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Old Mar 13, 2008, 8:12 AM   #1
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:?A recent problem just occurred.

When I turned the camera on, I read "UNFORMATTED CARD" in the viewing screen.

Then the message "FORMAT CARD" appeared and I selected "YES".

It then read "NOW FORMATTING" for about 2 seconds then the message "CARD ERROR" appears.

My desktop computer has a slot for the Smartmedia card and I tried it.

I can store and retreive data from the card without any problem.

I then formatted the card from a laptop.

After the message "FORMAT COMPLETE", I put the card back in the camera and received the same messages as described above.

Suggestions??????????????

Bob Zambelli
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 8:26 AM   #2
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Bob, your laptop probably formatted the card using a FAT32 file system, which is not compatible with your camera. That's the way Windows is going to format a card by default.

I'd try formatting it again using your laptop. Only this time, make sure to select FAT (not FAT32) from the drop down list of file system types when you format it (you'll see that one of the screens along the way before the final format has a file system type list you can choose from).

If it still doesn't work, try removing and inserting the card a few times to help remove any oxidation from the contacts (on the card and in the camera). Friction from removing and inserting one normally helps to clean them. It's not uncommon to see problems due to oxidation of contacts in older cameras using smartmedia causing odd card problems. Chances are, that's what the intial problem was (if your laptop was able to use it before your reformatted it). But, you'll need to format again as FAT versus FAT32 before the camera can use it.



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Old Mar 19, 2008, 5:34 AM   #3
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Jim,

I am having the exact same problem with one of my xD cards in my Olympus C-5060. My computer can read and write to the card but the camera wants to format the card and can't. I cleaned the contacts and as a last resort, I did a FAT format in with the computer but still nothing. All of my other cards work just fine in the camera. A new card is not all that expensive but I would like to know if I screwed it up. It would be a shame to do the same thingto a new card.

Craig
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Old Mar 19, 2008, 6:29 AM   #4
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Craig:

It's probably an issue with the MBR (Master Boot Record), which occupies the first 512 bytes on it. It contains information about the card and what partitions are on it. When it gets corrupted, you tend to see problems like you're describing.

You could try to use the analyze function of testdisk and see if it can recreate it in a way that your camera would work with and try formatting again after that.

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


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Old Mar 19, 2008, 8:39 AM   #5
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Jim,

Thanks for the quick reply. I ran testdisk as you recommended. The structure was OK.

Craig
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Old Mar 19, 2008, 9:11 AM   #6
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Make sure it's reading through the entire card and analyzing the partitions, by selecting the Proceed menu choice after you use the Analyze feature (that's a more thorough test). I'd tell it to write the MBR back to the card after it finishes (and you'll also see a separate Write Testdisk MBR choice on the main menu).

If that doesn't work, I'd try using the Delete choice you'll see that removes all data in the partition table. Then, see if Windows can format as FAT. Right click on it's unallocated space under Windows Disk Admin ( Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management) and use the Wizard you'll see for partitioning it, making sure to select FAT as the file system type.

If it still won't format in the camera and it won't use it, you may have to copy the first 512 bytes from another card just like it. There may be something unique about it that the camera needs to see.

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Old Mar 19, 2008, 9:36 AM   #7
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P.S.

Be very careful to select your memory card versus your hard drive when using tools like testdisk. You don't want to wipe out the partition table on your hard drive (although if you do, testdisk is a good tool for finding your partitions again). :-)

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Old Mar 19, 2008, 3:57 PM   #8
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Jim,

Thanks for the help but I think I'll quit while I'm ahead. I tried everything that you told me and still no luck. Between the two of us, we spent enough time on this to pay for several new cards.

Craig
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Old Mar 19, 2008, 4:08 PM   #9
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Craig, my suggestion would be to go CompactFlash this time around, versus a more proprietary format like xD-Picture Card, since your camera takes both card types. From tests I've seen, your Olympus is also faster with CompactFlash. In addition, your Olympus is also FAT32 compatible (so you can use cards larger than 2GB). newegg.com is my favorite vendor for memory cards. I'd probably get one of these for your camera model. I've been using a Transcend 133x 16GB CompactFlash card in a Sony A700 since October with no issues, and these cards have a lifetime warranty.

Transcend 133x 2GB CompactFlash card for $12.49 at newegg.com

Transcend 133x 4GB CompactFlash card for $24.99 at newegg.com

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