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Old Aug 24, 2003, 9:41 PM   #1
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Default F error on Olympus SmartMedia

I have an Olympus c3040Zoom.
Olympus batteries recently died and effected my Olympus 64MB SmartMedia card. When I turn the camera on, I get a "F" error on the display, which means the card needs to be reformatted.

I have 70+ vacation snapshots on the card & I want to retrieve.

I've read that Photorescue is a preferred recovery tool for the Mac OS 10.2.6 platform. When I run Photorescue in demo mode, the damaged card does not show up in the mounted disks window. A blank card inserted into the camera shows up as a mounted disk.

I am VERY reluctant to reformat the bad card to let the tool see if it can recover the photos.

Any advice is very appreciated.

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Old Aug 25, 2003, 3:39 AM   #2
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Some of the recovery software vendors offer a recovery service if their software doesn't work. First they will 'image' your card, bad format and all. Then probably using specially written DOS tools they will access the data areas on the card, not through a USB reader, but probably a pcmcia or IDE interface.

If you want to try it, most camera formats don't do a proper format writing zero's across the card, so it should be possible to try an in camera format then immediately run Photorescue. Test this out by taking a good card with images on it, re-format it in cam and see if the images are recoverable. Unfortunately if the master boot record or FAT table is corrupt, your first problem will be getting the card recognised as valid media. VOX
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Old Nov 22, 2004, 11:43 PM   #3
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Remove and reinsert your smartmedia card several times.

This may remove the F error.

It did for me on an old C2100 UZ.

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Old Dec 1, 2004, 12:58 AM   #4
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Old thread!

When cabled directly to the camera, damaged cards often don't mount; but when using a card reader, the operating system is given more direct access to the card - and as such is allowed to determine for itself whether the card's format is valid, which allows recovery utilities to work. (When plugged into the camera directly, if the camera can't read the card, it reports to the OS that no card is inserted. Cardreaders report the card whenever it is physically present and operating.)
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