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426 comments

Permanently modified? (4, Insightful)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223814)

Say what now?.... If this is even possible there is something really wrong with the SD card in question...

Re:Permanently modified? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223830)

Furthermore is there any warning on the phone that it alters SD cards as such?
This sounds like a major defect in both the phones and the SD cards.

Re:Permanently modified? (2, Insightful)

pinkishpunk (1461107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223846)

best guess is this socalled permant modification is changes to the filesystem nothing more, which for normal users would amount to the same, if their windows platform cant see the card anymore, inserting such a card would not be shown by windows except for people entering the computer management/ disk management and repartiton/format it again.

Re:Permanently modified? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223908)

best guess is this socalled permant modification is changes to the filesystem nothing more, which for normal users would amount to the same, if their windows platform cant see the card anymore, inserting such a card would not be shown by windows except for people entering the computer management/ disk management and repartiton/format it again.

Not quite - other reviewers have tried this, and even the partitioning tools get a "media not foud"-ish error. Nice one MS - bone everybody for your FAT32 "patents" for years, then ditch it entirely for a double-secret proprietary format. Remind anybody else of "Plays-for-(not)-Sure"?

How do you explain that, given the facts? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224156)

Nice one MS - bone everybody for your FAT32 "patents" for years, then ditch it entirely for a double-secret proprietary format.

You don't understand Microsoft, that's all. You think Microsoft is a software and hardware company, but it isn't. Microsoft is an evil company that uses "mistakes" in software and hardware to deliver evil. It's the evil that is important to Microsoft, the money is secondary. That may sound like an anti-Microsoft opinion, but what other idea could you have, given the facts? Certainly Microsoft knew about that issue. Certainly Microsoft knew it would lower the profits, especially since they didn't warn anyone.

Re:Permanently modified? (0)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224510)

Maybe they're using GPT instead, which makes Windows barf if you try to format it using standard methods. You have to format those from the command line because Microsoft is apparently retarded.

Re:Permanently modified? (5, Interesting)

yup2000 (182755) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223848)

The S in SD means "Secure" which is an acronym for DRM ... and how that DRM exactly works is not public... Microsoft is probably using the DRM feature of the cards... where as most other companies to this point have not been that brave...

Re:Permanently modified? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223948)

The S in SD means "Secure" which is an acronym for DRM ...

May I respectfully suggest that you acquire a dictionary and use it to find out what everyone else in the world means when they say "acronym"?

Re:Permanently modified? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224106)

Unfortunately, what most other people mean when they say 'acronym' seems to be incorrect as well, confusing it for 'abbreviation' in many cases. An acronym is a type of abbreviation, but not all abbreviations are acronyms.

Of course, what yup2000 did was even further from accuracy than that.

Re:Permanently modified? (1, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224180)

Technically speaking, they're usually confusing an acronym with an initialism. Sort of like snafu versus FBI. Then there's the confusing cases which have gone from initialism to acronym in ways most inexplicable such as SCSI.

Re:Permanently modified? (3, Interesting)

customizedmischief (692916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224380)

Larry Boucher intended SCSI to be an acronym all along. Pronounced "sexy." That didn't quite happen. I still think you're sexy, Larry.

Re:Permanently modified? (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224242)

Agreed. And I think we can do even better. An abbreviation isn't necessarily an initialism and an initalism isn't necessarily an acronym. I think the word he wanted was euphemism. I think it would be fantastic if someone a million times more charismatic than me started a campaign to save the word acronym from confusion with initialisms. FDA is not an acronym, but NASA is. Quick, someone make a website.

Re:Permanently modified? (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224216)

The S in SD means "Secure" which is an acronym for DRM ...

May I respectfully suggest that you acquire a dictionary and use it to find out what everyone else in the world means when they say "acronym"?

Common mistake. This depends if you're American or not.
The Oxford English Dictionary permits both Acronym or Initalism for this term.

I suggest reading this article for your full compliment of knowledge on this [randomcat.co.uk] .

We can clearly agree that:

  • If it’s made by initial letters and is pronounceable, it’s an acronym.
  • Whether pronounceable or not, it is an abbreviation.
  • If it’s made from initial letters and isn't pronounceable as a whole world, it is an initialism, but it also may be an acronym depending on your point of view.

