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Yes, memory cards are supported, but Microsoft's latest OS seems to have a host of bizarre restrictions

Well this is bizarre.


The second issue, and more critical issue is that Windows Phones essentially "break" users' memory cards making permanent changes to them that prevent them from being used with other devices. Windows Phone handset manufacturer Samsung warns that once you insert your memory card into the phone, "it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on."

Samsung claims that the modification (whatever it may be) actually prevents you from even formatting your memory cards to reverse the changes.
So is MS formatting the card in a proprietary format?
 

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Sounds like it might be doing something even more insidious. Do memory cards have OTP memory locations that can be burned in?

Just watch...this one will blow up huge on them.
 

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OTA Forum Moderator
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Samsung and AT&T specified the MicroSD slot despite Microsoft not wanting it included. The rest, as they say, is history.
 

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Samsung microSD HOWTO for Windows Phone 7

Samsung has released this HOWTO guide for their microSD card issues on Windows Phone 7:

http://ars.samsung.com/customer/usa...ID=2&PROD_SUB_ID=557&PROD_ID=558&AT_ID=344529

So, you end up with your regular microSD cards and a set of Windows Phone 7-only microSD cards. That would not be a problem unless and until you have a situation in which you'd really need the data to be portable to another device, such as for police evidence. :eek:
 

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There is an article on Engadget about this, don't have the link handy but essentially what they are saying is that MS is using the 'S' (secure) portion of the 'SD' spec such that when a card is formatted by the phone, it is locked to that phone cryptographically, and nothing else can read it. However, some Nokia phones can reformat them so they can be reused, but you can not read data off them, you can only erase them.
 

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Thanks for the article Stampeder - I intend to follow it when I add a 32GB card to my Samsung Focus. (I'm told Rogers will get delivery of a bunch of these for Ontario next week.)

A few notes re the SDHC (micro SD) card implementation here:

-Microsoft is technically implementing the card correctly. The "S" in SDHC stands for "secure", and the standard is designed to prevent somone else getting access to your data simply by removing the micro SD card from your phone. I would anticipate that business users would like to see this.

-The original Windows Phone 7 specs that Microsoft dictates did not include external storage. For whatever reason, it was implemented in the Samsung Focus. (I love the idea of external storage though.)

-As suggested, the SDHC, once added (and a hard reset applied) becomes part of the overall storage of the phone. Consider it a permanent add.

The only thing I'm waiting on is guidance from Microsoft and Samsung as to supported SDHC cards. From various other forums, some folks are having unusual results such as performance slowdowns after hitting the SDHC part of memory (> 8GB) or the phone not seeing the SDHC even after a hard reset.

I'm told the Microsoft should be giving a list of approved SDHC brands, and the appropriate speed class. (SDHC speed is listed in classes, ranging from Class 2 - slower, to Class 10 - supposedly faster, although the class rating itself is apparently NOT a universal standard, so manufacturers could inflate this rating.)

Sorry for the essay, but if you remember nothing else, just buy a large/fast SDHC and expect to leave it in the phone permanently. (After we get a list of confirmed brands.) I love the idea of 40GB of storage in this phone!
 

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just buy a large/fast SDHC
Larger SDHC cards tend to be slower so a smaller one may be better if speed is more important than capacity. I've seen published speed tests on SDHC cards. Many of them are informal but it's worth looking for reviews before purchasing. In general, bargain cards won't be very fast and more expensive ones will be faster.
 

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Larger SDHC cards tend to be slower so a smaller one may be better if speed is more important than capacity.
I'm not so sure about that Bob, although I agree with you that there aren't a lot of comparison reviews out there.

Here's one of the few from Tom's Hardware, and you can see a wide performance range, with some larger capacity cards outperforming the smaller ones.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sdhc-memory-card,2143-9.html

Still seems like a bit of a crapshoot to me, and that infamous "class rating" seems to be almost useless when trying to compare.
 

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Do users have an option for upgrading their memory card to a NEW one or Larger one with out losing data? I would be a pretty upset user if I used say a stock 2gb card then wanted to go to a large one and had too loose all that data on the first card! Not everyone thinks ahead and buys a big card of the start. On my current Android phone I started with the 2gb for the first few days, upgraded to a 8gb, now going to a 16gb and likely will go 32 gb once they drop in price and I actually need the space.

Not being able to slap the memory card into my computer to transfer new music or large files would drive me nuts! Copying GB's of data over a usb connection would be painful!


Is it possible they have done this to help circumvent hacking the MS phones?
 

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From what I've read, you won't have access to that original 2GB worth of data. It will still be on it, but encrypted, and unavailable by any other device.

What's also painful, is that to use the next card (if you upgraded to say, a 16GB card later on), you'd have to hard reset the phone in order for the extra memory to be added/seen. This process wipes the internal 8GB of memory (in the case of the Samsung Focus), so you lose anything you had installed on the phone, and you are starting at square one.

So, I say pick a good card, and stick with it. I'm just not sure what a "good card" is supposed to be though.

BTW, Microsoft is implementing the security aspect of SDHC as intended. It's supposed to prevent someone who finds your phone from grabbing your SDHC and getting your data.

As for file transfers, I wonder if it's that big a deal. How is your card reader connected to your PC? I suspect most people have a USB-connected card reader on their PC, so ultimately you're limited to USB speeds anyway.
 

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Paul Thurrot has talked about this quite a few times - I think he explains it in his Windows Phone 7 Secrets book. The SD card is not a part of MS's spec, it is included by the manufacturer totally at the request of the wireless carrier and is supported by them, not MS.

It is not intended as removable storage and is protected for DRM reasons among others. It actually becomes part of the system memory so it can have critical system files installed on it. When you replace the sd card, you need to do a hard reset and a wipe of the phone. Basically you start over and it re-installs the OS.

MS has states that sd cards are not a consistent product. In their testing, there are widely varied results from even the same brand, model and batch of memory cards. They don't want a malfunctioning or substandard card to detract from the overall experience of the phone. As it is right now, the cards included in every Windows Phone 7 phone is TESTED before it is put in the phone and only ones that pass their testing are used. Kinda gives it some perspective.

Aside from MS's qualms, adding the card slot allows the cell carrier to upgrade the memory THEMSELVES to offer the same phone but at a higher capacity to charge more to the customer. They still test the cards or are at least supposed to do so before it's sold.
 

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Which brings us back to Post #5: this was a Samsung/AT&T job. The result was pretty sour because it painted Windows Phone 7 in a negative light as being "less capable" than Android and iOS.
 
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