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ASUS confirms ROG Ally microSD reader defect: Everything you need to know

From the cause to company workarounds and more, here's what you should know about the ROG Ally's card reader issue.
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Published onJuly 13, 2023

ASUS ROG Ally Hollow Knight

The Steam Deck still rules the roost as far as PC-based gaming handhelds go, but the ASUS ROG Ally is its biggest challenge to date. It hasn’t been a perfect launch for ASUS, though, and reports of microSD card issues popped up shortly after the release.

Now, the Taiwanese company has confirmed that the ROG Ally microSD card reader is defective.

Why is the ROG Ally microSD reader having issues?

A company representative revealed that the ROG Ally’s memory card reader is indeed defective in a post on Discord.

“After confirmation from internal testing, under certain thermal stress conditions the SD card reader may malfunction,” reads an excerpt of the post. In other words, the issue seems to pop up when the device gets hot.

The official confirmation comes after numerous user reports of microSD card issues since the Ally’s launch.

So what’s ASUS doing about this problem?

ASUS ROG Ally standing off

“To alleviate the issue, we will be releasing an update that further fine-tunes the default and minimum fan speeds on the device to improve reliability while keeping fan noise in check, as we know this is a concern for many of you,” the post explained.

It’s unclear exactly what this fine-tuning will entail, but it stands to reason that the company will increase fan speeds to keep the microSD card reader cool.

What should I do if my ROG Ally has this issue?

Is your ROG Ally microSD card reader malfunctioning as a result of this problem? Then the ASUS representative says you should either email cl-adrian@asus.com if you’re in the US or contact your local customer service if you’re outside the US.

The company adds that it will RMA your handheld, inspect it, and repair it. It’s not immediately clear what these repairs will entail.

On the upside, the version of the ROG Ally currently on the market comes with 512GB of internal storage. But this is still a pretty disappointing turn of events, especially if you want to carry a ton of games and/or media with you on the go.

We’ve asked ASUS for more info about this issue and the RMA process and will update the article accordingly if/when the brand gets back to us.

FAQ

You can try using a different microSD card first. Some users have also tried using a different driver, with varying results.

You should contact cl-adrian@asus.com (US) or your local customer service to start the RMA process.

We’ve asked ASUS whether the cheaper model’s card reader will have a hardware fix. We’ll update the article when they get back to us.