Essentially we must follow Common Usage. Using Google as a basic margin with the term BBC (which is unpronounceable): BBC Acronym - 1,020,000 results [google.co.uk] and BBC Abbreviation - 212,000 results [google.co.uk] .

By the way, you probably don't know that the Collins English is published by HarperCollins, and therefore owned by News Corp. I guess you watch Fox News?

Re:Permanently modified? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224252)

May I respectfully suggest that you acquire a dictionary and use it to find out what everyone else in the world means when they say "acronym"?

I guess you're referring to the nicknames the Greeks used instead of their real names whenever they went to talk democracy on Acropolis.

Re:Permanently modified? (5, Funny)

bluestar (17362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224430)

The S in SD means "Secure" which is an acronym for DRM ...

May I respectfully suggest that you acquire a dictionary and use it to find out what everyone else in the world means when they say "acronym"?

Acronym is just a homonym for euphemism.

Re:Permanently modified? (2, Interesting)

Shyfer (1875644) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224142)

The S in SD means "Secure" which is an acronym for DRM ... and how that DRM exactly works is not public....

That is why SD cards are scary... Once I tried to do a low-level formatting on my SD card, but the program I used to do do it went crazy and I guess it sent random comands to my card and killed it. Using another SD-specific low-level formatter on my pda it was back, nothing else could fix it.

Scary.

Re:Permanently modified? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224264)

DRM is not Security.
DRM is Slavery.

"acronym" is itself an acronym (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224502)

Interestingly, the word "acronym" is itself an acronym:

A Completely Ridiculous Obsolete Noun You'll Misspell

Bonus points: what is the word for this relationship?

Re:Permanently modified? (1)

froggymana (1896008) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223850)

All your base are belong to us.

Perhaps there was just a bad translation somewhere along the line...

Re:Permanently modified? (5, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224018)

If this is even possible there is something really wrong with the SD card in question

You have to dig further into the links in the article to find out what is really happening [engadget.com] . Apparently the Windows Phone 7 devices are stressing the SD cards in a manner which is not in-spec for a normal SD card. This means that a SD card which is perfectly fine by the normal spec might be ruined by the way the Windows Phone 7 OS uses the card [microsoft.com] .

This means that you will need a SD card which is certified under more stringent requirements in order to not be destroyed by the Windows Phone 7 OS.

On top of that the OS also completely reformats the card so that it is a "permanent" part of the device. It probably sets up special space for swap space and other OS-specific data structures so that they can be accessed quickly and easily by the OS but this results in the card not having a normal disk layout that other devices can read using default software.

Re:Permanently modified? (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224322)

Windows Phone 7 requires a certified high-speed microSD card for optimal performance.

If "optimal performance" means for MS engineers "doesn't break things down", then it explains a lot of my experience. (Talk about lowering one's expectations!)

Re:Permanently modified? (1)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224442)

If "optimal performance" means for MS engineers "doesn't break things down", then it explains a lot of my experience. (Talk about lowering one's expectations!)

I'm all for breaking compatibility if you are going to get huge reliability and performance gains and there are no decent open alternatives to be had but this is certainly something that needs to be avoided, if possible. However, it seems to me that Microsoft does a lot of needless "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" in these circumstances when they really should do their best to try to re-use a more open format.

Of course, I'm a bit cynical and I figure that this is just a ploy on their part to lock people into using special SD cards which, once formatted, can only be used on Windows Phone 7 devices as a manner of lock-in. Again, I'm ok with this if the benefit is monumental but it's rare that you'll get so huge a benefit that it's worth the lock-in. Perhaps they should allow users to choose between using a "performance" SD mode which uses special SD cards that are locked to a device and a "compatible" SD mode which can use normal SD cards that can be used in all devices.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to do something sensible like this...

Re:Permanently modified? (0, Troll)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224416)

You have to dig further into the links in the article to find out what is really happening [engadget.com] .

So if we follow your link and find out what is "really happening," we find out that some blokes plugged a card into a phone and that it seemed to kill the card.

In other words, the sample size is exactly 1. Woopdie doo; shit happens.

There's a million perfectly good reasons for an SD card to die, and there is no reason at all to suspect that the phone killed it based on available information.

