How to Update Your SD Card Reader Driver

Everyone who has used a digital camera or a camcoder at some point is sure to have a few SD cards full of photos and videos lying around their house. When you suddenly decide to check out the photos you took on that week-long holiday to the Maldives and the SD card won't even show up on your computer, it can be a frustrating experience.

This article will provide a couple of quick tips on how to update your computer's SD card reader drivers and be able to enjoy browsing through those old photos and videos once again.

  1. Update your SD card reader driver

The first thing you should think of when any part of your computer acts up should be updating or reinstalling its driver. SD card readers are no exception.

Windows 10 has become the most convenient OS we have ever had access to in terms of automatic driver installation and device support. In this sense, you should be able to simply do a fresh install of your SD card driver by uninstalling the current driver, rebooting your PC and letting Windows re-discover the device and install a fresh driver for it.

You can do that by right clicking your start menu button and selecting "Device Manager". In the new window, find your SD card reader, usually located in the "Disk drives" category, right click it and select "Uninstall device". After a system reboot, Windows should do a fresh install of your driver and you can try slotting in your SD card once again.

If you have already downloaded the most current driver package from your device's manufacturer or OEM website, you can choose "Update driver" when you right click your device, instead of "Uninstall device". In the new interface that comes up, choose "Browse my computer for driver software" and navigate to the directory where you saved the new driver you downloaded. Windows should take care of the rest and install the driver for you.

  1. Make sure your SD card is not damaged

It would be no use trying to whip your SD card reader in shape if the actual SD card you are trying to read from is broken, the storage has gone bad or is otherwise not functioning properly. Like any solid state storage device, an SD card has an expected lifespan and once this has expired, you can't expect to bring it back to life.

An exceedingly old SD card, for example one that was first used 10 years ago, can be expected to have serious issues or to simply be dead after such a long time.

To make sure that your SD card is not the problem, try slotting it in another computer and reader or even in a camera and try reading from it. If you fail to do that on a second device, chances are the SD card is simply faulty and has been damaged beyond repair.

It is a good idea to keep your most valuable information and photos on storage that is relatively new to avoid similar incidents.

January 5, 2021

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