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Old Jul 23, 2005, 2:17 AM   #1
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I am a super paranoid about things, and I read somewhere that once all the pictures are uploaded to the computer, and you want to delete them, you should reformat the card, instead of using delete all feature in the camera (temper the card, might corrupt it). I'm not sure if that is true, but on computers too much reformating can mess things up too. So what's the better way of deleting all your pictures in your card?

- Mike
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 8:08 AM   #2
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Mike:

I format my memory cards before every use (via the camera's menus, NOT the PC).

This insures that I always start out with a fresh FAT (File Allocation Table) on the card, and that it's formatted by the device using it (so that the format is exactly how it expects it).

I've never had a corrupted card using this technique (and I've owned 7 different digital cameras using a variety of media types over the years).

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Old Jul 23, 2005, 9:06 AM   #3
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I've never formatted two of my three xD cards since I've owned them (bought all three new). I just pop them in and shoot. After I've uploaded them into the computer, I "delete all" in the camera, and I'm ready to go. I did format one of my cards, in the camera, just to see what would happen, and there was no difference from deleting all - when I turn on the camera, it displays - "no image".

I see no reason to ever have to format (re-format) your card, unless it becomes corrupt. Do you reformat your computer's hard drive every time you use it? Don't!

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Old Jul 23, 2005, 9:25 AM   #4
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rinniethehun wrote:
Quote:
I've never formatted two of my three xD cards since I've owned them (bought all three new). I just pop them in and shoot. After I've uploaded them into the computer, I "delete all" in the camera, and I'm ready to go. I did format one of my cards, in the camera, just to see what would happen, and there was no difference from deleting all - when I turn on the camera, it displays - "no image".
Using the Delete All function in a camera is a safer way compared to deleting using a PC. This is because you take the USB Connection and PC Operating Systemout of the picture.

Sometimes, the operating system caches writes to removable media if the driver is not setup correctly (and a delete is a write). So, users that delete files using their PC (or cut and paste files, which is really a copy and delete), usually have more corrupted media compared to users that only write to the media with their camera.

But, formatting with a camera's menus offers the same safeguards, and insures you start out with a fresh File Allocation Table every time.

Some users never have a problem with their cards, even though they never format them.

Personally, I think it's much safer to format with the camera prior to every use. Users can have a corrupted FAT, and not realize it until later when a problem occurs when shooting or retrieving images.

Besides, formatting via a camera's menus is usually faster than deleting the individual files (since it's recreating a FAT, versus trying to mark existing entries in a FAT as being free for reuse).

I've seen this one debated at length, with no firm conclusions.

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I see no reason to ever have to format (re-format) your card, unless it becomes corrupt.
Because it doesn't hurt anything to reformat, and you start out with a fresh File Allocation Table.

Quote:
Do you reformat your computer's hard drive every time you use it?
Actually, I always reformat media that I want to reuse (floppy disks, etc.). I've found that a format to be good preventative maintaintence to make sure a floppy disk is good before using it again). I'd rather find out that media has a problem when writing to it during a format, versus later when writing important data to it.

As for a Hard Disk, yes, if I were reusing one where I wanted to start from scratch, I would definitely reformat it.

Although flash memory doesn't suffer from this problem, a Hard Disk can become slow from fragmentation. Formatting (full format) one not only recreates a fresh File Allocation Table that allows new files written to be contiguous (versus scattered throughout the drive); but it also checks for bad sectors (which can occur over time as a drive ages).

But, flash memory doesn't suffer from the same types of fragmentation problems (slower performance as files get scattered throughout the media)as a hard disk drive.

So, different users have different opinions on it.
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Old Jul 23, 2005, 11:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick reply guys. The first thing I did this morning was race myself on the computer to find out what replies I got. I chose the reformat route, because I take pictures for yearbook for my school, and I don't want to risk having errors in the middle of my captures. (And according to JimC, I did some more research, and he is right, CF cards work differently from harddrives, thus reformatting again and again won't harm the device) Now I can feel secure and start taking pictures again! Thanks.

- Mike (My second post, yay!)
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