How big an SD card can I use?

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How big an SD card can I use?  

I have an Acer Aspire One netbook 8 or 10** years old running XP SP3 Pro
with a slot in the side for a full size SD card.  

I have two Acer files, Quick Setup and another one, that describe the
computer, and one or both mention the SD slot,  but they don't give any
advice on how many bytes the SD card can be, and they make them a lot
bigger now than when the computer was made.   I don't want to boot from
it, which is unnecessary and aiui would be impossible, just use it for

Do you think I can use larger*** SD cards in it than existed when it was
built.   Any guess about how large?    I'm including  SDHC or SDXC cards
that fit in adapters the size of SD cards.  

OTOH, if sticking to the original size, what was that?   How big were SD
cards 8 or 10 years ago?  

(I just noticed the slot (which is plugged with a removeable piece of
plastic) or I saw it and forgot about it!, and I'm going on a trip with
this, so it might be good to have as much storage as possibe.)

**It was bought used about 4 years ago, and so far the oldest file I've
found was from 2006.    

***Wikip says the HDSD card was announced in January 2006, so I don't
suppose? this netbook was designed to use it.    


Re: How big an SD card can I use?

micky wrote:
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Released July 2008.

    "There is also an SD/SDHC storage expansion slot
     on all models for additional storage (the 533 model
     does not support SDHC as verified by Acer support UK).

     On Linux versions this automatically expands the space of the SSD or HDD
     using aufs. Windows XP models treat it as a normal removable drive.

     Some models have a second slot that functions as a standard multi-in-1
     flash memory card reader. The 110 BIOS does not allow one to boot an
     operating system from this slot, but the 150 BIOS is capable of booting
     from an SDHC card in the slot. (Note: with Linux, it is possible essentially
     to boot from HD or USB by using a /boot partition on the regular boot device
     and an initrd that loads the real OS from the slot).

    "SDHC: >2 GB to 32 GB"

And you can always carry more than one of them,
if feeling particularly rich.

And the manufacturers always blow opportunities like this.

They don't mention speeds at all. My guess is, since the slot is
hosted by a USB card reader, it's likely to be a USB2 card
reader, so won't go faster than 25MB/sec. Just a guess on
my part. As far as I know, the speeds are backward compatible,
so a 90MB/sec card would be required to clock at the lower
12.5MB/sec interface rate, if that is all the host supports.


Re: How big an SD card can I use?

micky wrote:

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"Aspire One" is a family of products consisting of several models.
Which *model* do you have?

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2 GB for an SD card, 32 GB for an SDHC card.  From what I've seen for
some model descriptions, they have an SD slot, not an SDHC slot.

It's possible you can up the capacity to 32 GB if you are willing to
putz with the cluster size (allocation unit) when formatting the card.
A small cluster size results in less slack (waste) space at the end of
the cluster so efficiency is better but total capacity is smaller.
Files are rarely the exact size of a cluster (unless zero filled).  A
larger cluster size means more capacity overall but a tiny file would
have a huge amount of slack space, so usage would not be efficient.

If you change away from the default cluster size for the partition size,
you can also run afoul of disk utilities that assume the default cluster

Have you found an SD card (not an SDHC or SD secure) that is bigger than
2GB?  The Aspire One models that I found for specs only listed SD
support, not SDHC support.

Re: How big an SD card can I use?

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Good question.  I keep forgetting to look.  I don't think I've ever
looked.   For a long time I thought Aspire ONe was all I needed to know.
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Not if I don't have to.  Maybe I should settle for 8GB.  

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Sorry it took me so long to reply.  I was waiting until I had a decent

A friend lent me, from his much newer printer, an 8G SDHD card that is
held in an SD adapter.   And my laptop found all 8G, at least it says it
has.   There are only about 8 scans on it totlally not many bytes, but I
can view them so I'm going to buy an 8G of my own and it will work at
least for 2 Gig and probably 8.  

It might have been a stupid quesiton and if so, I apologize,

Either way, thanks Vanguard and Paul.  

Re: How big an SD card can I use?

micky wrote:

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Then it appears your particular model (still unknown) in Acer's Aspire
One family of computers does support SDHC.  The SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards
all have the same physical width and number of pins so they all fit in
the same SD slot.

To test, you could wipe (format) the SDHC card and then try to copy
close to 8 GB of data files to it.  You could download a video file and
copy that several times to the SDHC card to fill it up, and then a bunch
of smaller files to run the space consumption up to the 8 GB limit.
Remember that they're advertising is decimal-based (8 x 10^9), not
binary based (2^30).  

Since the SDHC card is probably formatted using FAT32 (instead of NTFS),
the largest files you can put onto the SDHC card (in the test copy from
your temp folder) is 2 GB.  So get a video that's close but under 2GB
and copy it 4 times to the SDHC card.

The idea is to test that the computer will actually read and write
beyond the 2 GB limit of a SD card so you can use the full capacity of a
larger SDHC card.

Be careful to insert the card straight into the slot (not askew
vertically or horizontally) and to ease it into the slot.  Almost every
user that reports the card reader went bad is from them jamming the
cards into the slots, like they jam a key into a lock.  Card readers are
NOT robust devices: they don't survive much abuse.

If reformatting and testing your friend's SDHC card is not something
your friend wants you to do to his loaned card, you can test for $14
which is the cost of getting a 32 GB SDHC at Walmart (and you don't pay
for shipping if delivered to a local store where you pick it up - just
make sure the item is sold by Walmart and not a retailer selling through
Walmart, like Mayfair).  eBay has them at $5 w/free shipping and
BuyItNow option so no having to bid (I added further limits of PayPal
accepted, US only sellers, new condition, and returns accepted; see ).

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