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Bizarre CF card reader incident

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by Rich Gibson, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. I rebuilt my graphics PC with a backup file from a few months ago. While I was updating WinXP and other applications I neglected the CF readers so they showed yellow "!" in the device manager.

    For some fortuitous reason I picked up the Lexar RW019 Firewire reader and it was so hot I burned my fingers. Rats!( actually I used another ephitet) I had a brand new 4GB Kingston CF card in it. The CF card was so hot it smelled....you know..that "good grief I just blew $240.00" smell?

    I threw it on the exhaust fan outlet on top of my PC to cool it. Well, the card still works; my D2H still can see all the images..

    Is that supposed to happen...if you put a CF card in a reader which hasn't had its drivers installed? Any ideas?

  2. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi rich-

    missing drivers shouldn't cause the problem you experienced. it sounds like you have a short circuit somewhere. when you say you rebuilt your pc, did you change any hardware or you just reloaded the software?

  3. No, I just reloaded the OS, no hardware changes. The pins are all fine and aligned correctly in the reader. The computer can also read all the files correctly. Whew!!

  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Rich :

    That's a weird one. :confused: 

    I've had a bad reader fry a USB-2 internal adapter, though. I had strange results on the reader, so I switched the port it was plugged into. I managed to fry several ports that way, and ended up replacing the USB card (and the reader, naturally).

    I'd frankly suspect that your reader is the culprit here - USB drivers shouldn't have any effect on the current draw for the device (which is a hardware issue). I would check if WinXP reports a high draw (which it can do on some systems).

    John P.
  5. I have that reader. I have never noticed it getting hot, though I do not leave it plugged in. I also never use that one with my PCs. I use the USB2 multiple format reader there.

    To be honest I would toss the reader and get a new one. They are dirt cheap at this point compared to those large CF cards you mention. Even if it was the same model.

    Sounds to me that the device was stuck in some mode. Probably trying to tell the PC that it is there. But if it has a short or a bad capacitor or something, you could end up frying a card.
  6. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I've noticed that some card readers (including the RW019) will heat up the CF card if it's left in there a while, even though the card is not being read from. I can't help but think that's not good for the life of the card even if it doesn't fry it on the spot, so I try to take them out as soon as I finish downloading the images. Can't say I've ever gotten one hot enough to burn myself on it though.
  7. I agree. Needless to say, now I'm paranoid about the reader. Oddly, I just returned from a day's shoot at the Maryland Renn fest. The reader couldn't read a couple files on the 4GB Sandisk card and then I had to restart the PC because the card started giving me an hour glass. Fortunately I have another reader.

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