How to Use an External Memory Card Reader
This tutorial assumes you use Windows XP or Vista on your computer. The details may differ for other operating systems, but the gist remains the same.
Step 1: First, find out the connection port of your card reader. Usually it is USB 2.0, though newer readers can have Firewire too. I’ll now talk only about a USB reader, as it’s the most commonly used port. Other connections ports are quite similar to operate.
Step 2: The cable that came with your external memory card reader should have two ports on either end; a smaller mini USB, which plugs into the card reader, and a larger USB, which plugs into a free USB port on your computer. Plug these in.
Step 3: If your computer was switched on when you plugged in your device, you should now get a pop-up message saying ‘Found New Hardware’, followed by name and type of device (see left image below - click for larger view). Windows will try to auto-install drivers and, in most cases, it’ll do it without any user intervention. Just wait until the message disappears and a new pop-up message ‘Your device is now installed and ready to use’ appears.
Step 4: Now, insert a memory card into the appropriately labelled slot on your card reader. Another window should open (see right image below) with the message ‘This disk or device contains more than one type of content. What do you want Windows to do?’ followed by a list of options. Choose ‘Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer’, if your aim is to see the contents of the card, or ‘Copy Picture to a Folder on my Computer using Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard’ to directly copy images to a particular folder without navigating the folder structure of your card.
Step 5: You may now copy the image files into any folder of your choice on your computer.
Step 6: If, after inserting the memory card, the window mentioned in step 4 doesn’t appear, simply click on Start>My Computer. Your memory card reader should be visible under ‘Devices with Removable Storage’. Each slot on your card reader is recognized as a separate removable drive and is assigned an appropriate drive letter.