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Old Nov 24, 2003, 4:15 PM   #1
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Default Cannot format and record on my Smart Media card

I read the other threads concerning problems with Smart media cards. As voxmagama and the others said, I might have done something to cause my cards to malfunction.

I own a Toshiba PDR-M81 with 64 mb SM card. In transferring the pics from the card to my pc's hard disk, I use Win XP's or ME's copy and paste functions. Maybe I also used the delete function to erase files on my SM card. Andsometimes, I do format the card using the camera's formatting function. Also, I use Window's copy and paste function when I need to transfer pics from one pc's hard disk to another pc.

Now, however, the SM card can no longer record pics I take. Sometimes, it's able to record but with the highet quality and half size settings, it can only record 38 pics and not the usual 133 pics.Also, I notice that the pics i copied from my pc cannot be viewed with the camera's LCD screen. It's there but cannot be viewed. Also, I can no longer format the SM card using the camera's formatting function. The pics previously recorded are still there.

Help. What can I do to restore my Smart Media cards use? I have 2 64 mb SM cards. Tnx.
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Old Nov 24, 2003, 4:54 PM   #2
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Find somebody with a Dazzle card reader and run SMPREP.exe. But first try wiping the gold contacts with a tissue dipped in alcohol. Good luck.

Are you copying pics from your pc back to the card? Treat your cards as a one way way trip: record pics with camera, copy files off card, preferably delete in-camera (but I haven't had probs yet deleting ALL off reader). Be careful putting pics or data back to a card with anything other than the camera you use. Pedantic yes, but it avoids problems. VOX
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Old Nov 27, 2003, 9:58 PM   #3
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Excellent advice by VOX! I'm using Win XP too, and have had no problems deleting ALL upon successful transfer with the Camera Wizard. I wouldn't risk any other write operations to the card, for future reference. Please note also that MOVING files from the card as opposed to COPYING them performs a write function to the card. Good luck!
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Old Dec 5, 2003, 8:33 PM   #4
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Thank you Lg and voxmagma for your suggestions. I will no longer use the card to transfer pics from one pc to another. I'll probably purchase a USB Flash Drive to do this safely.

And yes, voxmagma, i followed your advise to wipe the gold contacts of my Smart Media cards and what do you know. It worked. The cards (I have 2 malfunctio0ning 6r mb cards)) can now record and can be formatted in-camera unlike before. I followed your advise only this morning (i'm sorry). I was afraid the alcohol would do more damage than cure the problem. I did this only because i was already planning to buy a 128 mb card today. Now, i don't have to. Again, thank you very much! What's in the alcohol anyway?
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Old Dec 27, 2003, 4:44 PM   #5
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I've had a similar problem.

First my 32 mb card stopped working: the camera refused to recognise there was a card in the camera. Somebody else's laptop would read it, but refused to format it. MY computer recognised that a card was present in the card reader, but refused to read it! It wouldn't even format it.

Then my 8 mb card stopped working in the camera. The camera refused to recognise that there was a card in the camera. This time though the computer recognised that there was a card present, and could read what was on it. So I (foolishly?) used the computer's 'format' command to format it. Now the computer can both read it and download things to it - but the camera still absolutely refuses to recognise that there's a card present - & of course the camera can't format it.

I was ready to throw both cards away, when I discovered that the Olympus MaussB-1 card reader program in my computer included the file smprep.exe. When I clicked on this, it miraculously restored my 32 mb card & it now functions in the camera again and the camera will format it whenever I want it to.

BUT clicking on smprep.exe has no effect at all on the 8 mb card - it goes through the motions of formatting the card, but it still won't work in the camera & the camera simply says that there's no card present.
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Old Dec 28, 2003, 6:11 PM   #6
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........Somebody else's laptop would read it, but refused to format it.................

Well we did tell you that writing to a card AND that includes trying to format it from a laptop would screw it unless you know what you are doing!

I forget that we sometimes use small cards. I have an old cam which takes 8Mb cards MAX!. When I've looked at 4/8/16/32 Mb cards with Winhex I notice the FAT format is FAT12 for 8Mb and less (same as Floppy) but FAT16 above 8Mb. This might be why my older camera won't 'see' a larger FAT16 card.

This could be why your Oly smprep won't work. This program comes in different versions modified for the oem supplier. There are even unofficial code patches to add Oly pano bytes on reader versions of smprep! The Oly one you have might even put on the pano and branding flags. When I've got time I'll see what my Dazzle version will do on a 4Mb or 8Mb card. SMPREP always starts by looking for a good 2nd copy of the cards hidden CIS data block (rather like a hard disc recover prog looks for the second FAT copy). It tries to rebuild the card structure same as original. If it can't do this it lays down a 'vanilla' generic format and I suspect it might always choose FAT16 by default or not attempt a format if it sniffs the presence of any format not FAT16. Regards VOX
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Old Dec 29, 2003, 10:19 PM   #7
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Default Where can smprep.exe be downloaded

I have an Olympus MAUSB-1 and now have three error message smartcards. I'm looking for a site to download SMPREP.exe so I can reformat these cards. Advice appreciated?

HAppy New Year
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Old Dec 29, 2003, 11:32 PM   #8
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Ken - the installation disc that came with my MAUSB-1 card reader created a file on my hard drive called Olympus with a sub-file called USB reader. That sub-file contained a file called Ssfdprep.exe - that file may do the same job as smprep.exe

However, I later upgraded the MAUSB-1 drivers and the sub-file called USB Reader now contains the smprep.exe file.

You can download the driver upgrades from this Olympus site -

http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...der&OS=Windows

Whether the smprep.exe file will cure the problem, when you click on it with your bad Smartmedia card in the reader I can't say - all I know is that in my case it cured the 32mb card but failed to cure the 8mb card. But I thought - better that way round than the other!
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