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Old May 20, 2003, 6:37 PM   #1
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Default Has anyone used Card Wiper?

My CF card seems to have bit the dust - can't be read by a PC or camera. Trying the little freebe utility called "Card Wiper" since the software by the same company - Photorescure worked so well. This is a very slow process (several hours) and already tried it once without success. Based on how well the Photorescure worked I'm hoping this utilty works the same magic.

Also, how many of you have experienced a CF card failure? I'm hesitant to spend big bucks on mega memory when stuff like this happens.
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Old May 22, 2003, 8:04 AM   #2
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I tried it to format a Transcend 512Mb 30X that wouldn't work in my Olympus 5050 but that does work in my reader and in a Nikon CP 880.

It made no difference, CF card still doesn't work in 5050, but still works everywhere else.

I think that the problem is the camera.
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Old May 22, 2003, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jola
I tried it to format a Transcend 512Mb 30X that wouldn't work in my Olympus 5050 but that does work in my reader and in a Nikon CP 880.

It made no difference, CF card still doesn't work in 5050, but still works everywhere else.

I think that the problem is the camera.
Does your camera see the card? If it does then you could probably format it. As I understand each camera has a unique folder it saves files to. Maybe that's the issue?
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Old May 22, 2003, 1:14 PM   #4
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There are two types of format. The format we are most familiar with is a high level format which re-constructs the file tables and any data which the cam might specifically look for. There are two versions of this. Fast format in the cam, just re-constructs the first few sectors whereas full format also fills the card with zero's and takes longer. At this level I've severely changed card formats, cluster sizes, wiped them, even made big cards be reported as smaller ones - and still got them back to life.

However, there is also 'low level' format which for example, is essentially the Hitachi Smartmedia defined format spec for SM. Some devices change this (MP3 Players) which makes the card low level format non-standard. Card low level format can also be damaged accidentally.

Unfortunately, low level format (the base format layer) is something only manufacturers normally write. To write low level format usually means having low level control of what goes to the card, i.e the writer needs to work in symphony with the programme. Normal card readers aren't always built with the drivers to do this. What you do in DOS to format FAT and put structures or images on to cards might work, but if it doesn't and the problem is low level format then you have a problem.

I've run CFPREP and SMPREP on cards in a Dazzle reader, and I believe low level formatting is being done - by the sheer length of time it takes to do the job. I've seen products sold consisting of a software pack and writer (which looks like a reader) and tools included for rebuilding cards to look like Oly clones! They can low level format but, are overpriced!

Despite the criticisms of MP3 players for breaking cam cards, some players and organisers are capable of doing a full format to the oem card spec. Again the clue is the time they take compared to the in-cam format. In all cases though, cams are using FAT12/16 NOT FAT32 default for most pc's and some mp3 players - so you have to be careful. I came across some interesting utilities recently for Palm products. I don't have one, and I can't confirm they are FAT12/16 compatible - but written in Palm OS they looked like low level format tools.
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Old May 22, 2003, 2:36 PM   #5
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voxmagna
Thanks for confirming I'm not going crazy with this format thing. Norton confirmed to me the card (removable drive to them) was in need of "low level format" which I believe Card Wiper was doing? Still no go. I've burried that card since my patient ran out. BTW - details on the card indicated the file system was just FAT not 16/32 or anything else. Convinced my wife a high end card is the answer so it's off to eBay for more memory.
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Old May 22, 2003, 2:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voxmagna
Normal card readers aren't always built with the drivers to do this. What you do in DOS to format FAT and put structures or images on to cards might work, but if it doesn't and the problem is low level format then you have a problem.
voxmagna

One last question - do you happen to remember the DOS command to format the drive? Drive letter is I. Is it C:\formatI or C:\Iformat or I:\format or...? Among other things DOS is a distant memory. Just getting older I guess? If this works I'll send you the card as a prize. At this point I'd just like to conquer the problem.
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Old May 22, 2003, 2:51 PM   #7
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Do not use format c:! Or you 're going to have a bigger problem than wiping out your card. C: is your main HDD where the OS is.

Format X: whatever, where X is the name of your card drive. :lol:

BTW have you tried it in your EOS-10D? It's fat-32 compatible... May be that's all your problem. ie you've formatted the card in the 10D and tried to use it somewhere else? :? Also if i've not mistaken if you just boot-up with DOS, it wont support a card reader, you'll have to do it from a command line in window...
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Old May 22, 2003, 2:58 PM   #8
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If it's any consolation, I had am 8Mb card I'd mucked about with that reported it was only 4Mb. Using any sector editor, the number of bytes on the card was shown as 4 Mb. I wiped the card, it still reported as 4 Mb - there was absolutely no data in any sector visible.

I ran SMPREP and it first identified the card as 8MB. This stuff must be all underneath in the lower layer - normally sector zero carries the card size byte, and mine was definitely zero! When finished, I looked at the card, it had absolutely no visible structure (DOS FAT) on it - this was one very wiped card. It would not as expected open as a drive.

I put it in my 'simple cam', it threw up no card errors and formatted first time. When I checked, it read correctly like an 8Mb card, but now with a format structure.

I don't believe Cardwiper can clean like this without taking control of the drivers in the reader. I suspect all it does is assume the base format is correct and write zero's into the sectors of a correctly low level formatted card.
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Old May 22, 2003, 2:59 PM   #9
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voxmagna

Told you it's been a long time. Thanks for the laugh! Yes, did try it in the 10D with same results. err! 7Hi and 10D seem to work fine with all the other cards which are the exact same as the crashed unit. Stay tuned - I'll tell you if you're the lucky winner?
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Old May 22, 2003, 3:09 PM   #10
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As NHL says DO NOT USE FORMAT C!!!!

Go to windows Explorer and find what drive letter corresponds to the slot your card is in.

You must have WIN2K or XP. On Win2k open the DOS window at the C prompt (C:>).

Type: FORMAT ( card drive letter NOT C): /FS: FAT16

Don't mess with cluster sizes - default will be set according to card size. Type HELP to get the command list. If this works you had a high level format prob and the card is saved.

However, some cams object to seeing Bill Gates's Boot sector in the first sector (even though the rest of the card structure is OK) so this is when you run your card wiper or fill the first few sectors with zero's. Then do a reformat in the cam.

Try this when you've tried everything else. VOX
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