones.

Any ideas please? I'm not techie at all and was careful to buy SD cards as I've already had to give away one camera because it took SDHC cards and the printer wouldn't read those.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Try reformatting the new SD cards in the camera.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 12:47 PM   #3
flyshop
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Are you shooting in Raw or Jpeg?

It's a good chance if your shooting in Raw the printer will not recognize the files. The printer will only recognize jpegs.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 08:19 PM   #4
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Even if shooting jpeg files, import into iPhoto and improve the image before printing.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 09:44 PM   #5
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Also, don't print every picture you take.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 04:12 AM   #6
*Chaos*Theory*
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Thanks everyone.

Bear - I did reformat the SD card but it made no difference, the printer still doesn't pick it up. What concerns me most is that after inserting the new SD card that it can't read, it then is unable to read my old SD cards either - unless I reboot and start again.

flyshop - No, I'm not shooting in raw (apparently! I have no idea what this means but hubby tells me I'm not! )

MCAsan - I'm ashamed to admit I can't figure out how to work iphoto . All I ever do is insert the card reader and upload direct from there.

alphaod - Actually I don't print ANY pictures! It is on my 'To Do' list though. I really must get them printed so I can free up space on the SD cards.

The only thing which has worked so far is using a usb cable to plug the camera itself into the mac mini and use the camera as a card reader. I suspect the SD cards I've bought are cheap and nasty as the camera is very slow to recognise them and slow to change from take photos mode to view photos mode, etc. But they were the only SD cards I could find as now it seems everyone is using SDHC. I guess I can try SDHC with a newer camera and see if that works when using the camera as a card reader - but I'm a Luddite and just like things the way they were.

Thanks for all the help
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 09:54 AM   #7
Designer Dale
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The problem may be in trying to use the printer as a card reader. Get a cheap USB SD card reader like the one in the link at the end of this post. It plugs directly into the USB port of your computer. I have a similar one from Hoodman.

SD card reader at Amazon

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Old Jan 18, 2013, 02:40 PM   #8
*Chaos*Theory*
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Thanks - but really I don't want to have to get a card reader. All I want is to continue as I am. I don't understand why my printer will happily read SD cards that I've had for a couple of years, but it won't read new ones I've just bought.

I guess there is something different in the SD card itself, which is really annoying as I searched for ages to find an SD card, as everyone seems to use SDHC now, so plain old SD are quite hard to find.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Chaos*Theory* View Post
Thanks - but really I don't want to have to get a card reader. All I want is to continue as I am. I don't understand why my printer will happily read SD cards that I've had for a couple of years, but it won't read new ones I've just bought.

I guess there is something different in the SD card itself, which is really annoying as I searched for ages to find an SD card, as everyone seems to use SDHC now, so plain old SD are quite hard to find.
SD and SDHC cards are different and a reader built for the older one won't necessarily read the newer one. I ran into this when I upgraded my camera to one that used CF cards. My then current reader would read both SD and CF cards, but not the newer UDMA cards that were on the market. I had to get a new reader with my camera. Technology seems to be doing this a lot.

EDIT SD cards are broken into Classes and this is marked on the card with a number in a circle. The higher the number the faster the card. Older cards are class 2 or 4 and the newer ones are 6 and 10. Your printer probably can't read anything faster than class 4. What do the cards that work say as opposed to the ones that don't?

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Last edited by Designer Dale; Jan 18, 2013 at 02:57 PM.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 04:15 PM   #10
*Chaos*Theory*
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I didn't know that. Thanks. It sounds like that's what the problem is.

The cards my printer CAN read say Sandisk SD card, with a 2 inside an enlarged C, which I guess means class 2.

The ones it can't read don't seem to have anything to say what class they are. They say SD Elite Pro 3.3v ce, then a series of numbers at the bottom 94110-925 AOOLF 20456871.

My old cards are only 2gb. This time I bought what looks like an unbranded 16gb as I thought it was better value. Maybe I should look again for proper Sandisk ones and even if they are only 2gb, it'll be worth it to me if the printer can read them.
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Old Jan 18, 2013, 05:12 PM   #11
Laird Knox
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2GB might be the magic number as well. It is possible that the printer is unable to read anything larger. On the other hand, even if it can't read the card it shouldn't mess up the printer and require a power cycle.

https://www.sdcard.org/consumers/choices/

Last edited by Laird Knox; Jan 18, 2013 at 05:24 PM.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 06:50 AM   #12
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Hmmm... that's interesting. I think I'll stick to the 2gb ones then. I've seen some on ebay which say they are class 2, even though it's not printed on the label in the picture. Hopefully they will be ok. I don't think you can still buy these type of cards in the shops, when I've looked I could only find SDHC which is why I'm resorting to ebay.

