USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

Started Oct 20, 2014 | Discussions
wklee Veteran Member • Posts: 9,130
USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

I have some 32 and 64GB SD and/or MicroSD cards. Would it be possible to use those as USB pendrives? How well would it work that way?

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hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,725
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

Not sure what you are asking, but I've used my outdated CF and SD cards as storage devices and swapping data between computers for over a decade. Good use for outdated cards.

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OP wklee Veteran Member • Posts: 9,130
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

hotdog321 wrote:

Not sure what you are asking, but I've used my outdated CF and SD cards as storage devices and swapping data between computers for over a decade. Good use for outdated cards.

I was thinking that while it is possible to create a bootable USB disk, it may not be possible to create a bootable SDHC disk when inserted into a card reader, for example.

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dad_of_four Veteran Member • Posts: 8,491
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

wklee wrote:

I have some 32 and 64GB SD and/or MicroSD cards. Would it be possible to use those as USB pendrives? How well would it work that way?

Yes but... While most every computer running today has a USB interface, not all computers have a SD card interface.  You might find yourself needing to carry around a USB Card reader that reads the SD card

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Phil_MI
Phil_MI Senior Member • Posts: 1,122
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers
1

I've just recently installed a Linux O.S. Fedora 21 alpha w/Xfce desktop to a 4GB SD card that was inserted in a usb card reader. The usb card reader with the sd card and Fedora o.s. boots from a Acer Aspire One and runs the live operating system well and have also created a persistent overlay that saves any changes that are made while running and after rebooting.

You may find that some computers will not boot from a usb device or sd card though. The Acer netbook here will boot from usb card reader and from just the sd slot but an Emachines computer here will not boot from the usb card reader but will boot from its sd slot.

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mauibreeze Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

If you are asking if you can store files on a SD car and use that to transfer around stuff instead of a USB thumb drive then yes, it's essentially the same thing just different format. You just need to have a reader to be able to load the SD card.

OP wklee Veteran Member • Posts: 9,130
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

I was thinking of that and also if it can be made bootable. My Vaio laptop has a SD card reader with isn't recognised as a bootable device. The laptop recovery options specifically ask for USB drives or DVDs.

mauibreeze wrote:

If you are asking if you can store files on a SD car and use that to transfer around stuff instead of a USB thumb drive then yes, it's essentially the same thing just different format. You just need to have a reader to be able to load the SD card.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,585
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

wklee wrote:

I was thinking of that and also if it can be made bootable. My Vaio laptop has a SD card reader with isn't recognised as a bootable device. The laptop recovery options specifically ask for USB drives or DVDs.

mauibreeze wrote:

If you are asking if you can store files on a SD car and use that to transfer around stuff instead of a USB thumb drive then yes, it's essentially the same thing just different format. You just need to have a reader to be able to load the SD card.

I've never attempted that sort of solution, but bear in mind the BIOS will be looking for either a hard drive, or USB thumb drive, NOT a card reader for boot options.

So, is it possible? I can't say cause I've never tried it, but in keeping things simple, I highly doubt it, mainly because I don't think the card reader will be recognized in the BIOS.

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ktownbill Senior Member • Posts: 2,191
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

ADMint wrote:

wklee wrote:

I was thinking of that and also if it can be made bootable. My Vaio laptop has a SD card reader with isn't recognised as a bootable device. The laptop recovery options specifically ask for USB drives or DVDs.

mauibreeze wrote:

If you are asking if you can store files on a SD car and use that to transfer around stuff instead of a USB thumb drive then yes, it's essentially the same thing just different format. You just need to have a reader to be able to load the SD card.

I've never attempted that sort of solution, but bear in mind the BIOS will be looking for either a hard drive, or USB thumb drive, NOT a card reader for boot options.

So, is it possible? I can't say cause I've never tried it, but in keeping things simple, I highly doubt it, mainly because I don't think the card reader will be recognized in the BIOS.

I believe some or all usb memory sticks can be configured so a PC recognizes them as a "non-removable" device?  Otherwise you can't boot from them?

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rebel99 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,025
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

Phil_MI wrote:

I've just recently installed a Linux O.S. Fedora 21 alpha w/Xfce desktop to a 4GB SD card that was inserted in a usb card reader. The usb card reader with the sd card and Fedora o.s. boots from a Acer Aspire One and runs the live operating system well and have also created a persistent overlay that saves any changes that are made while running and after rebooting.

You may find that some computers will not boot from a usb device or sd card though. The Acer netbook here will boot from usb card reader and from just the sd slot but an Emachines computer here will not boot from the usb card reader but will boot from its sd slot.

phil

the new pcs can do that if you enable the bios and select flash drives as bootable media.

cheerz.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,585
Re: USB thumdrives vs Card Readers

rebel99 wrote:

Phil_MI wrote:

I've just recently installed a Linux O.S. Fedora 21 alpha w/Xfce desktop to a 4GB SD card that was inserted in a usb card reader. The usb card reader with the sd card and Fedora o.s. boots from a Acer Aspire One and runs the live operating system well and have also created a persistent overlay that saves any changes that are made while running and after rebooting.

You may find that some computers will not boot from a usb device or sd card though. The Acer netbook here will boot from usb card reader and from just the sd slot but an Emachines computer here will not boot from the usb card reader but will boot from its sd slot.

phil

the new pcs can do that if you enable the bios and select flash drives as bootable media.

cheerz.

Yes, that's true... however, I'm not sure the BIOS views a "card reader" as a "flash drive".  That's the issue.  Anyway I'll pose this question over at the tenforums and post back here later.

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,585
Depends on what the BIOS thinks and sees

Hi guys,

Being curious I posted this question in the Windows ten forums here: Boot from SD card Reader?  and the prevailing thought is it depends on whether the BIOS sees the card reader or not, and whether it recognizes it as a bootable device. Most think it should work depending on MB BIOS.

One poster did however state his laptop has a built in SD card reader but the laptop doesn't recognize it as a boot device so...

Another showed his BIOS setting showing the card reader as a bootable device. Any way I've already linked to the thread for those interested.

Peace.

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