How to Install a Memory Stick in Dell Laptop

Updated July 19, 2017

A memory stick is a type of flash-memory card made by Sony. It is the recommended memory format for Sony-branded cameras as well as the PlayStation Portable game system. Most Dell laptops do not have built-in memory-stick readers as they arrive from the factory. Installing a card reader is a short process that can allow you to read all memory-stick formats on your Dell laptop.

Connect the card reader to one of your laptop's USB ports. If your card reader includes an external power supply, connect it to a wall outlet. The card reader will be detected by Windows as a USB card reader or a mass-storage device.

Insert the memory stick into the Memory Stick Duo adaptor if you have a Memory Stick Duo or Pro Duo and your card reader has a slot only for the larger memory-stick form factor.

Double click on the My Computer icon. Your memory stick will be given a drive letter and listed under the "Removable Storage" category. Double-click the drive to access its contents.

Insert the driver CD for your card reader into your laptop, if necessary. Many card readers do not require drivers. The installation program will launch automatically. Follow the prompts until the installation process is complete or until you are prompted to insert the card reader.

Insert the card reader into your computer. It will be detected by Windows.

Install the memory stick into the Memory Stick Pro adaptor if required and insert the memory stick into the card reader.

Double-click the "My Computer" icon and double-click the newly added drive letter to access your data.


Confirm whether your laptop has an ExpressCard or PCMCIA upgrade slot before purchasing an internal card reader. Internal card readers are convenient, particularly when they are flush with the side of the laptop and can be left in all of the time. However, ExpressCard and PCMCIA cards are not compatible with each other. Most recently manufactured Dell laptops have ExpressCard upgrade slots.

Things You'll Need

  • USB, PCMCIA, or ExpressCard memory-card reader
  • Memory Stick Duo adaptor (optional)
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About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.