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Old Apr 10, 2005, 3:06 PM   #1
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Was curious if there was any reason one should not delete images using a card reader or only use the camera. My card reader offers to delete images after transfer to my pc but wanted to find out if there was any reason why I should only delete from the camera itself. I use a reader instead of the camera usb connection. Have understood not to reformat except in the camera so hence the question.
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Old Apr 10, 2005, 4:44 PM   #2
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I have read that it is best to not delete from the card reader, but I don't know whether that is true for all cameras. I would think the only issue is whether the file allocation table shows the space available so the camera can overwrite.

I would format the card in the camera and see how many pictures it shows available at your normal quality and resolution settings. Delete your next batch of pictures from the card reader and see that it again shows the same space available. If it does I wouldn't think there is a problem.

You should fairly regularly format in the camera in any case. Many cameras run a little faster if you regularly format the card.

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Old Apr 10, 2005, 9:14 PM   #3
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I don't really know about the SD cards but the Fuji software for theXd card "delete after load" works just fine. The camera manual says that cards should be Formated on the camera but adding, reading, deleting can be done either way. I use my Xd card reader all the time. I don't have an AC supply so I don't use the usb cable to transfer pictures.

For really special pictures, I think that I would uncheck the box and delete later. That would give you a chance to make a backup copy of the pictures before deleting.
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Old Apr 11, 2005, 8:50 PM   #4
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Here is the logic behind deleting vs. formatting and doing it in-camera vs. card reader.

When you reformat the card, you rebuild the FAT table. Doing that causes it to be moved to a different location on the memory card. This means that the fat table is placed on different flash memory chips within the card. While not a necessary thing, I like the idea that I'm not continuously reusing/writing to the same flash chip segment for every file delete and write. Every time you delete files on the memory card, it has to update the FAT table. For every file, the flash chip has to be put into a write state, the file removal is done, and then it's put back into a read state. And it does this for each file. This uses that flash chip segment up faster than the other segments. That will use that chip up faster (of course faster is relative, I will probably never use it up but you never know. I did take over 10,000 pictures last year.) Why do that, when you can just reformat which is much faster and kinder on the flash ships in the card.

But the big reason to format vs. delete is that it rebuilds the FAT table. A brand new, non-corrupted FAT table is a very good thing. I have never lost an image, I have never had a corrupted CF card. I have never had any trouble with my CF card at all, ever. I believe that reformatting the card, in camera, after every download has contributed to this. FAT is very easy to corrupt. There is no integrity checking in the camera. It will just keep using the card if everything is right or not. I'd rather raise the chance that it's right.

Ignoring the issues of buggy drivers (in either the computer or the camera) the camera knows best what the proper "high level format" for the card is. It knows how to make a FAT table that is compatible with it. The computer should, but how do you know you don't have a corrupted driver? (I'm assuming MS's FAT16 driver isn't buggy, but windows can have shared library/corruption problems that will mess things up in all kinds of ways!)

So to me, you should always format instead of deleting file and you should always format in the camera vs. formatting the card in the computer. Plus, you'd feel really dumb if you formatted it as an NTFS file system, huh?

Eric
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Old Apr 17, 2005, 2:00 PM   #5
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I always delete them from the card with the card reader no problems in 2 years.

But I do format the card every couple weeks.
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