I am trying to resurrect a 20-year-old digital camera, an HP Photosmart 620. The plan is to turn it into a third grader’s first camera.

It powers on just fine and can take photos using its limited built-in memory, which can hold something like 12 photos.

When I insert a new SD card, it prompts that the card needs formatting. When I select “yes,” the screen changes to a pattern of green vertical lines on a darker green background… and stays that way all night, until the batteries finally drain all the way down.

The card I’m using is 2 GB in size, which I imagine is the upper end of what this camera can address. Will hunting for a (say) 64 MB card on used markets make a difference? Alternatively, is there software I can use on a PC or Mac to pre-format the card so that the camera will just recognize it when it’s inserted?

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    One version of the manual says "Secure Digital (SD) memory card up to 128 MB" in Appendix C: Reference (support.hp.com/ca-en/product/…)
    – Brian
    Sep 6, 2022 at 23:01
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    You should definitely try a smaller card, even if 2GB is OK for the low capacity class. The camera might just choke on the size. -- SD cards have different capacity classes, as you assume. Commonly the file system is different, but more important the serial protocol changes. You might want to check this Wikipedia page for more ideas what might be wrong. -- And yes, formatting the 2GB card with a PC is possible, use FAT and potentially some folder tree. More research might be necessary for this. Sep 7, 2022 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


Some cameras used multimedia cards (MMC), a standard which predated SD cards and which uses the same form factor, and with which SD cards are somewhat compatible. I don't remember the exact technical details, but if memory serves MMC cards provided two means of access, one of which became much more popular than the other. The SD standard does not require that cards support the less popular means of access, and SD cards generally don't. SD cards will work in MMC devices which happen to use the more popular means of access, but not in those that don't. If you can find an MMC card of a size suitable for your camera, you may have luck with that.

  • Thanks. The user manual for this camera is frustratingly vague about the memory card, but it does note that the SD logo is a trademark in its legal disclaimers section, so I’m guessing HP advertised it as compatible on the box?
    – Kevin Troy
    Sep 6, 2022 at 20:18
  • I have one device myself (Cuttle Cart for the Atari 7800) which requires an actual MMC card and will not work with CD cards, so I know from experience that some devices will work with one but not the other, while others will work with both interchangeably. I would find it a bit surprising that your camera's box would have an SD card logo if it wasn't designed to work with SD cards, but if you can find an MMC card I think that would be the way to go.
    – supercat
    Sep 6, 2022 at 20:46
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    @KevinTroy That manual also says "Secure Digital (SD) memory card up to 128 MB" in Appendix C: Reference for section Memory type.
    – Brian
    Sep 6, 2022 at 23:09
  • Actually the form factor of MMC is not the same, it is thinner. You cannot push an SD card into an MMC socket. However, I never came across an MMC socket. Sep 7, 2022 at 6:50
  • @KevinTroyL That's very fair. My memory was imperfect, but perhaps the answer may be useful to someone else who has what looks like an SD card slot, except they can't get SD cards to fit. >:*3
    – supercat
    Sep 9, 2022 at 14:45

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