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Old Jan 16, 2003, 8:21 PM   #1
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Default SM reader wants to format cards

Hello, I'm brand new to the forum, have been reading the posts for about a month.
I have a new Olympus C-4000 , which replaced an Olympus D-360. The camera is great, still learning to use it. Here's my question:
I have used a Lexar USB Smartmedia reader since I bought the previous 360, and it always worked fine. I would copy and paste the pics from the reader to the hard drive, then delete them. With the new camera, when I put the SM card into the reader with pics on them, a message pops up and wants to format the card. My computer sees the reader it just won't let me access the pics. I can see and download the pics using the camera, but would prefer to use the reader for speed and saving the batteries. This happens on all 3 SM cards (all 128 meg), all 3 are different brands of cards.
The computer is a Pen III 500 mgz, Win 98 SE, 256 ram, plenty of hard drive space. Any thougts? New reader perhaps?
I enjoy this forum and spend a good bit of time just reading the posts, learning about digital photography.

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Old Jan 17, 2003, 9:26 PM   #2
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Default Follow up to above

Here's some more info: If I format the card in the camera, the reader will read the card and show the 2 Olympus folders that are on the card, DCIM and Olym100. I'm guessing those are put on by the camera as they were also visable with my D360. Here' the kicker: if I take the card out of the reader and put it back in the camera and take a picture, then the reader will nt open the card and wants to format it as mentioned in my original post. If I put the card back in the camera and delete the picture, the reader will work fine, again showing the 2 Olympus files. In other words everything works fine until I take a picture. I can even copy data files from the computer to the card and back to the computer.
Somehow when I take a picture it does something to the card that makes the reader want to format it. Thanks for any thoughts or opinions.
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Old Jan 22, 2003, 7:06 AM   #3
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In my Fuji cam, some formatting is done at the time of taking the first pic. particularly on a fresh card. I'm disturbed your pc is trying to format your card, since its format may be incompatible with the cam.

Putting the SM write tab on before putting in the reader will stop this. Have you got any card based software (MP3 etc) which is running a format check in the background?

I haven't yet found a program which allows me to choose 12 or 16 FAT to format my cam cards in a pc reader. Sounds like you have something built in! Nothing wrong with your pc spec, I'm also running Win98SE.
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Old Jan 23, 2003, 8:12 PM   #4
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I guess some formatting also takes place when taking pics. When the pc tries to format the card it is the standard format dialog that comes up when you put a unformatted floppy disk in the pc. I have no card based software running in the background. I have even brought up the close program box and shut down all 3rd part software and still get the same results. I can work around this by using the camera supplied USB cable I'm just curious as to why the reader won't read my pics. I have also tried a friends reader, also a Lexar with the same results. I'm hesitant to buy another reader for fear of the same results. I will try your suggestion with the write tab and I thank you for replying to my posts.

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Old Jan 26, 2003, 6:44 AM   #5
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At any time, did you write to your cards from the PC? Sometimes this is known to cause problems, though a camera reformat usually seems to fix it.

Some digicam users report that formatting troublesome cards in a Fuji digicam is a good remedy for strange ailments. Apparently Fujis are very forgiving of card errors that trip up other cameras.

Did your reader come with a copy of a program called smprep.exe on its software disk? Or do the instructions mention other software for doing a low-level format of the card?

My Zio-clone reader came with smprep and at this stage I would use it to do a low-level format of one card, followed by a format in the camera and see if the situation was resolved. However, if smprep can't detect any errors on the card when it is run, it will not reformat the card. Be aware, also, that if you have Olympus SM cards which enable the panorama function, this will be lost if you format with smprep, so it's best to experiment with a non-Oly card.

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Old Apr 1, 2003, 5:33 PM   #6
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Default Oly SM Fix

This site has the smprep files modified for Olympus Panorama function and format. http://www.marshost.com/~rashmun/
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