The tiny miracle of microSD cards (Part 2)

3/27/2012 6:41:24 PM

The tiny miracle of microSD cards (Part 2)

Small PNY

Recently, I have seen a wonderful but simple accessory that can exploit the tiny size of microSD memory card. PNY producer has headquarters in the US (in both Parsippany and New York, so it gets this name). Notice that microSD card has the size as nearly equal as the inside part of a USB jack. Really, I am sure that many inexperienced users try to insert microSD card into USB port since it appears to fit. PNY reduced normal-interface electronic gizmos that connect SD card with UDB port into an unbelievable small size, so it can be combined with microSD slot into a normal USB port.

The result is that Attaché Evolutive is wonderful. The picture will show you a clear idea of how small the package is. It is not too exaggerated to say that with Evolutive inserted into USB port on laptop, you cannot find it is there, so you can use it as the world’s most convenient USB drive. You do not need this bulky, sticky cover that is easy to be knocked or damaged when you bring laptop, and it is still in normal laptop’s cover with the drive in its place. Certainly, since it is based on microSD card, you can upgrade it to larger or faster card whenever necessary. It provide so simple way to transfer files to and from a phone or tablet that you can see why I think it is a wonderful product. It is even not expensive: when writing this article, we saw a 4GB version to be posted up on the internet with about 30 USD, or 16GB version with 50 USD (both include microSD card).

PNY MicroSDHC 32GB (Class 4)

Those who bought cheap netbook or ultraportable – with saving SSD drive large enough to contain Windows’ copy - Attaché Evolutive can be considered as a cheap way, easy and fast to add more storage for device. I wonder what people will do next with microSD card. There is too much capacity in such a small package that opens up all potentiality.

SSD bug

About SSD that has been written for a few times in recent editions, I was reminded by a reader on website that I really need to deal with SandForce bug. SandForce is one of many producers that are providing SSD controller chipsets, and you can see its chipsets in the drives from a few producers among whom are Corsair, Kingston, OCZ, Patriot, and Viking. However, please be noted that not all drives made by these producers are based on SandForce.

‘SandForce bug’

What network community call ‘SandForce bug’ is perhaps for special version of SandForce processor only, which is also called SF-2000 series, and you need to know that it also includes products labeled SF-2200 and SF-2218 together with other products. The bug causes blue screen of death (BSOD) on Windows system, usually while PC is going on from sleeping / waiting mode, and there are a few reports showing that finally the bug will lead to completely death of the drive, even no operating system or BIOS can recognize it. This problem is not limited to Windows; Mac and Linux users all report the same problems to SSD drives based on SF-2000.

This problem was known a few months ago, but luckily now SandForce recognizes the bug and provides new firmware for many OEM using its processors in their drives. It is a bit troublesome that you cannot download this patch from SandForce website: for example, if you have OCZ drive, you will need to download new firmware from OCZ Technology’s website. You must be aware that updating drive’s firmware certainly exterminates your all data, so back-up is necessary. (As what I advised in some newspaper in 2007, it is really a good idea to reset SSD drive periodically.)

Not only does this update fix BSOD bug, it also improves TRM command process of the drive (that can be remembered to help the drive maintain with time), so it is certainly worth doing. The only problem appears to be the fact that particular SSD producers seem to provide firmware update for Windows PC only, so many people have to temporarily move the drive to other device to apply the update.


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