1. Android Central Question's Avatar
    I have a couple of trail cameras that record images and video onto an SDHC card. I can remove the cards from the trail cameras and view the contents without any issues on a Windows machine. However, I don't want to carry a laptop into the field to view images taken on the cameras. I have a couple different SDHC card readers with a USB-C OTG jack. I would like to be able to remove the card from the camera, insert it into the card reader, connect the card reader to the phone, then navigate to the images on what is now shown as USB Storage 1 and view the images. However, as soon as I insert the reader with card into the phone then the phone erases all the contents on the card and replaces it with three directories, "Android", "LOST.DIR", and "System Volume Information".

    After the card has been modified by Android, I've placed it back in the camera. The camera takes and stores new photographs in the usual DCIM directory (which is again viewable on a PC). But as soon as the card is placed back in the card reader on the phone the DCIM directory and all its contents are erased.

    Is there a method I can use that will allow me to remove the SDHC card from the trail camera and view the card contents directly on the phone?

    Thank you in advance,
    01-22-2019 01:27 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! This doesn't solve your current issue, but have you considered using a microSD card in a fullsize SD adapter for the trail camera? You should then be able to remove that from the trail camera, take out the microSD, and insert it directly into your phone. This might work better than having to deal with the OTG protocol.
    01-22-2019 02:00 PM
  3. SerenityNetworks's Avatar
    Good idea B. Diddy. Unfortunately, it does the same thing as accessing the card via OTG; it erases the contents of the card and replaces it with the three directories I mentioned in the original post.
    01-22-2019 03:29 PM
  4. Rukbat's Avatar
    The phone is evidently formatting the card as something the phone can't handle (which is strange - the operating system of the phone - Linux - should be able to handle anything the camera can.

    I'd contact the camera manufacturer and ask them how they format the card and, if it's something proprietary, make a comment like "well, there go a lot of prospective customers".

    Until then, continue using the card, but slide the write-protect tab when you put it into the phone and see if (you'll probably get a complaint - just hit OK or whatever and ignore it) the phone can read it anyway.

    (It's possible that the card is being partitioned in some strange way by the cameras.)
    B. Diddy likes this.
    01-22-2019 03:59 PM
  5. methodman89's Avatar
    In Developer Options, what is your USB Configuration set to?
    01-22-2019 04:24 PM
  6. SerenityNetworks's Avatar
    Update: I have an old Note 5. I can use the same card reader, that fails with the S8+, and it works just fine on the old Note 5. That is, I simply plug in the reader, with the card inserted, and it immediately appears as UsbDriveA. Two new directories are created (LOST.DIR and System Volume Information), but it does not erase the DCIM directory created by the trail camera. I can remove the card from the reader, place it back in the trail camera, allow more images to be captured, remove the card from the trail camera, and again read the images just fine on the Note 5.

    I wonder if there is a setting on the S8+ to prevent the card contents from being deleted when being read.

    Unfortunately, I have a monster battery with waterproof case permanently affixed to the Note 5. I use it as a cellular capable trail camera. Using the Note 5 as my reader is not a good option.
    01-22-2019 04:38 PM
  7. SerenityNetworks's Avatar
    Thank you all. I'm still searching for a way to view the images in read/write mode. However...
    1) Locking the card before inserting it into the reader works! Whoohoo! The phone doesn't even complain. I simply opens the card and I can view the images. But there are three significant disadvantages with this method. The first is that the card is in read-only mode, so I can't delete unwanted images. The second is that if I forget to lock card before I put it in the reader then I loose all my images. The last is if I forget to unlock the card before putting it back in the trail camera then I'll get no future images.
    2) I have not enabled Developer Options on the phone and as such USB Debugging is not turned on. Is there an option you think might be helpful if I were to turn on Developer Options?
    Thanks again,
    01-23-2019 11:16 AM
  8. methodman89's Avatar
    This one :
    01-23-2019 12:18 PM
  9. SerenityNetworks's Avatar
    Thank you. The developer options, once enabled, look much different than the screenshot above (which is what I've seen in the past). However, when I go to "Select USB Configuration" I see that it is already set to "MTP (Media Transfer Protocol)".
    01-23-2019 12:53 PM
  10. methodman89's Avatar
    Do a test with the USB set to charging. Capture the choices that pop-up when you plug in your otg reader.
    01-23-2019 08:50 PM
  11. SerenityNetworks's Avatar
    That did it. Setting USB to charging doesn't erase anything or create new directories and files, it allows me to view the images, and also delete them. I can still run SideSync without changing out of the charging setting. Of course, I have to change back to MTP when I want to view the phone as a drive on my PC, but I'm not doing this often enough for it to be an issue. I think I'll just need to make some large stickers with a big red font, to put on the inside of my trail cameras, that reminds me to put the USB into charge mode before I put the card into the reader.

    Thank you for your help!
    methodman89 likes this.
    01-23-2019 09:13 PM

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