Memory Stick / Magic Gate support

Greetings again.

I wanted to ask if there is any support currently for Memory Stick readers.

What I have been able to find on some posts is that Magic Gate is the problem. And some saying that Ricoh never released linux drivers for their MS readers. But those posts are from around 2009-2014.

I was wondering if anything has changed since then. As I have also seen the odd post about some users being able to format their Memory Sticks with gparted and using them. But that is not the case for this machine at least. The built in reader works fine with SD Cards, but upon inserting a MS, nothing happens. Gparted does not see it, and garuda-inxi does not see it either.

It is unlikely I will use it much, but it is yet another piece of dead hardware on this machine I would like to revive if possible. The inxi was taken with an MS and an SD inserted together.

  Kernel: 6.6.18-1-lts arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 13.2.1
    clocksource: tsc avail: hpet,acpi_pm
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/@/boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts
    root=UUID=07102260-d186-4244-8155-3ebb9df4c975 rw rootflags=subvol=@
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    with: xfce4-panel tools: xfce4-screensaver avail: xautolock vt: 7
    dm: LightDM v: 1.32.0 Distro: Garuda base: Arch Linux
  Type: Laptop System: Sony product: VPCSB25FB v: C700600X
    serial: <superuser required> Chassis: type: 10 serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: Sony model: VAIO serial: <superuser required>
    uuid: <superuser required> BIOS: INSYDE v: R1031H4 date: 04/25/2011
  Info: model: Intel Core i5-2410M bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Sandy Bridge
    gen: core 2 level: v2 built: 2010-12 process: Intel 32nm family: 6
    model-id: 0x2A (42) stepping: 7 microcode: 0x2F
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 2 tpc: 2 threads: 4 smt: enabled cache:
    L1: 128 KiB desc: d-2x32 KiB; i-2x32 KiB L2: 512 KiB desc: 2x256 KiB
    L3: 3 MiB desc: 1x3 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 905 high: 1225 min/max: 800/2900 scaling:
    driver: intel_cpufreq governor: schedutil cores: 1: 798 2: 800 3: 798
    4: 1225 bogomips: 18361
  Flags: avx ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3
  Vulnerabilities: <filter>
  Device-1: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics
    vendor: Sony driver: i915 v: kernel arch: Gen-6 code: Sandybridge
    process: Intel 32nm built: 2011 ports: active: LVDS-1 empty: DP-1, DP-2,
    HDMI-A-1, HDMI-A-2, VGA-1 bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:0116
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    bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 1002:6760 class-ID: 0300 temp: 53.5 C
  Device-3: Chicony USB2.0 Camera driver: uvcvideo type: USB rev: 2.0
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    s-diag: 414mm (16.31")
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    GT2) device-ID: 8086:0116 memory: 1.46 GiB unified: yes
  API: Vulkan v: 1.3.276 layers: 10 device: 0 type: cpu name: llvmpipe
    (LLVM 16.0.6 256 bits) driver: mesa llvmpipe v: 24.0.2-arch1.1 (LLVM
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  Device-1: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio
    vendor: Sony 6 driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
    chip-ID: 8086:1c20 class-ID: 0403
  API: ALSA v: k6.6.18-1-lts status: kernel-api tools: N/A
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    status: active 2: wireplumber status: active 3: pipewire-alsa type: plugin
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  Device-1: Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1000 [Condor Peak] driver: iwlwifi
    v: kernel pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 1 bus-ID: 02:00.0
    chip-ID: 8086:0083 class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlp2s0 state: up mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8211/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
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    class-ID: 0200
  IF: enp5s0 state: down mac: <filter>
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  Device-1: Foxconn / Hon Hai T77H114 BCM2070 [Single-Chip Bluetooth 2.1 +
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  Local Storage: total: 469.44 GiB used: 26.38 GiB (5.6%)
  SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends
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  Kernel: swappiness: 133 (default 60) cache-pressure: 100 (default) zswap: no
  ID-1: swap-1 type: zram size: 3.74 GiB used: 452.2 MiB (11.8%)
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  System Temperatures: cpu: 56.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: radeon temp: 54.0 C
  Fan Speeds (rpm): N/A
  Memory: total: 4 GiB available: 3.74 GiB used: 2.01 GiB (53.7%)
  Processes: 239 Power: uptime: 34m states: freeze,mem,disk suspend: deep
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    Init: systemd v: 255 default: graphical tool: systemctl
  Packages: pm: pacman pkgs: 1356 libs: 448 tools: pamac,paru Compilers:
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Garuda (2.6.23-1):
  System install date:     2024-02-26
  Last full system update: 2024-03-01
  Is partially upgraded:   No
  Relevant software:       snapper NetworkManager dracut
  Windows dual boot:       <superuser required>
  Failed units:            

