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Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default Canon 1Ds won't format CF cards HELP!

Hello all,

I am new to the forum, but I decided to create an account because I am killing myself over here over this problem I'm having with my Canon 1Ds.

A little history: I purchased my 1Ds as my first venture into full-frame digital photography and was thrilled when I got it in the mail. Sure, the camera is 11 years old and half a dozen newer models have come out--still, it is a great camera. I just looked at my eBay history yesterday and was reminded that I purchased this camera on November 1, 2013. This means I have had a little over a month of problem-free shooting in glorious full frame. When I purchased the camera, it came with one Kingston 8gb 133x CF card, a strap, Canon 28-105mm lens (damaged, but still working, if only in autufocus mode) and battery charger. Since then, I have purchased a spare battery and now two new CF cards (which I hadn't opened until just last week).

However, when I came back the other day from shooting on the coast in Northern California, I came across a problem. As I took the original (from the previous owner) CF card and attempted to copy the photos to my computer, my computer refused to recognize the CF card. I blame this on the reader I had, a cheap plastic thing that was constantly falling a part. An Amazon prime purchase and two days later, I had a new card reader. I tried it on another computer and it worked fine. I then copied the pictures onto my laptop. After properly ejecting the card, I put it back into my camera and turned on my camera to find . . . nothing. Despite a full charge, the only part of the camera that functioned with the old CF card was the rear LCD screen, displaying the AWB, RAW and Card indicators. I was surprised that neither the top LCD screen nor the rear LCD monitor (where the pictures are displayed after being taken) would work. Additionally, none of the buttons worked. I thought that was weird, but when I turned the main power switch to the "off" position, suddenly the top LCD screen turned on. However, none of the buttons worked and the LCD monitor still displayed nothing. Worried that I could not operate it and could not turn it off, I removed the battery and then took out the CF card.

I thought that possibly something was wrong with the card. No worries, I thought, I have a Kingston 16gb 266x CF card as a backup, just in case I needed it. I had never tried it with the camera, however, as I hadn't needed it up to that point. Well, when I put the memory card in the camera, normal functions seemed to have resumed: the menu buttons worked, the correct screens lit up and I was even prompted to format the card. I smiled to myself as I selected the ok button to format my card, thinking, "good, you didn't just spend $500+ on a heavy paperweight."

Three hours later, the progress bar on the format screen was still completely grey (i.e., had not even begun to format) and "busy" was still displayed. This now gave me plenty of cause to worry. I am not a wealthy man and cannot afford to buy a new camera. My mind began going through all of my options, when I stopped at what I thought was possibly a pretty good reason for it to not work: perhaps the 16gb 266x CF card was simply too new or fast to be used with such an old camera. No worries, I thought (well, some worries) -- I will just have to try another smaller, slower card with the camera. As I put in my purchase order, I also fired off an email to Canon support, hoping there was a simple solution to the problem (or that they had at least heard of the problem before). Their reply scared me.

They gave me seemingly standard advice for if anything goes wrong with the camera (turn it off, remove the lens and battery, clean lens contacts, try a different card, try resetting settings (not even an option on my camera's menu)). Then they reminded me of something I already knew, that Canon no longer services this model. They did tell me about the Canon Loyalty Program, but something tells me that even at a "discounted fee," I won't be able to afford a comparable refurbished model direct from them.

I was still holding out hope, however, for the new slower memory card. Well, I received it today. And I'm sad to tell you that I am now writing this post hoping somebody, somewhere, has seen this problem or knows how to fix it.

I have contacted the seller of the item on eBay (he's out of town for the holidays of course) and asked him about the warranty that was included with the camera when I purchased it. Hopefully that will pan out to something, but as of right now I am at a loss about what to do. I didn't really spend this much money for a month and a half of joy, did I?

tl:dr

Used Canon 1Ds memory card makes camera go wonky; camera stalls on reformatting new CF cards. PLEASE HELP!
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 7:53 AM   #2
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Make sure you didn't bend a pin in the camera's card slot for starters (shine a flashlight into it and check). If so, it could causing those kinds of issues, and may need a trip back to Canon to fix (replacing the part with the pins) if you can't straighten without breaking it using a pair of needle nose pliers or similar (and they're easy to break). That happens (bent pins) when the slots on the side of a memory card are not manufactured to close enough tolerances or are worn out and allow too much play; and the card is not inserted "just right", damaging the pins in the card slot.

If the pins are OK, you may just have a compability issue with the new cards (and the old one may have a failing component that could be causing it to pull too much current, so I wouldn't use it anymore to reduce the possibitlity that you'd damage the camera's electronics with it). I've seen that happen before with a card (failing component causing it to pull too much current)

For starters (if pins in the camera's card slot look OK), I'd see if formatting it in a card reader allows it to work. Make sure to select FAT32 as the file system type with a 16GB card (do not use NTFS, as that's not compatible with the camera). Make sure to use the "safely remove" icon in the system tray before removing it (or right click on it under Computer and use the Eject choice to do the same thing, making sure the file system is unmounted so it can be safely removed from the reader). Then, see if the camera can format it OK after that using it's menus.

