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Old Apr 24, 2003, 10:59 AM   #1
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Default Digital cameras won't read 512MB Compact Flash

I've got a Canon A20, and recently purchased a Viking 512MB CF card. When I power up the camera with the new card in it, it gives me a CF card error. My 128MB CF card works fine in it. Also, if I put the new card in an external USB card reader and hook it up to my PC, I can use it just fine.

I then tried the card in another camera - a Canon S200. It gave me the same error there. I put the card in my PDA, and it works fine!

Is there possibly a maximum size that the camera can read? I know these cameras will read 256MB cards.
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Old Apr 24, 2003, 11:51 AM   #2
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There may be an issue between your Canon cameras and the Viking memory. Digital cameras that use compactflash can use any size memory (greater than 2GB will require FAT32 support in camera) since the controller is built-into the compactflash. Have you tried the Viking 512 CF on a different brand camera?
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Old Apr 24, 2003, 1:25 PM   #3
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Couple of guesses: are you sure that although your A20 takes compact flash, it can actually use BIG 512Mb memory cards? Second, you say you've used the card in a pda - have you re-formatted it in any device other than your camera. Third can you actually re-format it in your camera? Just guessing!
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Old Apr 24, 2003, 2:32 PM   #4
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If you can't format the card from the camera like Vox is suggesting... Format the card from the PC with FAT-16, as marokero has pointed out, the default format in Window is FAT-32 and will give you this error on most cameras.

BTW FAT-16 will still work with your PDA and computer, no problem! 8)
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Old Apr 26, 2003, 7:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I did make some progress.

I formatted the disk via the computer with Fat 16. I popped it into the Canon A20, and it read it correctly right away. Unfortunately, the S200 still won't read it. Oh well, I guess I'll just use it in the A20 (unless someone has another idea).
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Old Apr 27, 2003, 4:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
I formatted the disk via the computer with Fat 16. I popped it into the Canon A20, and it read it correctly right away
If you put the fresh formatted card into the A20 first, it may have put its own directory structure on the card which then confused the S200. The other thing about 'format' is whether it's a 'full' or quick format. Full format completely writes zero's into all the cards memory (which is why it takes longer) and 'quick format' like in the cam, just re-builds the tables at the start of the card. Which is why picture recovery progs work - the pics are still there after in-cam format and erase, until new pics over-write the old data area.

If you have a card of the same size, which works in the S200. Use Winhex32 to make a 'disc image' of the working card's format. Then write this image to the non-working card. If you save the compressed image file, you have your own card recover utility. Best to do this with a fresh card which works, before using the cam, as the compressed image file with no pic data will then be really small. Alternatively, get the card working, then fill and write '00's into all sectors after about 20, check the card still works, and resave the compressed card image.

If you can't get or borrow the same size card, you could try filling the non-working card with zero's using WinHex. Some cams need the Boot tables, others will see the card first (your problem) then allow you to do an in-cam format.

Everytime I buy a new card or Microdrive, I make an image of it, straight from the box and then after one pic saved in the cam. You might be surprised to find a new card which has data on it which might not work. Then you've likely got a return from somebody else!

This always works, - even for Olympus!
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Old Apr 28, 2003, 9:52 AM   #7
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Card Wiper beta for Windows

This is a FREE download from the PhotoRescue folks, the URL above will prompt you to save a file called CW.ZIP, not open a web page. Card Wiper is a Windows program that will use your card reader to write your memory card full of zeros. Why do this you ask? If you've ever put your card in the camera and recv'd an error message and been unable to format it then this free utility may be the answer to your problems unless the card is physically damaged.

-Steve
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Old Apr 29, 2003, 3:07 PM   #8
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I tried it, it wouldn't see my Dazzle removeable drive - BUT offered to wipe either of my fixed hard drives - but then it is version 1.01!
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Old May 7, 2003, 5:34 AM   #9
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I am having similar problems with a Transcend 512Mb 30X and an Olympus 5050 Firmware 77.

I have tried formatting the CF card in other cameras (it works in a Nikon Coolpix 880), and with three different cardreaders (FAT16), but nothing works. I have also tried the cw utility but although it ran fine, it didn't help.

Any other suggestions (none of my CFreaders have CFPREP)?

BTW, an old 64Mb CF card works perfectly in the 5050, so it is not as if the camera is totally defective.
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Old May 13, 2003, 12:48 PM   #10
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First I'd make absolutely sure your 5050 and present firmware version can write to 512Mb CF cards (post in the Oly section to find other users) yes the spec. says 512/1Gb Microdrives.

The FAT format on a 64Mb card is not quite the same as the default shipped format on a 512Mb card. So don't assume all the cards are exactly the same but bigger. The camera firmware must know how to handle the different card size variations and cluster sizes - which are bigger for the oem 512 card. Do Oly sell a 512Mb CF card for your cam - what cluster size is it formatted for?

Cheers-VOX
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