Wake me up when someone takes the issue seriously enough to pony up a measly couple of dollars for a new MicroSD card to try to verify the results.

*yawn*

Borg phone (5, Funny)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223820)

Your memory will be made to service us. You will be assimilated, resistance is futile.

Re:Borg phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224282)

coming from the borg company this does not surprise me

The only thing made clear in that article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223822)

Is that the author doesn't know how to fucking spell permanent.

Other than that, a complete waste of time.

Re:The only thing made clear in that article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223844)

well you clearly do and that makes your comment entirely worthwhile... no wait...

Re:The only thing made clear in that article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223894)

expendable storage

Maybe it is a problem with the Windows formatting. (1)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223838)

tool. I'm sure fdisk and an ext2 file system would fix that.

Re:Maybe it is a problem with the Windows formatti (2, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223900)

    I skimmed the articles, and they were short on information regarding exactly what was done.

    I don't know anyone with a Win7 phone, nor do I expect that any of my friends will get one, so I won't have a chance to test it. My suspicion is that they use yet another filesystem, which is unusable by other platforms. To the best of my knowledge, there's no way to permanently write to a card so it can only be used on a device. The only way to make a card unusable is to write to it too much, making it worthless to any device. I've only done that to a few. :) If there is a way, I'd love to know how. It would be nice to set up a card that can only be read on *MY* machine, so if someone snags it, they can't read the contents.

 

Re:Maybe it is a problem with the Windows formatti (3, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224020)

<quote><p>
It would be nice to set up a card that can only be read on *MY* machine, so if someone snags it, they can't read the contents.</p><p>
&nbsp;</p></quote>

You could always try encryption - there are many programs which will encrypt any read/writes made to a particular drive

Re:Maybe it is a problem with the Windows formatti (2, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224034)

for the slashdot crowd it should be nothing to hook it up to a mcu and zero it out in spi bitbang mode, so its only permanent for most people, but your right its flash, the only way to really fubar one is to burn out the gates

Logical Volume? (4, Interesting)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224146)

The Windows Phone 7 operating system treats the SD card as an integrated part of the phone. This is in contrast to other devices, where you can use an SD card to increase the memory available to the device at any time or to transfer files to other devices,” the page reads.

To me this sounds like they are creating a disk pool that treats the internal memory and SD card as single logical volume, like LVM on Linux. In that case, even if other operating systems understood the formatting, it would be like yanking a single drive from a RAID array and expecting to get meaningful data off of it. It's possible in the forensic sense, but the data is incomplete and that's not how it is meant to be used.

I agree that you could probably reformat again, but they really should have been more upfront about the fact that sticking an SD card in a Windows Phone will result in permanent data loss.

Re:Maybe it is a problem with the Windows formatti (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224370)

Actually with SD it probably IS possible to lock a card to a specific device, simply encrypt the whole unit, that way even the MBR can't be read by anything but the device that set the encryption key.

Re:Maybe it is a problem with the Windows formatti (2, Informative)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224506)

WM6.5 has an option to encrypt the card, making it readable only on the device that performed the encryption, but I haven't used it, so I can't tell you how well does it work.

What I do know is that you could always encrypt the whole card with TrueCrypt, making it readable only to YOU, provided you don't share the key.

And they expect to sell those phones? (3, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223842)

This information alone means that I'll avoid ever getting a Windows phone, even if it should have tremendous advantages otherwise.

Re:And they expect to sell those phones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223936)

Totally agree with you. I own the equipment..... how dare you make it immutable to me.

Re:And they expect to sell those phones? (5, Funny)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223980)

Extra! Extra! Slashdotter vows to avoid Microsoft product! Read all about it!

Oh, thank God for Microsoft (2, Informative)

eatvegetables (914186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224194)

Was this really a surprise? Sure, no one probably saw this particular problem coming, but we all knew something really screwed up would be discovered soon after MS released its "Win7" mobile OS. The only question here is whether "MS certified" is a lame attempt to make excuses for the problem or if represents a new revenue stream creation strategy. Watch out, now MicoSD cards have to be "certified" to work in a MS product. Something tells me that the certification comes cheap. Thank God that we all still have MS to point to and laugh at!

