GiiNii Photo Frames & Memory Cards

Many years ago I bought a GiiNii GN-7002W 7″ digital photo frame from the local TigerDirect store here in Raleigh. Since that time, many things have changed including the size of memory cards and SD card formatting along with disk boot records. My wife has a little Realistic (RIP Radio Shack) frame that works with a 2GB SD card, but this GiiNii 7″ refused to load any photos off of a 4GB SD card, but would load the images off of the 2GB card. I tried several reformats and making the 4GB SD card into a 2GB through partitioning before finally finding a GiiNii manual on an 8″ frame that says the following:

This is great information, but it leaves out one very important detail. If you have formatted a SD card recently, there is a chance Windows made the boot record type GUID Partition Table (GPT) instead of the old style Master Boot Record (MBR) as GPT supports the new replacement for older BIOS firmware otherwise known as Unified Extensible Firmware Interface or UEFI. So you did come here just to learn about drive boot types and firmware, or you’re probably like me and just want to get your GiiNii digital frame working with your memory card. If your card is listed above and is within the maximum capacity, I think this will help you get your card working in your frame.

Rufus to the rescue. As a full-time digital forensics analyst, I routinely use Rufus to make bootable flash drives and memory cards so I can boot suspect systems for forensic imaging or test out various new Linux operating system distributions. Rufus is touted as “The Reliable USB Formatting Utility w/ Source”. While you can tell Rufus that you want to make a bootable USB drive containing the latest version of Ubuntu or other operating system, it is a format utility like the name says. To get your memory card formatted correctly based on the information from the GiiNii manual above, download Rufus here. Then insert you memory card into your computer’s memory card reader/writer or USB port (this should work for thumb drives as well). Then start the program rufus#-##.exe (where #-## will be something like 3-10) that’s probably sitting in your downloads folder. Here is what you might see when you start Rufus (Note: you may have to be admin on your system to get Rufus working):

Now make the following changes so it will match the image below…
1. Make sure the device information represents the card or USB drive you want to format – then check it again.
2. For Boot selection, use the drop down and select Non bootable
3. For the partition scheme, use the drop down to select MBR
4. Type whatever you want in the Volume Label box
5. For the File system, select FAT32 (Default) from the drop down menu

Verify your settings match these, other than your device name, and click START.
You will be warned that you are about to destroy all off the data on the memory card or USB flash, so make sure Rufus us formatting the right memory card or USB device before you continue.
Once the formatting completes, you should be able to copy your images to the card and get your GiiNii photo frame to see them.

Part 2 The images don’t look right…
“I copied my files onto the card and the frame sees them, but the resolution is wrong and the images are super tiny or I only see a small piece of the image.” It seems GiiNii has tried to deal with this resizing issue on newer frames as the frame can be connected to your computer and the images written to the memory in the frame or the memory card slot and GiiNii resizes the images during the copy process. For people old frames from GiiNii, we are not that lucky. If you have Lightroom, the easiest way to resize the images you want on your frame is to have them in a collection or selected from within a folder. When doing the export and placing the resized images in another folder, use the resize dimensions and set the longest edge to the max resolution your frame supports. My wife’s old Radio Shack frame only did 240 and the 7″ GiiNii does 480. If you don’t have Lightroom, the easiest way using only Windows is on this site.

Hope this helps someone.