I picked up a couple of SD cards on sale today at Radio Shack so that I could use them to take advantage of the ReadyBoost feature in Windows 7. When I inserted the card, windows told me that the device didn’t install properly, but the SD card showed up as a drive.
Flash drives are shipped pre-formatted using the FAT32 file system because FAT32 tends to be a universally supported format. I tried to reformat the drive to the new exFAT filesystem (a new Windows file system optimized for flash drives). The format failed.
As I tried to troubleshoot the issue, I realized that ReadyBoost wasn’t working right. When restarting the computer, the system would hang on “logging out” until I ejected the card. The card was quite unstable. The file system kept becoming corrupt, requiring multiple attemps to reformat it.
I happened to notice some unknown devices in the device manager that hadn’t been there before. A little while later, I inserted the card into the other card reader slot. More unknown devices showed up, and the system told me that the hardware didn’t install properly again. I realized I was on to something!
The card reader hardware wasn’t working properly because Windows 7 didn’t have the right driver included. A little bit of diging and I came up with another idea. Most computer manufacturers try to reduce costs whenever possible. Just like car manufacurers, they reuse parts across different models when they can.
I couldn’t find a Vista/7 driver for the Acer Aspire One netbook that I have, but I was able to find a Vista driver for another acer model that I guessed was probably using the same card reader hardware. My guess was right!
I found the driver that I needed for the built in Jmicron card reader on this page.
If you have an Acer Aspire One laptop and your card reader slots aren’t working right, grab that driver. It should fix the problem, and allow you to use ReadyBoost too!