Re:And they expect to sell those phones? (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224316)

This information alone means that I'll avoid ever getting a Windows phone, even if it should have tremendous advantages otherwise.

Why? Because of a hyperbole laden /. thread? That's a terrible reason to decide anything.

There is a warning on the phone. There is clear documentation that this will happen. The slot is not designed for convenient insertion/removal. It is not intended to be used as a portable storage.

It is intended to be a permanent expansion module for the phone, not removal SD storage.

Let me ask you this: Suppose they didn't use an SD card slot. Suppose they had instead developed a proprietary connector instead and sold the expansion as proprietary modules that had to be installed at a service center. Would that trigger the same sort of averse reaction from you?

I'm curious, because if you wanted to upgrade your 16GB iPhone to 32GB that's essentially the process assuming you could even get it done... do you avoid iPhones because of that?

MS is using the SD form factor for this because it meets their needs, and using an existing form factor reduces engineering and manufacturing costs. Don't think of it as 'SD removal storage' and think of it as an upgrade kit that just happens use the SD form factor. Honestly, most consumers will likely never even use the functionality at all. And for those few that do decide to expand their phone this way, it requires very specific SD cards, and its well documented that its a permanent upgrade using SD form factor and not plug/play removal storage.

Re:And they expect to sell those phones? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224460)

They are selling fairly poorly, so far anyways. ~40k on launch, less than either the iPhone or Android based phones on a regular day.

Please get the facts straight (4, Insightful)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224514)

The SD card in WP7 devices is NOT user serviceable. MS uses SD cards as a cheap alternative to other kinds of storage solutions. To exchange the SD card, you have to tore open the phone. People have been trying to replace the provided card to get more space, that's it. So I see it as no big deal that the OS thrashes it, since it was never intended to leave the phone anyway. That said, I wouldn't buy a WP7 phone for other reasons: it copied the iOS model by Apple by the book - specially the silly restrictions (no multitasking to 3rd party apps, tie-in to a proprietary app, no fscking copy-and-paste, etc.).

Freudian slip? (5, Funny)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223854)

Gotta love the very first line from the article:

"There has been discussion for a few weeks now about how Microsoft’s new smartphone OS handles expendable storage, with many people reporting that inserting the wrong card can reduce the OS to a crawl"

I guess putting a MicroSD card into one of these phones probably would have to qualify it as "expendable"...

Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223858)

Hell the only reason I HAVE a microsd in my phone is to put pictures and recordings on and get them to my computer easily. Either put a 8GB flash in the phone and ditch the sd slot, or make the slot farking work.

Re:Pointless (4, Informative)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223918)

It's not a "normal" consumer accessible slot; they're buried, and you have to disassemble the phone and void your warranty to get at it. As far as the consumer is concerned, it's not even there.

Re:Pointless (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223982)

In the absence of demonstrable damage due to improper tools/procedure -- opening your phone to add storage doesn't void your warranty, any more than opening your car hood to add a better air filter would.

Re:Pointless (0, Troll)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224080)

To expand on your analogy: changing the air filter in this car voids its warranty because this car company is ran by tax-evading monopoly-forming assholes.

Re:Pointless (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224220)

I'm not sure about these phones, but the Razrs, Nexus One and pretty much all the other ones have the slot right next to the SIM card slot or in a similar area. Sure it's not easily gotten to by people who don't know how, but it's hardly buried.

Re:Pointless (2, Informative)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224374)

They are on Win7 phones - I think all the ones I've seen reviewed so far have placed the MicroSD card slot behind a "Warranty void if removed" sticker in one way or another.

Re:Pointless (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224396)

3/4 of the launch phones have the SD slot internal, only one AFAIK has the slot under the battery.

It is garbage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223862)

It is garbage like this fact, that makes me think MS is shooting it's own foot off. And to think I thought they could pull it off.

sounds like fud... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223864)

maybe if the card was formatted by the phone i could believe they use something special, but if you are just playing your mp3 and looking at pictures from your card and they modify it so it can't be used by other devices without warning that would be surprising.

Also can only use nonexistent cards (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223882)

Meantime, AT&T has warned customers via Engadget that only ”Certified for Windows Phone 7” microSD cards should be used in Microsoft’s mobile devices. The reason, according to the mobile carrier, is that the Windows Phone platform ”requires a certified high-speed microSD card for optimal performance.”