Thanks for all the help!
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 02:33 PM   #13
Laird Knox
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Try Newegg

Class refers to the sustained write speed of the card. It is used to determine the suitability for video recording. It shouldn't have any impact on your printer.
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Old Jan 19, 2013, 03:20 PM   #14
Designer Dale
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The above is true as is the previous post regarding size. The physical size of an sd/sdhc card remains the same while the data capacity keeps growing. They do this by increasing the compression of the data to stuff more bytes on the card. The OPs printer probably isn't capable of reading these compressed files.

Note: while the files themselves may not be compressed, they do manage to stuff more and more on there. That's not my area of expertise.

What I don't see is the resistance to buying a reader capable of reading modern cards that are more easily available. Mine cost $20 and sits in a drawer until I need it. Not like it's a space hog...

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Old Jan 19, 2013, 05:38 PM   #15
Laird Knox
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It isn't a matter of compression, it is the way the data is stored. The cards are a block level device using a FAT (File Allocation Table) file system. SDSC is based on FAT16, SDHC is FAT32 and SDXC is exFAT. Basically what this means is that each format is able to address more clusters and sectors.

This is the same reason we saw problems with hard drives when they began to go over the 2GB range. OS updates eventually fixed that and it is conceivable that the printer could have it's firmware updated. Unfortunately it probably won't happen now if it hasn't already. You might want to check with the manufacturer as it is possible that there is an update available.

This goes a bit overboard on answering the OP, sorry.

It sounds like you have three options. Continue to buy increasingly rare SDSC cards. Update the printer's firmware (if available). Or purchase a modern SD card reader.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 04:01 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laird Knox View Post
It isn't a matter of compression, it is the way the data is stored. The cards are a block level device using a FAT (File Allocation Table) file system. SDSC is based on FAT16, SDHC is FAT32 and SDXC is exFAT. Basically what this means is that each format is able to address more clusters and sectors.

This is the same reason we saw problems with hard drives when they began to go over the 2GB range. OS updates eventually fixed that and it is conceivable that the printer could have it's firmware updated. Unfortunately it probably won't happen now if it hasn't already. You might want to check with the manufacturer as it is possible that there is an update available.

This goes a bit overboard on answering the OP, sorry.

It sounds like you have three options. Continue to buy increasingly rare SDSC cards. Update the printer's firmware (if available). Or purchase a modern SD card reader.
Thanks. I'm going to give the 2gb cards a try and see if they work. In due course I will probably opt for a card reader, but that said I have been given a connector to plug the camera itself straight into the mac mini so I think that's probably just as good.

My resistance is simply that I'm not good with technology and would like to continue with my present system as long as possible. I know some people love fiddling with this sort of thing and can't wait for the latest upgrade, but that's just not me. I always seem to find one change will lead to something else not working and I just don't have the knowledge to put it right, so I'd rather keep things as they are. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!!! I've coped with just 3 x 2gb SD cards for a number of years now, and still have space on a couple of them. I like things simple and I like just being able to plug my card into my printer and have it read the card automatically. The usb connector is an ok alternative if this doesn't work, though.

I do appreciate all the advice, so please don't be offended by what I've said. It's a problem I encounter all the time, but as I get older I just find technology harder and harder to understand. However, I feel like I have a much better understanding of how this stuff works now, and if and when I do need to upgrade to SDHC I have a good idea how to manage that - so thank you!
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 01:59 PM   #17
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The printer has no place at all in the equation. Put the SD card in your computer and copy it to a directory of your choosing. Or several directories with unique names such as "April 2012", "May 2012", etc. You get the idea.

Verify that the images were copied, back up that directory to your external HDD or SSD and reformat the SD cards in your camera for reuse in the camera.

If your computer has no SD slot, a card reader is only around $8 and plugs into your USB port to do the above.

I echo alphaod's comments, good grief, never print them all. Print only your keepers, never the off center, out of focus shots of people making accidentally goofy faces. I don't have room in my house to store my over 410 GB of printed images. And who on earth would ever look at them?
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