To SD or not to SD. That is the question

IanEricsonComputer & Network Maintenance

Working with SD drives and movie files for mobile devices.

I decided to load some kids movies onto an SD memory card so my grandchildren can watch them when we travel. The wifi is not always available for cloud movies so we made them smaller with a sofware program called Handbrake and then saved them to the SD cards. The first thing I learned was that there are three different kind of cards SD, SDHC, and SDXC.  Let’s go through this so you  get the correct one. First FAT16 was used to format 10Gb and 20Gb drives in a PC,then FAT32 was the format hard drives up to 200Gb. But, as they increased above 200Gb they had to change the formatting software to NTFS which is now in the TB (terabyte) ranges.

Here is the rub;

  • SD is the original and is up to 2Gb (gigabite) storage. We use these in cameras and phones. Usually older electronics. This is low class (low speed) FAT 32
  • SDHC is up to 32Gb usually class 4 or 6. Medium speed and like the SD is formatted with FAT32.
  • SDXC is a class 10 (high speed for data and videos) up to 128Gb is formatted with FAT 32

 Why is this important…… The SD cards all use FAT 32 and the windows pc uses NTFS. The PC can still read fat32 but only formats in NTFS.

Be aware of which card you need and use your device (camera,etc) to format the new card. It is recommended not to use low level formatting, because if you want to recover pics, with special software you could.

Also note:

TVs are Fat 32.  Although they say they work up to 32 GB they will recognize higher sizes.

Cameras are FAT 32

Android phones are FAT 32

Windows PCs are NTFS

You can get free FAT32 software at    http://www.sdcard.Org

You can download SD Formatter 4.0 there.