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Old Nov 30, 2006, 5:52 PM   #1
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I know it's probably a stupid question, but I've been reading the various threads here about card errors and formatting the cards.

When do you format the cards? Do you have to do it before the 1st use? After removing all the pictures from it to your computer? When? Will it let you know you need to do this? :?

A little 16mb card came with my camera. I didn't do anything to it before I took a few practice shots. I copied these pictures to my computer and then deleted them off the card and put it in the camera and took a few more pictures. I hope that wasn't the wrong thing to do.

I am planning to read the manual, just haven't got that far yet, and wanted to make sure I don't do anything to ruin my new 2GB Sandisk Ultra II SD card when I start using it in the camera.

Thanks for any help ... I'm leaving on a trip in 3 days; so really need to kno.
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Old Nov 30, 2006, 7:23 PM   #2
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Dumb answer #1 - I have 3 cards, and never formatted any of them prior to the first use, and they all worked fine. If you do format, I would recommend doing it in the camera. Results may vary, depending on the type of card and the brand and model of camera you own. I would start reading that manual...

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Old Dec 1, 2006, 2:58 AM   #3
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Athough most operating systems these days are FAT32, I agree with rinniethehunin that it's always best to format a card in the camera to ensure 100% compatability with the camera. (Cards used touse FAT-12 (up to 64MB) and FAT-16 (above 64MB), but as card capacity has grown, they've started using FAT-32.)

In fact, I never delete used images, I always re-format at the start of every new shoot; thismakes sure that the card is clean.

Always make sure that you've transferred your previous images before formatting.
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 7:17 AM   #4
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You should always format the card in the camera before using. This is to ensure maximum compatability. It really shouldn't make any difference, but it does.

I also format the card in the camera after downloading the contents to my computer. If you just delete the images (without formatting) you can end up with a fragmented card, and not all cameras can deal with this properly. Formatting ensures the card is not fragmented.
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Old Dec 1, 2006, 12:15 PM   #5
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I've always formatted every card I've owned, prior to every use, with the camera's menus for format.

That insures that I always start out with a fresh FAT (File Allocation Table), just the way the camera expects it (since it's performing the format). With most cameras, formatting is just as fast as deleting the images anyway.

IMO, formatting a card prior to using it again is especially important if you use a PC to write to a card (and a delete is a write), since some drivers may not flush cache buffers to media reliably if you don't use the "Safely Remove Hardware" Icon in your System Tray, or have the driver setup for "Quick Removal".

Even with those additional safeguards, I still format a memory card prior to every use (not just the first use) with a camera's menus for format.

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Old Dec 2, 2006, 9:02 AM   #6
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Appreciateall the advice! I will format my cards before the first use and after each unload.

I am reading my manual, but it's really hard for me understand because I don't have a "techie" mind. :-)
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Old Dec 17, 2006, 1:49 PM   #7
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I have a question related to formatting...do you (or anyone) happen to know if formatting has a greater impact on the life of a memory card than simply deleting?

Thanks and regards,

Frank
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Old Dec 18, 2006, 8:14 AM   #8
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When you format a card, you're not overwriting all of the data on it. That's why a format is relatively fast.

Otherwise, it would take a very long time (just like trying to fill up a card with images, you'd be limited to the write speed to media). ;-)

A format is simply recreating the FAT (File Allocation Table), and it's unlikely that it's going to make much difference in card life compared to deleting the files.

I haven't had a problem with a card doing it yet (and I've been reformatting my memory cards prior to every use for years using a camera's menus for format).

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Old Jan 11, 2007, 1:33 PM   #9
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Just want to say thanks for the info. My new Kodak Z612 is due here tomorrow, and I'm trying to learn about memory cards, etc. These forums are a God-send. I picked up two memory cards at Staples: SanDisk SD Ultra II 2GB for $49. and PNY SD 1GB for $14. Are both good quality? How much video can I shoot on each of these? Thanks in advance for any input!
I will be formatting my disks IN the camera regularly after reading info here.

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Old Jan 21, 2007, 10:04 PM   #10
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Amazing Thailand wrote:

You should always format the card in the camera before using. This is to ensure maximum compatability. It really shouldn't make any difference, but it does.

I also format the card in the camera after downloading the contents to my computer. If you just delete the images (without formatting) you can end up with a fragmented card, and not all cameras can deal with this properly. Formatting ensures the card is not fragmented.

MY QUESTION: COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHAT A "FRAGMENTED CARD" IS? THANKS IN ADVANCE, I FIND THIS FORUM VERY VERY INFORMATIONAL!


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