What is a Memory Stick?

What is Magic Gate?

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Sony Memory Stick Pro Duo with Magic Gate (At least what I have on hand at the moment, they made other versions). It is their version of SD Cards for their own devices. Because Sony likes to be different / edit: a pain in everyone’s backside.

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Why not trash them and purchase something a little more user-friendly? Unless you like the pain?

Just for my information, are their SD cards bootable? Writeable? Overwritable?

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Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 08ff:168f AuthenTec, Inc. AES1660 Fingerprint Sensor
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 04f2:b26d Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd USB2.0 Camera
Bus 002 Device 005: ID 0489:e00f Foxconn / Hon Hai Foxconn T77H114 BCM2070 [Single-Chip Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR Adapter]
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub

Is that output with the Memory Stick inserted?

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Memory Stick - Wikipedia
MagicGate - Wikipedia

Few (USB or PC Card) Memory Stick-compatible card readers support secure MagicGate. Although manufacturers list Memory Stick Pro/Pro Duo (MG) compatibility, where MG means MagicGate, they may not support the security portion of MagicGate. This becomes important when purchasing a card reader/writer for use with SonicStage and Sony CONNECT as even Sony itself does not fully support MagicGate on certain readers.

I don’t have any of those to test, only SD and microSD, which work fine in the internal reader (Toshiba L500).
I just tried the three USB card readers I have around (brand unknown) and only one works, the other two throw errors in dmesg like device descriptor read/64, error -71 and device not accepting address X, error -71 where X is a small integer.

Hardly useful nor encouraging, I know.

Let me see if I have better luck with searches.


I kinda remember Magic Gate being involved with a (Sony?) standalone USB backup data HDD I bought a couple-10 years ago. IIRC, I formatted it to Ext4 & used it until it died a short time later. They were pretty fragile. But that was a while back. (My memory is older & more fragile than them stupid things.)

It’s just a stupid, ineffective form of hardware copy protection that didn’t even work then. How old are those items?

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Because I have a camera and a Playstation Portable that requires them. They are old, but they do their job. Although I have been looking into those Memory Stick to SD card adapters for some time. As for your other questions, I dont think so, yes and yes. They are just slow and annoying to use.

Any SD/MicroSD cards should work in either. They certainly do for me in both scenarios. The point is, if you want to retain and use them–how old are they?–don’t wonder if they aren’t recognized in Linux for what they are.

As I mentioned at the very first post, the idea was to see if I could get the reader up and running again. Just to not have dead hardware on my machine if it could be working. It is not that big of a deal if it isnt. I have other means of reading these cards and they do work.

Given what I have been reading before posting, all signs pointed to “no drivers were released, sorry” I was merely asking in case the situation had changed between 2014 and now and I just was not looking in the right place. I have after all, I only recently got into Linux and I am still learning where to look and how hard to look.

That’s cool. :smiley: Now the forum knows what “Magic Gate” keys are.

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Anyway, thanks everyone for taking the time to look into this and replying. And @meanruse for doing those tests. Hopefully I can start posting less silly things here soon.

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