Kasperian Moving Parts

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Nokia N810 and an 8 GB Micro/Mini SDHC Card

| 14 Comments

After reading about a whole lot of problems people have been having with SanDisk micro->mini SDHC card adapters on the N810, I bought this awesome little Kingston 8GB Micro SDHC Mobility Multi Kit Model MBLY/8GB over the weekend for only $30(!!) and just got it in the mail today. After figuring out how to actually put the thing in (label-side up like normal–it’s just a bit of a weird fit), I was pleasantly surprised to find that the N810 promptly displayed a “Memory card available” message and that I could use the card just fine. The 8GB card came pre-formatted as vfat (FAT32) and only reported as having 7.4GB available, which is, I guess, normal (albeit annoying). I reformatted the card on my laptop to ext3 and it came out at 6.8G available. Forget that! Reformatted it as ext2 and it came back up to 7.0GB available (really, guys?? how can you lose a whole GB from what’s described on the package???). I’ll leave it as ext2 for a while and see if there’s any advantages/disadvantages. I was thinking that ext2 would be better for installing KDE packages, etc., but I’m honestly not sure. And I may end up reformatting as vfat/FAT32 just to get my 400 MB back. =:(

Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that this is a really good combination that worked out of the box for me. I’ve seen none of the problems I was so worried about. And, this little kit comes with a micro SDHC card (duh), mini SD adapter (needed for the N810), full SD adapter, and even a USB adapter. Pretty sweet!! HTH!

Author: Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper

My name is Jason 'vanRijn' Kasper. I am the ring leader of the amazing Kasper family. I am unashamedly a Christian Nerd. These are our stories....

14 Comments

  1. vfat is good at the small size it was designed for 🙂

  2. Use tune2fs, you’ll get your 400MB back.
    The default settings for mkfs is to reserve 5% of the file system for root.
    With the command tune2fs -m 0 /dev/blabla, you’ll remove this, and you’ll get your 400MB back.

  3. What you’re actually losing space to (primarily with vfat) is the difference between GB, and GiB. Drives are generally sold by GB – so that drive would have 8000000000 bytes. Computers generally display GiB though (although some use the symbol ‘GB’ when display GiB). The distinction is that 1 GB is 1000000000 bytes, while 1 GiB is 1073741824 bytes. You can read a bit more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GiB

    It’s also worth noting that the size of the volume isn’t the only issue determining how much you can fit onto it. Small files will very seriously affect the storage efficiency of vfat. The problem is less significant on ext2/ext3 (depends on inodes), but still present.

  4. Don’t forget that you’re losing space to the difference between GB, and GiB. Drives are generally sold by GB – so that drive would have 8000000000 bytes. Computers generally display GiB though (although some use the symbol ‘GB’ when display GiB). The distinction is that 1 GB is 1000000000 bytes, while 1 GiB is 1073741824 bytes. You can read a bit more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GiB

    It’s also worth noting that the size of the volume isn’t the only issue determining how much you can fit onto it. Small files will very seriously reduce the storage efficiency of vfat. The problem is less significant on ext2/ext3 (depends on inodes), but still present.

  5. I remember that I had the same problem with a memory stick micro. They promised 512MB but there are actually only 450MB usable. I felt being messed around with that I sent it back but they answered that would be “normal”. Could the the same problem.

  6. @Pinaraf: thanks a ton for that tidbit. I always new linux was eating up space on my drives but i never took the time to figure out why. I have a 500gb external usb drive formatted to ext3 and you just gave me back about 4gb! =)

  7. @Pinaraf: you totally rock. =:) thank you for this info!!

    @Stefan: yeah, I know the technical side of the problem, but what irritates me is that it’s a marketing lie that could be completely avoided. If you know that your end user is going to stick the disk in and see 7.4GB, then either advertise it as 7.4GB or actually make it hold 8GB. *sigh*

    So, I have another question. If I’m going to be using the external SD card for music (~ 5M per file), movies (~ 100M per file) and maybe trying to install a KDE instance (I have no idea per file), would I be better off keeping it at vfat or ext2? What are the advantages of ext2 versus vfat specifically as it applies to the N810?

  8. @Stefan:
    That is true for disc drives, but not for memory or memory cards. These actually have the advertised amount of storage space. The problem lies in the file systems, but I admit that the reported loss of space does not seem to be proportional.

  9. You should be lucky with your working Micro SD. I had an 8 GB card working with my N810, but then suddenly I also got the feared “N810 doesn’t read Micro-Mini-and-other-SD cards” anymore. I don’t know what the problem is, I tried multiple different cards, they all don’t work anymore 🙁 This is unfortunately a very common problem on the N810, if you read through forums … Mine is back for repair now.

  10. @dukat: Oh man, that sucks. Did you do anything to it? I mean, were you taking it in and out of your N810? Or it was just sitting in there and it stopped working comnpletely?

  11. @dukat: also, what card and micro->mini adapter did you have? I’ve heard bad things about the SanDisk adapters.

  12. @ Jason, yes after one re-insertion my N810 wouldn’t detect it any more. And yes, you’re right it was a SanDisk Micro SDHC 8G + SanDisk Adapter. But afterwards it wouldn’t even read other regular Mini SDs. Veeery annoying, and it’s gone for repair for more than 6 weeks already …

  13. @dukat: Wow. Okay, so I think I need to stop taking the little SD card in and out. =:( Thanks for the heads’ up!

  14. If any of you N810 owners are technical enough you need to look into the linux kernels SDHC driver and find out whats happening or at least get the logs to someone who can fix it. I dont have an N810 so I cant help.

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