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Old Apr 25, 2004, 12:00 PM   #1
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Default Question: Format a SD/MMC or delete all files? Differences?

Hi to all!
I'm wondering if is generally better to format the memory card every time I want to clear all or simply choose the option "delete all" in the camera menu...
Are existing pros or cons?

lambonet is offline   Reply With Quote
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Old Apr 25, 2004, 12:06 PM   #2
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Well... that's a controversial subject.

Some users never reformat their media, and don't have problems.

Personally, I ALWAYS format my media, with the camera, prior to every use. I also never write to the media (erase, format, etc.) with anything except for the camera.

From my perspective, it's just as fast to reformat the card, as it is to delete the files, and this insures that I always start out with a Fresh FAT (File Allocation Table).

I've never had corrupted files or media with any Digital Camera I've owned (knock on wood).

From my perspective, Memory is getting more dense (more memory cells in smaller footprints -- especially with "postage stamp" size media like Secure Digital). As a result, they are probably more likely to have problems.

So, the more precautions (being careful about what is writing to the the media, reformatting the cards prior to each use, the better, from my point of view).

I've seen too many users with SD Memory Problems lately (especially with Sandisk's standard 256MB SD). Heck, I've responded to posts from two different users, of two different camera models within the past 24 hours (on another forum) with corrupted 256mb SD media.

In fact, Konica-Minolta does not even consider some of these cards compatible with my camera (Konica-Minolta KD-510z/G500).

It never hurts to be extra careful. I'd suggest reformatting each time (but I'm sure others will disagree).
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Old Apr 25, 2004, 2:31 PM   #3
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I agree with basically everything that JimC said. I always format in camera after downloading (and skimming my pictures to make sure the download worked.)

I do, on rare occasions, delete picutres in my camera (when I know I've completely blown it) but usually I just keep going. But I never plan to erase something in the computer and I never plan to reformat in the computer without a really, really good reason. And I will never delete all from the computer.

eric s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 28, 2004, 4:59 PM   #4
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I have two SD cards, a 128 MB I use all the time and a 256 MB I use when I am pretty certain 128 MB won't be enough.

I have never formatted the cards, not even when new - worked right away the minute they were first inserted in the camera.

I always dump the whole thing into my hard drive and after I have verified that the pictures were transferred then I wipe the card clean by deleting them right from Windows Explorer as if it was just another disk.

Heck! I even write to the cards when I go to print pictures in the photo lab. I pick the pictures I want in the computer and copy them to the same folder in the card where the camera stores the pictures. Then I take the card to the photo lab and select to print all pictures in the card. I can even put the card back in the camera after doing this and the camera will read and display the pictures without problem (as long as they are intact with EXIF data still there) and even take more pictures right there.

Then when I get back home I once again wipe the card clean by deleting the files from Windows Explorer. I delet just the files, not the directory structure.

Never ever had a single problem with any of the cards either in the camera or the card reader.

However, if I ever need to format these cards I would do so in the camera to eliminate the chance that the card gets formatted in the wrong format.

As you can see, your mileage may vary. Or may be it depends on the camera brand. Mine is Kodak.
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Old Apr 29, 2004, 8:54 PM   #5
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To add to the original question:

Can you/should you format the card (SD) if it's not completely full? Say a 256mb that's 1/3 and you've already put the pictures on CD. Just erase or will formating the whoe card be better?

Kenny J,
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