At present, no such ”certified” cards exist and no indication has been given as to when they will hit store shelves. According to Microsoft support documents, certification comes down to more than just ”a simple matter of judging its speed class.”

So as far as the consumer is concerned, you can't expand the storage on a Windows 7 phone either.

Probably fixable. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34223886)

I'd try SDFormatter to fix them.

http://www.sdcard.org/consumers/formatter/
http://www.sdcard.org/consumers/formatter_3/

Do the editors even actually read the stories? (2, Informative)

ehntoo (1692256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223890)

The ghacks story that is linked to just cites engadget as a source... who don't mention *anything* about it "permanently modifying" the MicroSD cards, just that the manufacturers and microsoft are requiring that the cards are certified.

Re:Do the editors even actually read the stories? (5, Informative)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223972)

From the engdget article:

But what appears to have fried our card is the fact that any card inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device "will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on" according to documentation on Samsung's site -- including, amazingly, the ability to format the card.

Sounds like the card is being "permanently modified" (and not for the better) to me.

Re:Do the editors even actually read the stories? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224348)

Korean products in general seem to be of somewhat questionable quality. Maybe not as bad as some of the worst stuff from China, but not great. It's like they do a half-assed job. Some stuff will be OK but then some very important details will be screwed up. For example, my Samsung hard drive is relatively decent quality as far as the hardware goes but the firmware is flakey as hell making it not work that great in practice.

Do you? (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224078)

Samsung have documented the feature for the Focus, saying that inserting a MicroSD card into a Windows Phone can be considered a “pernament modification” adding ”it will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on”.

The two sources quoted (Samsung and MS) aren't contradictory. Given these two (incomplete) statements, I would guess that Windows Phone is formatting the card using some sort of disk pooling scheme, similar to LVM, and thus the data on the card is only meaningful as part of the entire pool. This may not be truly permanent from the point of view that you might be able to reformat the card, but it is permanent in the sense that any data that was on there before has been lost for good.

Re:Do you? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224140)

The two sources quoted (Samsung and MS) aren't contradictory. Given these two (incomplete) statements, I would guess that Windows Phone is formatting the card using some sort of disk pooling scheme, similar to LVM, and thus the data on the card is only meaningful as part of the entire pool. This may not be truly permanent from the point of view that you might be able to reformat the card, but it is permanent in the sense that any data that was on there before has been lost for good.

The article specifically mentions that you can't even reformat the card. So yeah - it's permanent in the usual sense of the word.

Re:Do the editors even actually read the stories? (1)

Effexor (544430) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224128)

The ghacks story that is linked to just cites engadget as a source... who don't mention *anything* about it "permanently modifying" the MicroSD cards, just that the manufacturers and microsoft are requiring that the cards are certified.

"Coincidentally, we appear to have fried a card after moving it in and out of our own Focus today to the point that no PC, phone, or camera can read it anymore, so this is definitely a real problem that needs a real solution."

"But what appears to have fried our card is the fact that any card inserted into a Windows Phone 7 device "will no longer be readable or writable on any other devices such as computers, cameras, printers, and so on" according to documentation on Samsung's site -- including, amazingly, the ability to format the card. That's hardcore, and it also explains why these guys are so skittish about external storage in general and why so few WP7 devices support it at this point."

When you say *anything* did you just mean in the title?

Permanently modifies? (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223940)

They turn into Blue MicroSDs Of Death, something very valuable for cyber ninjas.

SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (5, Informative)

Nukenin (646365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34223978)

From Microsoft's KB2450831 [microsoft.com] support article:

Windows Phone 7 Secure Digital Card Limitations

[...]

Some Windows Phone 7 devices include a Secure Digital (SD) card slot underneath the battery cover. If you buy a Windows Phone 7 device that includes an SD card slot, you should be aware of several important differences from other devices that use SD cards:

  • The SD card slot in your phone is intended to be used only by the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that built your phone and your Mobile Operator (MO). These partners can add an SD card to this slot to expand the amount of storage on your phone.
  • To help ensure a great user experience, Microsoft has performed exhaustive testing to determine which SD cards perform well with Windows Phone 7 devices. Microsoft has worked closely with OEMs and MOs to ensure that they only add these cards to Windows Phone 7 devices.
  • You should not remove the SD card in your phone or add a new one because your Windows Phone 7 device might not work properly. Existing data on the phone will be lost, and the SD card in your phone can't be used in other Windows Phones, PCs, or other devices.

