I picked up a shiny new 8GB SDHC memory card for my Virgin Mobile Optimus V phone.

I connected my phone to my PC, and transferred all of the files from my old card onto my computer.  I then disconnected, inserted the new card, and fired things back up only to find that my computer didn’t recognize the phone with the new card in it.

The computer assigned the phone a drive letter, but when I clicked to open the folder it said something along the lines of “Please insert a disk into drive F:”.

I tried opening up the Windows XP disk manager, thinking I could format the card from there, but no dice – Windows knew the phone was there, but wouldn’t ‘read’ the card.  (The Optimus uses a FAT32 filesystem, btw.)

“No problem,” I thought.  “I’ll just format it via the phone.” I disconnected the phone from the computer and went into the phone’s SD card menu, only to find that the “Format card” option was greyed out.

I tried unmounting the card, but the phone just hung. Probably because I had been swapping memory cards without unmounting them first.  (Yeah, I knew I wasn’t supposed to do that, but I thought that Android would figure it out.  Turns out no, not so much.)

So I rebooted the phone, then went back into the same menu, and chose to unmount the card.  This time it worked!

The “Format card” option was now not grayed out, and I was able to format the card right from the phone.

I then connected the phone up to my computer and transferred all of the files from the directory I had created earlier.

If you’re having problems getting your computer to recognize your new card, and if you don’t have an SD card reader for your PC, this method should help you get your new card up and running.

Step 1:  Copy the files from your old card onto your computer.

Step 2:  Shut down your phone.

Step 3:  Insert the new memory card

Step 4:  Go into the Android Settings menu and choose “SD Card & Phone Storage Options”

Step 5: Choose “Unmount SD card”

Step 6:  Once unmounted, the “Format SD card” option will become available. (that is, not grayed out.)

Step 7:  Choose “Format SD Card”

Step 8: Connect the phone up to your computer with the new card in it, and transfer all of the files you created in Step 1 back to your phone.