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HELP! My Memory Card has an Error!

AprilRamone

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I meant to post this here but accidentally posted it in the equipment advice and reviews section (Mods, do you want to take that other one down?)
Ok, so I just got into doing digital photography and haven't had a problem until now! I have a 4 GB Hitachi Microdrive card for my Canon 20D. I was at a shoot the other day when I tried to take a look at the pictures to show my client and all of a sudden there was an error message. And the last few pictures I had taken were missing. However, everything else way before the error message was still there when I got home to put it on my computer (THANK GOD!) I ended up just switching to my back up memory card. Can anyone please help me figure out what to do about this? I spent a good amount of money on this card and I don't know if I could find the receipt (or if they would even take it back at this point since it's been a few months). I have a photo shoot today and it looks like I have to use the back up card and that freaks me out!
 
What was the error code (did it post one)? The first thing I would do is reformat the card and go out and do a bunch of test shooting. If the error reoccurs then the microdrive itself is going bad (which is rare BTW) I would then ditch it and buy a new one. Just my 2 pence.
 
Ok, so I just formatted both of my cards. They seem to be doingn ok now. I guess we'll see for sure when I have the shoot today. Is there anything else I should know?
 
Keep an eye on it. If it is a media error, reformatting may/should have corrected it. Reformatting puts all the bad sectors into a "no use" area on the drive. If it is a progressive problem, then it will crop up again. Reformat the drive after EVERY use (yes EVERY- multiple underlines there) Take lots and lots of shots, literally put the card through a "stress test". If the card is bad then take it back to where you bought it. The microdrives have a one year warranty. If you paid by credit, then the purchase should be on record (also check your bank statements as backup). In the meantime use it, and keep a close eye on it. Wish I could be of more help!
 
my friend had similar problems with his 300D a few months back because he rarely formated his cards and just deleted pics. i always format and have never had a problem.
 
I so am not computer/tech savvy. I had no idea you were supposed to format the card. I wonder why sales people don't mention that sort of thing when you tell them you are getting into digital photography for the 1st time?
In any case, I have just been deleting images once I've put them on my pc. So, now I should delete them and then format it before every photo shoot I have?
 
If you do take it back then I'd recommend exchanging it for a CF card rather than a microdrive. With no moving parts the CF cards are more reliable and robust.
I've had a couple of problems using Lexar cards and Lexar recalled some a while back. I've lost a bit of confidence in Lexar since then and try to use my SanDisk cards as much as possible. Never had any trouble with them.
 
darich said:
If you do take it back then I'd recommend exchanging it for a CF card rather than a microdrive. With no moving parts the CF cards are more reliable and robust.
I've had a couple of problems using Lexar cards and Lexar recalled some a while back. I've lost a bit of confidence in Lexar since then and try to use my SanDisk cards as much as possible. Never had any trouble with them.

Hmm...I have a Lexar 1GB CompactFlash as my back up card. What's the difference between the two? I thought they were the same thing just different brands and a different amount of storage on each one!
 
I would suggest always formatting cards, and formatting in the camera not with the computer.

Have to agree about the Sandisk cards too. Never a problem with these but have with some other cards.

A little off track I prefer more smaller cards (1Gb or so) than single larger cards. Know it means the occasional swapping, but less risk if there is a card failure and there are also times when I dont want to immediately clear them from the card.

neverhappen.com
 
The sales people didn't mention prolly cause they weren't aware either. Most camera shops have maybe 2-3 savvy people and the rest are there for sales filler. Also many of them are there for the job, not the love of the medium.
In short, yes. Format the card before every shoot.



AprilRamone said:
I so am not computer/tech savvy. I had no idea you were supposed to format the card. I wonder why sales people don't mention that sort of thing when you tell them you are getting into digital photography for the 1st time?
In any case, I have just been deleting images once I've put them on my pc. So, now I should delete them and then format it before every photo shoot I have?
 
Nope. Compact flash, xd cards, smart media are all what is called static memory. They have no moving parts in them. The image is held as a static memory address, which enables it to be more stable and to hold more. Microdrives are just that, a mini hard drive with magneto-optic hardware and tiny disks that are written to. For the most part they are very stable, but occasionally do go bad.


AprilRamone said:
Hmm...I have a Lexar 1GB CompactFlash as my back up card. What's the difference between the two? I thought they were the same thing just different brands and a different amount of storage on each one!
 
AprilRamone said:
Hmm...I have a Lexar 1GB CompactFlash as my back up card. What's the difference between the two? I thought they were the same thing just different brands and a different amount of storage on each one!

A CF card is physically smaller than a microdrive. You'll probably be able to use a CF card where you can use a microdrive but you won't be able to use a microdrive where a CF card is required because the microdrive is largere and won't fit where a CF card will.

If you listen carefully to a microdrive you can hear it spinning. it uses more battery power, is slower and with moving mechanical parts is more sensitive to damage and impact. I found that my microdrive was sensitive to heat - after prolonged use it seemed more temperamental. I decided to change to CF cards before it became a liability and i lost photos on it.

I'd always opt for CF card even if it was more expensive.

Neverhappen has a good point of using smaller cards - don't put all your eggs in one basket - I have 4 1gb cards rather than 1 4gb card.
 
darich said:
Neverhappen has a good point of using smaller cards - don't put all your eggs in one basket - I have 4 1gb cards rather than 1 4gb card.

You guys make a good point. I started out with only the Compact Flash 1 gb card, but then was going to go on vacation and wanted something that would hold a lot of images since I wouldn't have access to a computer in that amount of time. In the future I will take your advise and buy smaller cards and buy compact flash over microdrives. Thanks so much for the input!
 
April

The problem with Lexar cards only occurred when they were used in a Canon 20D - and even then it wasn't a definite. I lost a couple of shots - literally about 3 - but that was enough for me to lose confidence in them.
If you don't have a Canon 20D then I've heard nothing to suggest you'll experience a problem
 
On my sony camera the memory stick has a tendency to go bad from time to time. :irked: I lost pics and sometimes videos after an extensive shooting.

You can recover them by performing a CHKDSK on your card while connected to your computer, recover lost file fragments and your files will be recovered, but without the original extension.

Best way to avoid it is reformat the cards on every use in the camera. In my case, avoiding exposure to cold seemed to help a lot too.
 

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