[...]

Re:SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (0, Redundant)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224024)

To help ensure a great user experience, Microsoft has performed exhaustive testing to determine which SD cards perform well with Windows Phone 7 devices....

Is frying SD cards that don't "perform well" with Windows Phone 7 going to contribute to that great user experience?

Re:SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (1, Redundant)

bdraschk (664148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224164)

Mod parent up.

According to the article, you would not only lose the contents on the SD card, but on the phone itself, as Microsoft apparently formats phone memory and SD memory as one single file system. If you replace the card, the filesystem is corrupted.

"Permanent modification" in TFA could well mean "removal of the FAT filesystem", which for many people would seem quite permanent :)

Re:SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224238)

So, the card that comes with the phone cannot be used in other devices. So?

Re:SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (2, Interesting)

Spad (470073) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224398)

Question:

If the MicroSD card in your Windows Phone 7 device cannot be removed or replaced, what is the point of making it a MicroSD card rather than simply more onboard memory?

Re:SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (2, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224492)

It's probably done so the manufacturer can decide on the memory capacity of the phone after it has been produced outside of the factory and react quicker to market demands.

Plus, rebranders can put different amounts of memory into previously brandless phones.

Re:SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (2, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224520)

If the MicroSD card in your Windows Phone 7 device cannot be removed or replaced, what is the point of making it a MicroSD card rather than simply more onboard memory?

Good question!

I want to say that cost is the reason, but I can't: As highly-integrated as a modern smartphone is, it'd almost certainly be cheaper to put the extra flash memory on the same board as everything else than it would be to build a socket to house an SD card.

Perhaps marketing flexibility: They may want to be like Apple and advertise non-upgradeable 8, 16, and 32GB models, but don't want the bother of actually building the phones differently on the assembly line.

Or, my favorite option: They wanted you to be able to use it just like every other phone's MicroSD slot. And then, late in the game after the hardware is already beginning to be produced, the software folks decided they weren't going to let that work.

Re:SD limitations according to Microsoft KB2450831 (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224522)

Easy - you build phones with the "sweet spot" memory today, but in 6 months they look far behind in capacity. Instead of scrapping a containerload of $300 phones, you upgrade them with $10 of memory and sell them.

Sure you might save a little with onboard memory, but this leaves the market segmentation decision until later.

Sounds more like... (1)

s0litaire (1205168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224000)

..The Microsoft Phones are going to use the SD card for some sort or Swapfile / Cache (Or something like that)
Since the "approved" card must have fast, random Read/Write access.

Expect to require a new SD card every few months if that's the case...

Re:Sounds more like... (1)

pantherace (165052) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224214)

Indeed. If they are using it as swapspace, or something which writes very often to it, they could very easily wear it out in under a year, depending on the type of cells used, and how often it writes. (A few months is possible with very, very pessimistic assumptions about the cells, and assuming nearly constant writing.)

Granted, if they aren't idiots, they probably made sure it'd run at least 2 years without wierd usage patterns. In which case, the phones will probably be replaced, because pretty much anyone buying a Windows phone right now is either extremely susceptable to marketing and likely to buy a new latest and greatest phone, a tech looking at it for other reasons, or haven't read (m)any reviews on it.

So this may be a fairly small issue except to the techies, and a few unlucky people with odd usage patterns.

Perhaps Samsung has designed their cards for this (1)

PenisLands (930247) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224012)

A few years ago, I bought a samsung mp3 player (YP-U3) and found it was designed so that you needed windows to put music onto it. After that, I stopped buying samsung stuff. Anyway, Samsung is clearly in bed with Microsoft, so I wouldn't be suprised if their cards were designed to permanently bind themselves to windows phones.

Re:Perhaps Samsung has designed their cards for th (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224160)

sure, with all their android phones and tablets... in bed with MS.

