D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

WP7 and Micro SD Cards – What You Need To Know

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:34 PM

This FAQ article came across my Twitter stream this afternoon. It’s related to the Samsung Focus, but this line suggests its a broad design feature of WP7 devices:

Windows Phone 7 does not support freely swapping microSD Card in and out.

ORLY!? Not only that but…

Many commercially available retail microSD cards are not approved for use in Windows Phone 7. Use of unapproved cards may cause performance degradation or device instability including unexpected reset and loss of user data. A microSD card class is not an indication of meeting Windows Phone 7 requirements. Approved cards can be obtained from the manufacturer or Mobile Operator. (SanDisk 8GB class 2 microSD card has been certified.)

Once inserted and properly formatted, the memory card becomes an inseparable part of the phone.

But what do they mean about “inseparable part of the phone”? Another FAQ article explains further:

A microSD card inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device and integrated into the device's file system is intended to be a permanent modification to the device. Once a microSD card has been integrated into a Windows Phone 7 device's file system, it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on. This includes an inability to format the microSD card for use in these devices

Basically the microSD card is the male Angler Fish to the Windows Phone 7’s female Angler Fish (Warning on the link – Language).

And the final kicker to this is that if you want to remove the microSD card or put in a bigger one…

To insert or remove a microSD card, you have to reset your phone by using a procedure called a hard reset.

Warning!: A hard reset resets your phone to its factory default settings and wipes all data (pictures, video, contacts, music, and so on) from your phone.

Here are the links to the FAQ articles used in this post.

How Do I Install The Memory Card On My Focus Phone?

Does Windows Phone Support microSD Card for Memory Expansion?

UPDATE – 23/11/2010
According to WPCentral, the list of supported SD cards should be coming soon (clink to see article).


# re: WP7 and Micro SD Cards – What You Need To Know

Sandisk 8GB class 2 is certified? Where is this certified list? 11/10/2010 12:55 PM | iamme

# re: WP7 and Micro SD Cards – What You Need To Know

I'm not sure what the big deal is about removable MICROSDHC cards. WP7 got it right. Put the card in the memory then merges with the local memory and then you forget about it. No having to think about where to save your pictures, etc. I know there is like 2% of people who would rather remove their card to do who knows what but it not necessary. Email, upload, or use the Zune software. It's the perfect implementation. 11/11/2010 10:13 AM | Bobby Cannon

# re: WP7 and Micro SD Cards – What You Need To Know

Oh BTW, My wife and I both have the Samsung Focus. I put a 4g card in her phone and a 16g card in mine. Reset both phone and they've been working great! 11/11/2010 10:15 AM | Bobby Cannon

# re: WP7 and Micro SD Cards – What You Need To Know

Bobby: I agree that the majority of people won't ever remove their micro-sd cards. But this is still something people need to be aware of, especially with the devices being so new and people wanting to play with/explore them.

Case in point - we held a local community event to check out a loaner WP7 phone a local MVP received. A few days before the event, while checking out the phone, he removed the Micro SD card. It bricked the phone, wouldn't reset or anything! After working it through with Microsoft, they got it working.

You bought more than enough memory for you and your wife, but what about someone who puts in a 2GB card and then a few months later decides they need more memory? They're in for an ordeal to swap the memory out, and they have a memory card that is useless.

Glad to hear the phones are working great! The Focus won't be available in Canada for a couple of weeks, looking forward to getting mine! :)

D 11/12/2010 9:10 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: WP7 and Micro SD Cards – What You Need To Know

Picked up my Samsung Focus from Rogers today. Label right on the back as it comes out of the box: "Please back up data using Zune desktop client before inserting the memory card. Warning: Do not remove the memory card once inserted. The memory card integrates with the phone's internal memory and removal will make your phone and memory card unusable."

From what it sounds like, you can do a hard reset afterwards to restore and if you have the backup you should be OK. SHOULD. 11/30/2010 8:28 PM | Kelly

# sd card not explore in nobile and connected with pc removeable drive not show

My htc7trophy windows7.5 mobile does not show removeable drive in computer while connected and mobile this card was as built in mobile 8/1/2012 5:43 PM | imran

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