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Old Sep 12, 2006, 5:23 AM   #1
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Looks like I've suffered from the same problem as many of you.

Took mybrand new S3 IS on holiday with a 2GB 50X Kingston card and took 320+ pictures and 10 video clips. All seemed OK. On the last day of the holiday, I took a photo of my daughter and the camera said "unable to write file, memory card error". The card may have been full, I can't be sure, it was certainly nearly full.

I then got a message "Memory card error" and so I switched off the camera. On switching it on again, the dreaded "No images" was displayed and the camera believed that I had lost the lot.

Because I work in IT, I was able to retrieve *most* of the photos when I returned home by trawling the card a sector at a time and rebuilding the JPGs, and it was clear what the problem was - the camera had made a mess of writing the FAT (file directory) and so the CANON folder had a subfolder of "CANON" which had a subfolder of "CANON" which had a subfolder of "CANON"... etc ie the photos were there, but the FAT was corrupt.

I still have the card and may see whether Canon are interested in looking at it - but my personal suspicion is that the Canon firmware is less than reliable when using large cards, possibly especially when the card is full or nearly so.

Anyone agree/disagree?

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Old Sep 24, 2006, 3:41 PM   #2
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I just had a similar error.On the last day ofmy honeymoon it happend andImay havelost around 500 images. Now the camera says "no images" and card readers say that there is no media present or 0 images or something equally depressing! I hope it is the file structure and not a bad card. That would bite to loose all those pictures! BTW, how did you get your images back? It would be great if I could even get half of what we have on that card.

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Old Sep 24, 2006, 5:32 PM   #4
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I used an image recovery program (tried loads but most were hopeless) to get the bulk of the photos back- it seems that most use slightly different techniques and you have to experiment to get theone that is going to work best in your situation. I then wrote some VB to read the data sector by sector to get some that the downloaded program had missed.

I'm annoyed that this seems to be a recurring fault with the Canon cameras. I tried to talk to Canon tech support about it, but to be honest they didn't seem interested.

If you're in the UK and you're stuck, you could try www.card-fix.co.uk. The company I work for set this up to do photo recovery and I know they take good care of memory cards because I sometimes work on the recoveries myself!
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 7:33 PM   #5
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Sintares wrote:
Image recovery programs


Hey Sintares!

I just joined here after having an identical issue as was posted by Benne30!

I also have a Canon S3 with a 2GB 50X Kingston card. I'd already taken 700 or so photos with it. No problems. Thenlast week I turned on the camera and the Fatal Memory error showed. First it said: Memory Card Error. I turned off the camera - and then there was nothing.My husband then turned it on and off...no go. When we came homeand tried to download the photos: nothing. The camera didn't even show files.

I went into work and borrowed a Kingston "TravelLite" SD reader - and could then see the files. Still I wasn't able to open them.

The above mentioned program you posted was the very last one I tried.Nothing else worked. I also tried: Zero Assumption Recovery.

Anyway, after 6 different programs and zero results... this has recovered everything (or pretty close to it). We've gotten over 600 .jpg files.

Thanks very much for the links and to Benne30 for posting. I had found this via google. Yay! Keep trying!

I hope as well Canon addresses this issue. I'm thinking of getting a smaller card vs the 2gig.



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Old Oct 14, 2006, 10:27 PM   #6
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Another user with the same problem.

I thought it may be the memory card, but I have since tried:
  • Kinston 512MB [/*]
  • Kinston Elite Pro 2 GB [/*]
  • OCZ Hi Speed (133x) 2GB
and each one has exhibited the same problem. Originally I thought it may be related to the flash, as the first 2 times it happened, it was after flash pictures, however after the next 2 times, it wasn't.

In most cases, I have been able to get 90-95% of the pictures back, with various recovery programs. If the salesman would have told me that I only get 90% of the pictures I take, there is no way that I would have ever bought this camera.

Has anyone tried to send their camera back to Canon to get it serviced? It certainly sounds like this issue does not come up on all Canon S3 cameras, so perhaps getting it service may help.


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Old Oct 15, 2006, 5:03 AM   #7
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Hello all, I'm new on this forum and just wanted to say that I had the memory card problem as well in my brand new S3-IS with a brand new Kingston 2GB.

I got the message hours after unpacking everything from new

Had the S1-IS for a couple of years, no problems at all....

Anyone knows a solution??????

thank you
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Old Nov 18, 2006, 10:12 AM   #8
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Did you low-level format the card before use it?, maybe that's a requirement.
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Old Nov 19, 2006, 10:38 AM   #9
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I have Canon S3 IS for few months and 2G Ultra II Sandisc, never had nay problems with memory card.

anyway could you tell me :

1. Did you format /even low level format/ your moemory card? - as I remeber it is strongly recommended. In my rememberance even if you do not format it in long usage and just cut the images it doen't free all the information from the card, so camera could think there is a s free space but actually there is no, although it shouldn't brake already saved pic's but this is FAT filesystem - very unreliably, so nothing new here. Anyway better low level format your cards first.

2. What's your settings for auto folder creatin on your cameras?
As I see there is Kingston 512 card probel so it is not from 2G card. Could be from secific card as we see mostlly Kingston's or from Camera got crazy while create directories.

3. Did someone report to Canon or Card support?

As I know there is only one firmware revision for Canon S3, so it there is a bug in it it i s on all cameras.
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Old Nov 21, 2006, 12:37 AM   #10
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I got the error msg half way thru my shoot.

Then i shut it down and remove the card. Pause for a few second then reload it.
Problem solved.

And it's just 1GB
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