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Old Apr 2, 2003, 3:42 PM   #31
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Get in the habit of 're-format' cards occasionally. For big cards, small files it reduces fragmentation which slows cam to card writing.

Best advice when you get your first blank Oly card: Format in the cam, don't take a pic, image it first with WinHex and save image as compressed image to your HD. All Oly's using pano mode should be sold with a copy of Winhex! or links on how to get this functionality from oem cards - unless of course Oly proprietary cards are much cheaper.

WinHex 'dry cleans' as well - that is it stuffs your broken card full of '00's so you can do a proper format or Oly image.

Check out the post I put here tonight:

http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2094
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Old May 23, 2003, 4:34 AM   #32
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Default This is the Problem !!!

The problem is really a result of the panorama function of Olympus. Because they don't want you to be able to format a non-Olympus card and then to have the panorama function work on them, they have crippled the in-camera Olympus formats (on SM and xD) to not rewrite the CIS block, since by so doing they would enable panorama on non-Olympus SM cards.

It is the fact that their in-camera format has been crippled to only do a partial format that causes the problems.

Some readers may be better than others, but the problem here is Olympus' in camera format. Since Fuji don't have to worry about this panorama BS, they can implement a decent format. By the way, only the SM readers that have an SMPREP can properly (in the true sense of the word - ie rewriting the CIS block) format a SM card.

If you format a SM card with a reader from Windows, the CIS block gets ignored since Windows doesn't use it. So you can have a SM card that works perfectly under windows in a reader, but that cannot be used in an Olympus camera because the CIS block has been corrupted.

Then there are only two solutions: Format in a Fuji or SMPREP!


Obviously, since the panorama identifier sits in the CIS block, the aforegoing will make your SM card work, but the panorama will not. You have to run a modified SMPREP to make the camera thing that it is an Olympus SM card.

All quite simple once you know how it works - I still blame Olympus for crippling their format in order to wring the last buck out of Olympus SM sales. Why not just promote the panorama feature as an Olympus feature without all the BS about having to use Olympus SM (or xD) cards?

These guys make nice cameras but they are full of sh*t !!!
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Old May 23, 2003, 11:41 AM   #33
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This is very interesting. I don't use the pan function, and I have never reformatted any of the cards...either in the card reader or in the camera. I have six 128MB SM cards. Four are Oly cards, two are not. They all seem to work fine. I just got back from two weeks in Africa, and I filled some of the cards twice. I have an IBM microdrive that I dump the full cards into when I'm away from home. I don't like carrying a laptop just for pix storage.
When I'm home, I clear the cards in the card reader. On the road, I use the "Delete All" function in my E20. Either way seems to work fine.
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Old May 23, 2003, 11:44 AM   #34
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voxmagna,

Quote:
Get in the habit of 're-format' cards occasionally. For big cards, small files it reduces fragmentation which slows cam to card writing.
I'm not quite sure I understand. I would think deleting the files would clear out the FAT or equivalent. Am I wrong?
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Old May 23, 2003, 12:34 PM   #35
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Deleting files doesn't clear out the FAT. They just get flagged as deleted and bits and pieces remain all over the show. You don't know this because the OS handles this and the FAT tells the OS where all the pieces are.

And just because you haven't had a problem doesn't mean that you are not at risk.

Format the card every now and then, if not every time before you use it!

Rather be safe than sorry!
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Old May 23, 2003, 3:51 PM   #36
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OK, thaks for the tip.
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Old Aug 18, 2005, 7:32 PM   #37
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To any others who have this Smart Media problem connected with Olympus cameras, i was able to fix mine using VAIOsoft Recovery Manager. It's freeware that has an option to format the cards. While the full format did not work for me, the quick erase DID work.

The first time i placed the reformated card in my Olympus D-490 it didn't work (as usual), but i removed the card and tried again - HOORAY - the camera asked me to format the card!!!

This is after months of trying many other solutions and options listed in forums. Until now my Olympus camera was unusable even with brand new smart media cards.

Hope this works for the rest of you too. Here's the link:

http://www.vaiosoft.com/products/recoverymanager.html
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