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My reader will not read mine either. I use a usb key card reader. It used to read the regular old SD cards but the new HC card format wont work. This is due to UDF differences. You can try to reformat the card but then your camera or device may not recognize it anymore. good luck
If its above 2 gb most older laptops won't because the card is in FAT and not FAT 32. cards 4 gb and over are written differently you can hook your camera up to your computer and transfer then that way or purchase a HCSD card reader for higher capacity cards.
Please bear in mind, that 4GB cards will most likely be of the newer SD HC (Secure Digital - High Capacity) standard, which is not recognized by older devices that only support the basic SD specifications. You have to try a 2GB card, or look for a non-HC 4GB card, but these are very hard to find.
Some older card readers will not read the newer HC-SD cards all memory cards larger that 4gb are HC-SD. You need to get a new card reader that states HC-SD compatible. Office Depot sells them as well as many online sites. Then just plug the new reader into a USB port and go.
a 4GB card is certainly HC (High Capacity). What type of flash memory is it?
Be aware that some computers have a different boot sequence. Meaning that some will try to boot from the DVD/CD drive before the hard drive, some will try to boot from a USB device before those. The card being present in the drive could be telling the computer to try and boot from that (which I'm 99% sure is the problem there).
Next is the issue with the card being read. Until I know what type of flash memory it is (SD - Secure Digital, CF - CompactFlash, etc..) this is speculation. I know with SD there is standard SD and SDHC (SD High Capacity). Older card readers are only capable of reading standard SD cards and while they will acknowledge the existance of SDHC because it is the same form factor, it won't know how to read it.