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Old Jul 30, 2003, 6:30 PM   #1
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Default Can't format my sandisk 128 mb smartmedia in my camera !

Use to work great for a coupkle of days until I formated in Win XP now i can't format in my camera it's a Toshiba PDR-3320. Really need help ! :x
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Old Jul 31, 2003, 4:43 AM   #2
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Win XP will probably have formatted your card as its default 32 Bit FAT format, whereas cameras use the older 16 bit FAT format. I don't use XP, but somewhere in the format options you should find a 'Format as 16 Bit FAT' option.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 9:48 PM   #3
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Win XP doesn't have a 16-bit format option. I had the same problem with my Olympus camera, and found the best option was to purchase a Dazzle brand SmartMedia card reader and use the SMPREP.EXE format utility to repair the card.
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Old Aug 4, 2003, 8:16 AM   #4
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I'm totally ignorant on XP, but doesn't it have the DOS command function like Win2K? I use Win2K DOS to high level format my cards. I even experiment with the cluster sizes on big media. The 'Format Help' command gives all the syntax.

I'm quite at home without the GUI whistles and bells though. VOX
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 4:31 PM   #5
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Default Still can't work !

I've looked everywhere and still can't find a solucion ! Win Xp doesn't have a 16 bit format and my card reader is a PQI single slot usb reader an writer. Is there a software i could use to solve my format problems ? Really apriciate !
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 10:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
I'm totally ignorant on XP, but doesn't it have the DOS command function like Win2K? I use Win2K DOS to high level format my cards. I even experiment with the cluster sizes on big media. The 'Format Help' command gives all the syntax.

I'm quite at home without the GUI whistles and bells though. VOX
Yes, it DOES. Unfortunately, 16-bit just isn't an option. Just FAT(16) and FAT32. What is actually needed is FAT12 (Did I call that 16 earlier?...silly me!)

I tried every possible combination of FAT and FAT32 with each cluster size, and nothing worked. If you have been able to repair in DOS w/ Win2K, perhaps this output from the command line:

"help format"

will provide you the input you need to provide the assistance requested. I'm kinda curious, too! Lead on, Voxie...Here's what's available:

Formats a disk for use with Windows XP.

FORMAT volume [/FS:file-system] [/V:label] [/Q] [/A:size] [/C] [/X]
FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q] [/F:size]
FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q] [/T:tracks /N:sectors]
FORMAT volume [/V:label] [/Q]
FORMAT volume [/Q]

volume Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon),
mount point, or volume name.
/FS:filesystem Specifies the type of the file system (FAT, FAT32, or NTFS).
/V:label Specifies the volume label.
/Q Performs a quick format.
/C NTFS only: Files created on the new volume will be compressed
by default.
/X Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary. All opened
handles to the volume would no longer be valid.
/A:size Overrides the default allocation unit size. Default settings
are strongly recommended for general use.
NTFS supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K.
FAT supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K,
(128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes).
FAT32 supports 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K, 64K,
(128K, 256K for sector size > 512 bytes).

Note that the FAT and FAT32 files systems impose the
following restrictions on the number of clusters on a volume:

FAT: Number of clusters <= 65526
FAT32: 65526 < Number of clusters < 4177918

Format will immediately stop processing if it decides that
the above requirements cannot be met using the specified
cluster size.

NTFS compression is not supported for allocation unit sizes
above 4096.

/F:size Specifies the size of the floppy disk to format (1.44)
/T:tracks Specifies the number of tracks per disk side.
/N:sectors Specifies the number of sectors per track.
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Old Aug 10, 2003, 9:26 PM   #7
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Would it be possible to take your usb card reader, with the card of course, to a friends or an internet cafe perhaps? Anyone who's running win2k will make it a snap. Plug in the usb, windows will see it and assign a drive letter (bring any software that came with the card reader just in case) then go into my computer, highlight the correct drive letter, right click, select format. At that point options will be; Fat, Fat 32 and NT. Choose Fat and you're done.
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Old Aug 11, 2003, 7:24 AM   #8
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What you see there with XP is exactly what I see with Win2K. I format FAT16. FAT 12 is only a format for really small cards up to 4 or 8Mb I think (sorry I'm to tired to do the arithmetic). However FAT12 is always recognised (backwards compatible for smaller cards)

So what makes you think it's FAT12 then? that was the floppy disc standard, but all of my cards (except a teenie-weeney one) are all FAT16. By the way, when DOS option FAT is selected, it automatically decides from the size of the media whether it's going to format as FAT12 or 16

So if I was in trouble and had XP, I'd fill my boots (or cards) with FAT16, using lg's help listing.

If DOS will not recognise the card, you're still in trouble. But if all you did was high level format FAT32, then a FAT16 format on cards above 8Mb should be fine.
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Old Aug 13, 2003, 11:27 PM   #9
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Default Why FAT12? Because it isn't FAT(16)!

What makes me think it is FAT12 is that the cluster size on a SmartMedia card formatted in the camera is different than the cluster size of a SmartMedia card formatted in the card reader using FAT(16). I tried every possible combination of cluster sizes in the card reader, and none of them were able to give me the same parameters I obtained using CHKDSK on the card formatted in the camera.
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Old Aug 14, 2003, 5:10 AM   #10
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Lg, this is where I'm coming from:

"FAT12 is only used for very small partitions, so it isn't really very interesting in terms of an analysis of partition and cluster size; virtually no hard disks today use partitions below 16 MB, which is FAT12's limit. The place where partition size and cluster size begin to interact is in the use of FAT16, the standard FAT type used for hard disk partitions between 16 MB and 512 MB in size"

The table below shows the FAT16 partition limits (max single size for a card)

Cluster Size:Maximum Partition Size (MB)

2 KB: 127.98Mb

4 Kb: 255.96Mb

8 Kb: 511.92Mb

16 Kb:1,023.84Mb

32 Kb:2,047.69Mb

Are you saying then your camera format is breaking these rules? As I posted earlier with an error in the max size, you must be using cards of 16Mb or smaller? In which case when you select the DOS FAT option it automatically chooses FAT 12. Although these are the preferred cluster sizes, I know you can set the cluster size switch before running a DOS format to any value which doesn't break the max limits above.

Whilst it's conceivable a cam may choose a different value, when the card arrives fresh I'll bet it conforms to the above standards - otherwise non-camera applications would have trouble.

So as we said, you may format in the reader under DOS to create the generic card format, but a reformat in the camera may still be needed if it's using non-standard cluster sizes. I'm assuming all cameras will read a 'generic' any brand card and still allow the format to go ahead. Of course if you've sussed out what the camera cluster size is, can't you set this as the size parameter in the DOS command string? (sorry if I'm vague, but haven't had a card prob for ages)

Since my camera only puts 6 quality pics on the 16Mb card it came with, I only use this now for 'format experiments'! I wouldn't guarantee CHKDSK to compute the right numbers. I use WinHex properties, and also look at the byte counter on the sector displays.
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