Sometimes newer firmware updates address compatibility issues with memory cards, too (for example, I see notes about the wrong sizes being reported with some cards that newer firmware updates for the 1Dx are are designed to fix). So, you may want to install the latest firmware for it if you haven't already done so.

http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/suppor...ersAndSoftware

But, I'd make sure to use a card that does not exhibit any issues with the camera for installing the firmware (as you don't want to risk "bricking" your camera if a firmware update fails due to read errors from the card it's being installed from).

Same warnings -- I'd make sure you have a fresh format as FAT32 with a card you're using for the firmware update. Then, after copying firmware to a card using a card reader, make sure to use the Safely Remove icon or Eject features to insure everything in memory is fully written to the card with it's file system unmounted before unplugging it to prevent corruption (especially with something as important as a firmware update file, because if the update fails in the middle of writing it to the camera's EEPROM or the firmware file is corrupted, you will render your camera useless, hence the term "brick" when a firmware update fails).

It could just be that your old card has a component issue (again, I would not try to use it in the camera again, as it may be pulling too much current and could damage the camera's electronics, given your symptoms); and the new Kingston cards you bought may have a compatibiity issue with your camera (that happens, as some cameras can be very "picky" about memory cards they're compatible with)

Formatting it as FAT32 using a card reader first may help. If not, you may want to try a different card brand/model (for example, one of the popular Sandisk or Lexar models), making sure to get one from a reputable dealer, as there are *lots* of counterfeit cards around using lower quality components, especially from Ebay vendors.

Are you sure you have a good, fully charged battery in it?
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 9:23 AM   #3
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P.S.

Make sure to use all dials, switches and buttons (just moving them back and forth a few times), as sometimes you can have a bit of oxidation on switch contacts causing electrical issues, and just using them can help clean the contacts so they're making a better connection (due to the friction between contacts helping to clean them when they're moved to different positions).

Ditto for the lens. Unmount it and remount it to make sure it's making a good connection, as the friction from doing that will help clean off any oxidation (which can be virtually invisible but still causing electrical connection issues).

Same for the battery (and I sometimes wipe the battery contacts on a pair of jeans or similar to help remove any oxidation so it makes a better connection).

With a dated camera like that, oxidation on switch contacts can sometimes cause odd issues. So, just using all switches, buttons, dials, etc. can help to insure a better connection from the contact to contact friction you have from using them.

But, it sounds like you just have a memory card with a failing component that's drawing too much current (your old card), and the new cards may not be fully compatible with the camera (at least with it's currently installed firmware). Good luck with it, and let us know how it works out for you.

BTW, Welcome to Steve's
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Old Dec 30, 2013, 8:50 PM   #4
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Default Bent pin . . .

http://imgur.com/a/tCPnk

Here is an album displaying what I have found out in the last couple of days . . . basically I have a bent pin in my 1Ds. So now I have the question . . . what now? Some people have suggested bending the pin back with some sort of a tool (I don't think I will be able to do that -- really tight space to work with), while others with cameras still serviced by Canon have sent it back for a (costly) repair. What can I do? Any advice helps! Thanks!
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Old Dec 31, 2013, 9:59 AM   #5
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It looks like you bent *most* of the pins. You probably had the card tilted versus flush with the card slot, and when you pressed it in too hard, you bent a bunch of the pins. Hence, my first post to this thread suggesting you look for that kind of thing.

Usually, I see only one bent pin (usually pressed down flat) when that kind of thing happens. In your case, I don't see any flattened pins. So, you might be able to take a small blade screwdriver and gently bend them all back straight again, if you don't have a pair of needle nose pliers small enough to use for that kind of thing. I think you're very lucky you only have partially bent pins (versus flattened pins that would likely break if you tried to straighten them).

But, they are delicate, and easy to break (especially when you have a flattened pin). In your case (especially since none of them appear to be bent too much from what I can tell from your photos), if were my camera, I'd just take a small flat blade screwdriver and try to bend them all up straight again. Then, carefully and gently see if I could get a card to go into it where all if the pins are matching up to the holes in the card (making sure not to force it). If you can straighten them enough so that the pins can go into all of the holes on a card,, that may help to finish straightening them out. Of course, do that at your own risk.

If worse comes to worse, you may need to send it back to Canon and let them replace the card socket part with the the pins on it. I don't know what they'd charge for that kind of thing.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 4:07 AM   #6
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I have recently had the same problem, format process would only go through about 75% then that was it, if I formatted card in another camera the 1DS would return the message "card not formatted"
So I had my resident camera specialist take the body apart to find the issue, thinking it may have been one of the boards faulty and I now probably had a new door stopper.
So first look at it found nothing and reassembled still gave the same problem.
A second pull apart and close inspection of the card slot revealed a couple of the pins had been pushed in and one had lost electrical contact, some micro solder surgery later and all back together, the trusty old beast works perfectly again

So my suggestion is benster, find someone who is competent at camera surgery, the problem you have is quite likely same as I had, dont hurl it into the rubbish just yet

good luck
(there were no bent or broken pins (I imagine it would be almost impossible to bend any pins as the slot for the card is pretty tight which leaves no room to get the card in misaligned)
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Old Jan 31, 2014, 12:16 PM   #7
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When I use to repair photocopy machines, I ran into things like this in their connectors.

You might use a eye glasses repair kit screw driver which is very small, just slide it in their then gently twist the screw driver to straighten the pin.
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