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Old Oct 2, 2007, 7:09 AM   #1
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Why do you need toformat an SD Card?

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Old Oct 2, 2007, 7:29 AM   #2
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foxx_ wrote:
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Why do you need toformat an SD Card?
Generally speaking, you don't need to format an SD Card.

But it's always a good idea to format any flash memory card ocassionally.

First, it creates an environment (FAT, folder structure, etc.) that the camera is designed to use. New cards are formatted with a generic structure, but the camera may stumble around when trying to store photos within a non-native folder structure.

Second, the more you use a flash memory card, the more fragmented the free space and the file allocation table will become. That means that, as time goes by,it will take longer for the camera to write new photos to the card, and in the event that you want to recover a deleted photo, recovery will take longer and will be more prone to errors.

You shouldn't format flash memory devices too often either. Unlike magnetic media, flash memory can only be written to a finite number of times (the actual number is in the millions, but it's still finite.) Formatting does a lot of writting, so everytime you format a flash memory device, you're getting that much closer to the point where you can't write to it anymore.
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Old Oct 3, 2007, 6:32 AM   #3
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Thanks for your great fantastic expert advice...I didn't think you needed to but thought the camera expert pro extradoirneres such as yourself would know better than a newbie like myself:cart:
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Old Oct 5, 2007, 8:40 PM   #4
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You shouldn't format flash memory devices too often either. Unlike magnetic media, flash memory can only be written to a finite number of times (the actual number is in the millions, but it's still finite.) Formatting does a lot of writting, so everytime you format a flash memory device, you're getting that much closer to the point where you can't write to it anymore.
Even a quick Format?

Any info on how many formats before it becomes useless?
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Old Oct 5, 2007, 9:47 PM   #5
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S2Can wrote:
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Even a quick Format?

Any info on how many formats before it becomes useless?
Yes, even quick formats! Even taking pictures!

It's the number of write operations that counts, and the MCTF (mean cycles to failure) is in the millions, but the more often you do it the sooner you'll get there.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Limitationsfor more information.

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Old Oct 6, 2007, 8:11 PM   #6
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TCav wrote:
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S2Can wrote:
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Even a quick Format?

Any info on how many formats before it becomes useless?
Yes, even quick formats! Even taking pictures!

It's the number of write operations that counts, and the MCTF (mean cycles to failure) is in the millions, but the more often you do it the sooner you'll get there.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory#Limitationsfor more information.
Thanks.

From the reading/ info, it doesn't sound it is anything to worry about for 51 years... past that, we are really in trouble! (just kidding).
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Old Oct 6, 2007, 11:54 PM   #7
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S2Can wrote:
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From the reading/ info, it doesn't sound it is anything to worry about for 51 years... past that, we are really in trouble! (just kidding).
I didn't say it was a matter of weeks, but we also don't know which brand of device has lasted for 51 years. This could also just be advertising drivel too.
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Old Oct 12, 2007, 5:00 AM   #8
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yeah, why
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 12:08 AM   #9
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What is preferable / better for a full SDHC card : a quick format or erasing pics / folders?
Are there any studies/tests about this: Format Vs Erasing/deleting ?
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Old Oct 25, 2007, 7:50 AM   #10
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S2Can wrote:
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What is preferable / better for a full SDHC card : a quick format or erasing pics / folders?
Are there any studies/tests about this: Format Vs Erasing/deleting ?
Flash memory devices use FAT, and the limitations of FAT are well documented.

One of the problems with FAT is that if you delete a file, the space used by the file is marked as free space, but that free space is still fragmented. As a result, the camera will take longer to store new photos and especially new videos.

The only way to prevent this from happening is to reformat the card.
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