Lexar Card Reader Finally Working on 4th Try

I bought a slick looking Lexar Card Reader (UDMA CompactFlash CF and SD Reader) in Spring 2010. Sadly, it would crash while reading files from CompactFlash and SD cards. I sent it in to Lexar with an RMA.

After first sending me the wrong card reader, and then a reader that failed identically to the original one, Lexar finally sent me a CF / SD Card Reader that seems to work correctly; it allowed me to copy about a gigabyte of files without crashing.

Update April 28, 2011: Success. I guess the fourth time is a charm. I had the rare honor of talking with a Lexar engineer again and this time he must have changed the firmware - because I can't get it to fail.

It Works !

If you get the same problem - let me know and I might be able to save you some time. I have to give Lexar some credit for not giving up until it got solved correctly. Thank you.

I guess now that they have announced it I can mention that Lexar sent me a UBS 3.0 version to test along with the original version. Both worked. They look identical. Even though I didn't test the USB 3 version with UDMA cards - it seems (I didn't time it) slightly faster than the USB 2.0 version.

Disappointingly, after working in the target system they both failed when I tried them both in another system (both running XP SP3). Later both did correctly work in the second system. (This is not exactly plug and forget !)

Update March 14, 2011: A Lexar engineer called to ask some good questions. He asked for the motherboard model. He indicated that if the USB bus voltage drops below a certain level - the device has a shut off mechanism. He should get back to me within a couple if weeks.

Update March 5, 2011: Nope. I just tried the reader with 4gb of actual files from photographing in the field and it failed with the same errors as before. This is the third different reader Lexar has sent me. The earlier, apparently successful test, was done with files I copied to the Card from the computer, not from Camera generated files.

The failed device's serial number starts with "3500"

Here's part of the note I sent Lexar engineers:

1. Other CF and SD readers have no problem reading the same cards with the same data, same copying software and the same computers. Though, when it is working, this reader seems slightly faster than the other ones tested.

1a. as you can see it does not fail immediately, it copies a few files before it locks up - solid. It then fails to even recognize the drive. I have to unplug the USB, then reconnect to continue.

2. Originally I thought the problem was confined to the CF reader, but recently I discovered the SD reader exhibits the same error.

3. Here is a screen capture after the error occurring in Windows Explorer :

Lexar CF Reader Failure in MS Internet Explorer

Lexar CF Reader Failure in MS Internet Explorer