Re:Perhaps Samsung has designed their cards for th (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224212)

A few years ago, I bought a samsung mp3 player (YP-U3) and found it was designed so that you needed windows to put music onto it

More correctly, it uses MTP [wikipedia.org] , which has implementations on operating systems other than Windows.

In any case, you should have better researched your purchase.

Nah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224048)

They meant to say the modifications are permanent until the next modifications.

Opportunity (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224060)

If the phone is using the seldomly-used DRM part of the SD specification to lock the card, this could be an opportunity for hackers to find out how the SD card DRM works.

Oh Microsoft... (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224074)

Are you trying to make your phone fail?
A phone running Windows that isn't crippled actually sounds quite nice, shame they cripple it and make it do silly things like this.

Probably ExFAT (1)

NetCow (117556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224094)

BS. It probably just formats it using exFAT [wikipedia.org] if it's not formatted already, or when the user formats it. It's not possible to permanently make a card unreadable on other systems - reformatting and/or repartitioning the card will do the trick. Even if that were possible, this would be too blatant a bug to have slipped through QA.

Re:Probably ExFAT (3, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224288)

Even if that were possible, this would be too blatant a bug to have slipped through QA.

This is Microsoft QA we are talking about here..... Vista slipped through that QA.

Re:Probably ExFAT (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224318)

Nope.

Anandtech (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4015/htc-surround-review-pocket-boombox/8) say:

The other interesting thing is that cards initialized on WP7 are locked to a specific device, and moreover, stop being recognized on the desktop - perhaps permanently. I took the card out of the Surround and spent considerable time trying to make it format, first on Windows, then OSX, and finally linux by trying to write zeros and random data to the disk using dd. This failed, as I only managed to get 'medium not present' errors every step of the way - in fdisk, gparted, every trick I know for really nuking storage.

So, it actually does trash the card. There may be a way around that, but if there is so far some fairly smart people have failed to find it.

What do you care? (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224118)

you don't have a windows 7 phone anyway! (Neither do I.. due to stupid shortages in Canadialand) but that's besides the point.

Probably Just the media class being changed (4, Interesting)

sensationull (889870) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224124)

Its probably just the media class that is being changed. Within the first sectors of SD cards and flash drives there is a section which defines what kind of removable storage device it is. You can change this with certain tools to make things like flash drives that usually show up as removable storage show up like fixed drives so that you can boot from them. This simple change in the first chunk of the memory makes the system treat it entirely differently, allowing multiple partitions etc. So if the device is re-labeled as a different class in this memory segment it is quite possible that it would behave like this. The hp bootable USB utility can make this kind of change to a drive and so would probably be able to recover one of these 'modified' cards to a format usable by other devices.

The SD slot isn't meant for the customer (4, Interesting)

caywen (942955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224362)

The SD slot is intended to be used by the carrier to upgrade device internal memory. That's why there's a big old sticker over it saying it will void your warranty of you install it. There's really nothing wrong with this, IMO. It's more flexible than baking in the flash memory and having to go back to Foxconn for new orders of 64GB models.

Re:The SD slot isn't meant for the customer (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224422)

what shitty phone is that true on? my blackberry certainly didn't have any idiotic stickers like that on it.

Re:The SD slot isn't meant for the customer (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224472)

Are you suggesting it shouldn't have such a warning for something that could easily damage the card and/or possibly the phone?

Not really seeing the issue. (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224378)

Microsoft says that you're not even supposed to be using the card slot yourself with your own cards; that it's intended for the manufacturer of your phone, so I'm not really seeing the issue here.

lawsuit, anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34224384)

and that is supposed to be legal? sue 'em hard, competitors.

.~.

Probably using SD's DRM Mechanism (5, Informative)

Dr. JJJ (325391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34224432)

I've been studying SD cards for the last few months and I've managed to dig up some heretofore "secret" leaked documents about SD Digital Rights Management mechanism and I think I know how such a permanent modification could be performed.

One of the things that all SD cards support is the ability to designate a certain portion (which can include ALL) of the card's block storage as "secure". Once designated as secure, the blocks in question cannot be read, written to, or the area resized without performing an authentication step with the card. This authentication step is known as "AKE".

I'm willing to bet that the phone is using this "secure" facility and marking the entire card, or some significant portion thereof, as a secure storage area.

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