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Old Nov 17, 2007, 1:19 PM   #1
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I just bought a new Sony Cybershot W80, and bought a 1 gb memory stick to go with it, everything was going fine, pix were good, but today i took some photos, but when I got home to look at them all the images were wiped and it says 'memory stick formatting error' on the screen of the camera.

Apart from taking photos and trying to look at them this evening I haven't touched or altered anything so why has this happened, can I get the photos back and is the memory stick duff?

Too many questions I know but I hope someone out there will know the answer, thanks,

Phil.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 1:30 PM   #2
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Don't try to take any more photos with it until you see if you can get your images back, or use any utility that writes to the card (avoid chkdsk, scandisk, etc.).

Have you got a card reader?

That's usually the best way to try and recover images.

If not, see if your camera shows up under "My Computer" (assuming you're using Windows) with the camera plugged in to a USB Port. If not, you may want to try a card reader that supports that card type (and not all card readers support the latest types of Memory Stick media, so check specs carefully if you're using Memory Stick Duo or Memory Stick Pro Duo type cards). You can usually find a good USB 2.0 reader for under $20 (and many are under $10 now).

Here are some utilities designed to recover images from corrupted media (both are free). Neither will try to write to the card (they'll save recovered images to your hard drive). Note that Photorec (the second link below) is a command line utilitity (no graphical user interface). But, it's very good if the Smart Recovery software the first link is for doesn't work for you (and Photorec is available for a number of different operating systems, too).

http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/smar...htm?language=1

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

After you recover your images (and make sure you can actually view the full size images first), I'd use the camera's menu choice (not your PC) to format the card again.

As a rule, I do this every time I reuse a card (format it using the camera's menu choice for format). That way, you always start out with a fresh File Allocation Table, just the way the camera expects it (since it's performing the format).

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Old Nov 17, 2007, 1:55 PM   #3
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chizlit wrote:
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Apart from taking photos and trying to look at them this evening I haven't touched or altered anything so why has this happened, can I get the photos back and is the memory stick duff?
Well, it could be any number of things causing it. The most common problem is a corrupted FAT (File Allocation Table) on the card versus a component failure. One cause is when users delete images from their PC (and cutting and pasting images does the same thing since it performs a delete).

If the driver for the camera or reader is caching writes to media, sometimes the FAT can get corrupted that way unless the safely remove icon is used prior to unplugging the camera or removing the card. So, the FAT becomes corrupted and you may not realize it until later. Even a low battery can sometimes cause corruption. It happens.

I always just format my cards using a camera's menu choice for format instead of trying to delete images from a PC and risking FAT corruption, since it's faster than deleting the images on it anyway (and recreates a new File Allocation Table at the same time).

I'd see if you can get your images back using the utilities I mentioned first and go from there. It may be that you just need to format the card again (using the camera's menu choice for format) before another use. If it won't format that way, try formatting it with Windows. But, I'd pick FAT as the file system type from the drop down menu that you'll see for cards 2GB or less in size (otherwise, Windows will use a 32 bit FAT by default). Then, I'd format it with the camera's menu choice for format before using it again.

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Old Nov 17, 2007, 2:33 PM   #4
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Jim,

Thanks for your replies, sadly I dont understand anything of what you are trying to tell me! Not your fault, totally mine as I'm the one that doesn't understand.

I formatted the memory stick on my pc (can't find how to do it using the camera's set up, not even sure if it's there and if it is I don't know where to look as there is way too much info for an idiot like me to understand).

I tried taking some more photos which this time the camera allowed, however when trying to view them it said reinsert memory stick which I did, then it said error and wont let me view the photos, but at least I know they are there unlike the last ones which are wiped.

I just got a mail back from the shop that I bought the memory stick from and they said they are willing to give me a refund. This seems to be the best option for me, then I will just buy a new card from a decent camera shop.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 3:06 PM   #5
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Have you got a manual for your camera? You'll find a format option in the Setup menus under Memory Stick Tools.

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Old Nov 17, 2007, 3:37 PM   #6
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I have looked at it but haven't got a clue how to get to the right section to change anything.One thing is for sure when i get the new card I will go to the Sony shop and get them to show me how to use the damn thing!
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