Steve's Digicams Forums

Steve's Digicams Forums (
-   Canon (
-   -   S400 Memory Card Error - piece of #@#%~! (

nlsnow Nov 5, 2004 12:45 PM

I have had my Canon Elph S400 for about 16 months. A couple months ago (right after the warranty expired) I started to get "Memory Card Error" messages, regardless of what memory card I used. I couldn't take, view, or downloadpictures. Luckily I was able to use a compact flash reader to get the existing pics off my card, and occasionally the camera still works, but I've had to miss things like our hike to a rainforest waterfall and my son's first day of school because of this problem. Canon shrugs and suggests paying for the repair. If I hadn't already done that with a Canon digital video camera, I might fall for that ploy. But it's $150 to $300 (Canon's estimate) to repair, and when we spent the money for my video cam repairs we were disappointed because the camera soon began to have other problems. Luckily I bought the S400 with American Express, whose Buyer's Assurance Plan doubled my warranty -- they're sending me a full refund when I send them the camera. I was just wondering if anyone else had experienced quality problems with Canon. They seem to make the best products out there, but then the products break and customer service is nil.

cwebb32210 Dec 28, 2004 12:08 PM

This worked for me: format the card in your computer (I am using Win XP Prof), treating the card as a hard drive and using a card reader...
Same thing happened to me. I could no longer view photos in the camera (S400), would get 'incompatible jpeg format' message. Also was getting E50 and E51 messages after trying to reformat the card in the camera. The troubles began around 14 months but were intermittant. Reformatting the card in the camera used to help. Also turning camera off before switching from photo to review mode. Three days before xmas i could no longer use the camera. Nothing would work. I scoured the internet looking for possible answers and found alot ofpeople with the same problems. I downloaded the newest version of zoombrowser ex (etc) software hoping that this would help. Then I put the cf card in a card reader and carefully tried some wilder suggestions. I used the scandisk tool (I am using XP Professional)and the defrag tool , basically treating the card as if it were a hard drive. Nothing helped. THEN, I received the email reply from canon that you mentined and thought, well there really isn't anything more to lose, so I used the FORMAT tool in XP Windows and reformatted the CF card as if it were a hard drive. THIS WORKED!!! All of a sudden, my camera stopped giving me these scary terminal error messages. (In between, I had also tried taking the camera battery out and leaving it out for a while, putting a freshly charged battery back in...saw this suggestion but it didnt help me)>>>HOW I KNOW that this worked is that my Canon CF card that came with the camera also got corrupted and by using the format function of my computer, i was able to get the card to work again. The major times that influenced the camera were a) atrip to the beach, it does not like humidity and b)taking photos of xmas decorations shot out of a car window on a cold night, 28 degrees or so. I think that the camera insides get so hot that there is condensation from 10-15 deg changes in temp. and this somehow scrambles the cf cards formatting. Anyway, i've been able to use the camera all through xmas and have (fingers crossed) not had any trouble since. I was ALMOST ready to buy another digital camera (not canon, i swore) but thought that i should spend 1 day looking for solutions (and did NOT want to fork over $199-300 to canon for what to me looked like a software issue). For Canon, this is shameful behavior by this company . They KNOW that this is an issue and their only suggestion is basically 'send money'. Hope some of these suggestions help (Canon S400 and Transcend 512MB CF card)

cwebb32210 Dec 28, 2004 12:14 PM

When you use your pc to format the card, select FAT as the file type. To double check the file type is correct, you can use the defrag function (on your computer), the window displays the file type for your pc card, shown as a hard drive. This should be a file type called FAT.

nlsnow Dec 31, 2004 9:17 AM

THanks for your reply! I have already sent my camera to American Express and they're giving me a refund thanks to their Buyer's Assurance policy, so I replaced my Canon with a new Sony DSC-P150. I'm sure loving the fast shot to shot time, start up time, etc, compared to the old Canon, but the saturation level isn't as nice. In any case, I appreciate your suggestion and I bet others will too if they use a search engine and find your reply. Thanks!

jandd Feb 26, 2005 2:56 PM

I'm also getting the 'memory card error' on my canon s400. The error persists after formatting the card in the camera. The computer does not recognize that the camera is even connected. This is outrageous!

shutter_bug Feb 26, 2005 3:51 PM

The solution suggests thatyou need to have a card reader connected to your computer. You would insert the memory card into the card reader.

tconnors Mar 15, 2005 4:54 PM

HI...I was getting the generic memory card error on my S400. Further to that the camera was difficult to power on, would not take pics and was not 'seen' when connected to the PC. I discovered my 5 year old had opened the CF slot. Upon investigation I saw that one of the CF connection pins was bent. I removed the back of the camera, opened it up, returned the pin to the original position and now everything is working fine again. I don't recommend this to anyone not comfortable working with electronics, but it something to look at (bent pins) when/if getting the generic memory card error.


Me Mar 29, 2005 10:06 PM

I'm also getting the "memory card error", but it seems less severe than most.

Every once in a while, I turn on the camera to take a pic. Everything comes on fine, but it says "memory card error" and won't let me take a pic. Later on it'll work fine.

Last weekend I went to Tahoe. The camera seldo worked. I think it might have something to do with the cold, possibly. It also did something else weird with some of the pics it did take.

A couple disappeared, and when I tried to view them later I just got a picture of a question mark with the message "corrupted data". Right after I took the pic I could see the picture fine (great shot, too). Another picture came with the label "uncompressed JPEG", and when zoombrowser would come to it it would stop downloading. These pictures and a few others were also listed as "protected".

This isn't a memory card problem either. The first memory card was under warranty, so I sent it back. The replacement did the same thing, so I figured the camera didn't like Kingston. I got a Sandisk, and now the problem is worse than ever, and I'm stuck with two CF cards and the new ELPHS run SD.

Any solutions?

grrrama Apr 12, 2005 1:09 PM

Im in the same boat. Just moved to London England, suddenly (for no known reason) the camera (s400)reads MEMORY CARD ERROR with both of my memory cards - all the time.

I bought it in Dec 2003 (1.5 years ago) from on VISA. Suggestions?

naren Apr 25, 2005 4:09 PM

I had similar problem on my s400. After 2 new CF cards and number of trials, I finally found a solution!

I noticed that the problem used to momenterially go away after charging the battery.

Also the problem started after ~20 Months...! May be my battry has gone bad! I changed to a NEW battery! And BOOM! They camera started working just great as before!....

Try it out first and check if it works for you!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:40 PM.