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The SD card reader slot on the new 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models is not functioning as expected with some SD cards, according to multiple reports on the MacRumors forums.

2021-MBP-SD-Card-Error-Feature.jpg

In a long complaint thread, MacRumors readers have detailed the issues that they're having with some SD cards, and there seems to be little consistency between reports and affected SD cards. Some SD cards crash and can't be accessed, while some have unusually slow transfer speeds. MacRumors reader Wildct explains the issue:
Same issues with 14" M1 Pro. Just seems to be super flakey and inconsistent. Half the time it'll recognize the card successfully (though it takes anywhere from 30s to 1m) and half the time it'll throw an error. These are all Sandisk Ultra cards, both XC and HC, that were formatted in my camera. I tried reformatting them w/ the MBP and that didn't seem to make a difference. All my cards work as expected in my 3 other USB card readers.
In some situations, there's just an error message when attempting to use the SD card, sometimes Finder crashes, and sometimes the SD card takes many minutes to be accesible. From MacRumors reader 2Stepfan:
It's very frustrating. I was hoping that import from SD card including preview of images would be quick on my new 14" MBP. I have a fairly new 64GB SD card which had been working fine. But Photos on the MBP using the internal SD card slot takes minutes to show photos and sometimes crashes half way through. Sometimes the Finder crashes too.
Based on the thread, formatting does not appear to be the issue, though it could be a factor. There also does not seem to be a common thread between which cards work and which do not, but multiple users have reported that using an SD card reader over USB-C works when the SD card slot does not. From MacRumors reader wilberforce:
I tried many cards, and could find no pattern of brand, size, type, format, age. Seems to be completely random. The only thing that is consistent is that if a card works, it always works, and if a card does not work properly it never works properly. Reformatting, even to all other possible formats, makes no difference. Sandisk, Sony, Samsung, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, UHS-I, UHS-II, micro-SD, FAT32, exFAT, makes no difference. 100% of my cards work perfectly via a dongle.
Some readers who have contacted Apple have been told that the company is aware of the issue and that a fix is coming in a future software update, but it is not clear if this is a hardware issue or a software issue. Some users who had problems replaced their MacBook Pro and did not continue to have issues, so it's not known exactly what might be going on.

Many of the reports are about older SD cards and there may be a particular issue with some 128GB cards, but for the most part, complaints are all over the place in terms of SD card brand, speed, and capacity.

One user reported that the macOS Monterey 12.1 beta had fixed the issue, but another person on Reddit said that the most recent beta did not address it, so we also don't know if macOS Monterey 12.1 might have a fix.

Those affected who are unable to use their SD cards with the SD card slot can access their cards by using an SD card reader dongle, which is not an ideal solution but at least provides a way to get SD card content onto an M1 Pro or M1 Max Mac.

Article Link: Some SD Cards Not Working Properly With 2021 14 and 16-Inch MacBook Pros
 

JPack

macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
8,109
13,798
Each microSD card has its own controller and there are dozens of companies making their own controllers, each with different firmware.

This is probably why Apple hates add-on storage. They're used to coding for only Apple approved vendors.
 

sideshowuniqueuser

macrumors 68000
Mar 20, 2016
1,616
1,357
Each microSD card has its own controller and there are dozens of companies making their own controllers, each with different firmware.

This is probably why Apple hates add-on storage. They're used to coding for only Apple approved vendors.
And yet other companies can make external card readers that "just work" with every card. Sigh, bring back those days for Apple.
 

friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,368
1,171
Just plug in a different model using the universal USB-C ports… oh wait, y’all wanted integrated! 😉

But you can still plug one in...

I'm interested if anyone can say what kind of "connection" the SD Card in the new MBPs has? I have both a USB 3 card reader and a Thunderbolt 3 card reader... and the Thunderbolt is WAY faster. Did Apple go with Thunderbolt for the internal one? If not, I'll probably continue to use my external one anyway...
 
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bart4u

macrumors member
Sep 9, 2008
36
13
I am sorry but an SD card reader is such a basic thing to add to a computer. Even the cheapest card readers on Amazon will read all SD cards. How could apple blow this. Did they not test a variety of SD card manufactures cards with their computers. I rather an another input port on my computer than having to deal with Apple's SD card reader. It looks like that cannot get that one right.
 

topdrawer

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2012
729
1,108
Old MBPs were notorious for this problem, and I had one that had the problem. I ended up just buying an external card reader.


my old MacBook's SD slot worked great for a while. I used it a lot. then it stopped working completely. after a couple of years it started working again but all cards mount locked.

I haven't tested my new MacBook. now I'm afraid.
 
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kirk.vino

macrumors 6502a
Oct 27, 2017
506
514
No issues here whatsoever on my 14" 10/16 model. I've tried my SanDisk 128 GB SD card multiple times since day 1 and haven't noticed any hiccups so far.
 

mannyvel

macrumors 65816
Mar 16, 2019
1,085
1,850
Hillsboro, OR
And yet other companies can make external card readers that "just work" with every card. Sigh, bring back those days for Apple.
This is what happens when drivers are rewritten from scratch; all those weird things you had to do for "compatibility" get thrown out, and all those old cards which you don't have to test start causing problems.

Maybe the M1 pro is so fast that it's causing hardware interface problems - like there was latency present in the x86 world that was "built in" and is now gone. Hardware can be surprisingly intolerant of bad timing.
 

pharris123

macrumors newbie
Jan 25, 2016
23
32
And yet other companies can make external card readers that "just work" with every card. Sigh, bring back those days for Apple.
and yet they don't. When I owned a photography studio, SD cards, no matter how new or from what manufacturer, were always iffy. On PCs and Mac. Its an old technology, and was essentially obsolete eight years ago. I can't imagine what the hell apple was thinking adding them back into the mix. Every card has its own firmware, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. They all suck.
 
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