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MultiMediaCard compatibility nightmare - explanation?


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#1
Lost in the Supermarket

Lost in the Supermarket

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Hi, groovers. Got bad trouble with successive MultiMediaCards which refuse to play ball with the Ericsson HPM-10 mp3 player that clips onto my mobile telephone. "Card Not Supported" messages every time. In one case, the offending MMC was outwardly identical (Kingston 512MB) to another that did work. Every time I source a new card, it's a crapshoot as to whether the clip-on player will like it - and the odds aren't running my way lately. These non-working cards, interestingly, read fine on my car stereo card-reader, and read and write no problems from my PC-mounted reader, but spit the dummy in the phone player.
Thought I'd get some answers from running the old DOS chkdsk routine (all cards - including the phone-hating ones - check out without defects). Here's a sample from a phone-friendly 512MB card:
513,466,368 total bytes available
8192 bytes per allocation unit
62,679 total allocation units
And here's an identical, but phone-hating card:
508,035,072 total bytes available
8192 bytes per allocation unit
62,016 total allocation units
Just to compound the confusion, I have a 256MB card that works fine despite having 4096 bytes per allocation unit, and an ancient 32MB which has a different number again.
Chkdsk reports the formatting system as FAT, but doesn't report whether it's FAT 12, FAT16 or FAT32. So here's my questions:
Can I adjust the attitudes of these phone-hating cards to make them fully compatible? Is it a formatting problem, given that I have already tried reformatting the offending cards as FAT both with XP's inbuilt formatting routine and with a freeware program called MMCmedic? Have you people ever run across cards that, for no obvious reason, will just not play nicely with a particular piece of hardware? And, if you think it's formatting, can anyone recommend a specialised formatting program or a procedure I should try? Thankin' you....
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#2
warriorscot

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Its not unknown for some cards not to like some devices either because the formatting is incorrect or they have a physical attribute the player isn't designed to handle.

Have you checked with mp3 player manufacturers site for a compatibility list or a formatting tool as sometimes they need a very specific formatting or a file on the card to allow the player to access it. And a bit of trial and error in the mean time of different formats, try re formatting the duds with all the variations, if that doesn't work to elimate the file format problem you could try reformatting one of the working ones if you want to risk it, if it still works then it is a problem with the other cards if it doesn't its a formatting/software thing.
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#3
Lost in the Supermarket

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Thanks for the thoughts - Ericsson morphed into SonyEricsson and lost interest in supporting their previous incarnation's hardware or responding to distress calls about 5 minutes afterwards. There's no compatibility list available that I can find. I'd like to try reformatting the "bad" cards, but don't have any software that can do it apart from those already mentioned. I'm loath to potentially screw up one of the three working cards I have by experimenting with reformatting one of those. Are you aware of any (hopefully freeware) formatting programs that offer more choices than the standard XP setup? And by the way - nice Vulcan.
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