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Old Nov 29, 2003, 3:54 PM   #1
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Default Smartmedia problems

I have been using an 8Mb, 32Mb and 2 64 Mb smartmedia cards in my Oly c2100uzi for quite a while and recently the 32Mb and one of the 64 Mb cards will work in the reader but not in the camera. When Inserted in the camera it says the card needs to be formatted but when I try to do so it gives an error and I have to shut the camera off.
I tried using the Command prompt format to restore the fat 16 on the 32 Mb card and it still does the same thing. It is weird that the card will work fine on the computer but not on the camera. The 8
and the other 64 work fine in the camera.
Any help will be appreciated,
Thanks in advance,
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Old Nov 29, 2003, 4:17 PM   #2
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Did you format them in anything other than your camera just before they stopped working? I had a card go bad when I formatted it my MP3 player a while ago. Now it works in the MP3 player, and in my old Fuji camera, but not in my Oly. I've not been able to fix that card using any of the methods I'm aware of so I'm afraid you might be stuck.

On the plus side, SmartMedia is fairly cheap these days so it may be a good excuse to upgrade to one 128MB card if your budget allows.


P.S. I'm going to be starting a big project at university soon that is based on image recovery from flash media and repairing badly formatted cards, so come April I might have a more constructive answer for you!
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Old Dec 5, 2003, 8:44 PM   #3
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Try the advice of voxmagma in one of the threads "cannot record on and format my smartmedia cards" posted by pagasiano. That's me. I used to copy pics from one pc to another, that is copying them and writing them to the smart media card. After doing that, i can no longer record and format my card.

Voxmagma suggested that I format my card using smartprep.exe tha's bundled, I think, with the Dazzle card reader. Before doing this, however, voxmagma suggested that I wipe the gold contacts in the card with tissue (I used cotton) dipped in alcohol (i used rubbing alcohol 70% proof). After doing this, i tried the camera (I own a Toshiba PDR M81) and the card can now record and it can already be formatted. Try it. It worked for me. It might work on your card too.
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Old Dec 5, 2003, 9:16 PM   #4
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This is a common problem caused by writing to/formatting the SmartMedia in the card reader. Even choosing to move pictures from the card as opposed to copying them may render the card unuseable in the camera.

Solution? Get a card reader that comes with SMPREP, and use the format utility to fix the card. Dazzle and ZIO are a couple of brands that I am sure will work. For more info, search for "Smartmedia card error" in this forum.
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Old Dec 6, 2003, 6:02 AM   #5
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IMO Everyone here is right, and this is a common problem for flash cards... more so with SM where the 'controller' managing the file system is in software/firmare which reside on the host device, ie camera(s), MP3 player, computer etc... (CF card has a separate 'controller' chip!)

Unlike a hardisk where physical cylinders/clusters etc... has a one to one match with the File Allocation Table, a flash card is a virtual device which requires a translation layer between the logical structure as seen by FAT and their physical structure. This is required by design because all flashes have limited erase/write cycles and if a location in flash is constantly updated that location will prematurely fail, like the FAT table for example, which is constantly updated with every pictures!
The sole purpose of this 'controller' is to manage a wear leveling algorithm such that all physical locations in flash are accessed equally regardless of FAT, and to mapped out bad memory locations by maintening spare areas (and why one doesn't get the full partition when one formats! ops

When a flash card is not recognized by the camera what happens is the FAT used by the camera is usually out of whack with what's stored on the memory card, ie the logical to physical translation is out of sync and return invalid data to the host...

BTW this may happen with any host such as when format/copy/deleting with two different cameras... (ie no need for an MP3 or PC to corrupt this FTL translation), this is just the nature of SM and is a function of what's in the host, here's a quote from the above Samsung's slides: :?
Flash file management by host firmware needs to be standardized for compatibility...
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Old Dec 6, 2003, 7:14 AM   #6
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lg: Unfortunately, I'm unable to fing a Dazzle Card Reader with SMPREP.exe here in the Philippines. There are other brands. But without the SMPREP.exe.

NHL: tnx for the info and the very helpful link.
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