Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > Memory Cards, Microdrives, Card Readers

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 3, 2006, 5:00 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Default

I was photographing with my Fugi s3 Pro Digital SLR using a Kingston 4GB Compact Flash card when I got a 'Write Error' message. I removed the card (no problem downloading the images), put the card back into the camera and reformatted it. The card only formatted to 128mb instead of the 4gb actual size capacity of the card.

Any ideas on how to fdisk or format the card to its full capacity?

Anthony
amasterphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 3, 2006, 10:17 AM   #2
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

It might be defective. But, chances are, the partition table just got corrupted (or there is more than one paritition on the card).

I'd try Microsoft's Disk Admin tools to remove and recreate the partition on it (use a card reader if you have one). You may even want to try formatting it with Windows first to see if that alone would fix it, but it sounds more like a partition problem to me). If you already see a 4GB partition, it should format without a need to recreate it.

You'll find the disk admin tools under Control Center, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management.

Under the partitions list at the bottom (it won't be in the table at the top) , you'll find the card reader somewhere. Right click on the space for the card and delete any existing partitions. Then, right click on it and tell it to create a new one. Make sure you're looking at your card reader versus your Windows partition. ;-)

Then, use the New Partition Wizard that comes up to create a new paritition using all the space on the drive and format as FAT32 with a 32KB cluster size (which seems to be more reliable with some cameras using larger media).

If for some reason you can't delete the partitions on it, there is another tool that I sometimes use for this purpose (Ranish Paritition Manager) to delete parititions and recreate the Master Boot Record on a drive. If Microsoft's Disk Admin doesn't work, I can post instructions on using Ranish (you'll need to download an ISO Image that includes it, burn a CD and boot to it to run it.

Attached Image (viewed 115 times):

[img]attachment.php?id=73522[/img]

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2006, 1:06 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Default

I followed your instructions on deleting the partition of the flash card, however, the 'delete partition' option was visible but was not active (it showed only as a light gray color option).

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"So, maybe I need some instructions on trying the other method to get rid of the partition on the CF card. Can you provide that info for me as well?

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Anthony
amasterphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2006, 1:38 PM   #4
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Did it show a 4GB partition? If so, did you try to format it (right click on the partition and select format)? Try to format it using Windows and see if that alone solves it first.

If it doesn't show a 4GB partition and Windows won't format it, you can use Ranish Partition Manager to remove any partitions that are on it, then use Microsoft's Disk Admin tools to recreate it (use the steps in my first post).

To try Ranish, download the Ultimate Boot CD and burn the ISO to a CD. I'd download the Full Version (it's free):

It's got lots of good tools on it:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Some Download Links (scroll down and you'll see download links to the full version on the bottom half of the page):

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

If you don't have anything to burn the ISO with, you can download free software to do it. One example is Deep Burner. You'll see the link to the free desktop version on this page. I usually burn at 16x to 52x CD-R media with it and never get any "coasters".

http://www.deepburner.com/?r=download

After burning the downloaded ISO image to a CD, boot from the Ultimate Boot CD and select File System Tools (F3). If your PC doesn't automatically try to boot from CD first, you may need to change the boot order in it's BIOS (or it may have a function key you can press to get boot options).

After pressing F3 for the File SystemToolsMenu, press F1 for Ranish Partition Manager (it should be the first choice in the File System Tools Menu).

After Ranish loads, press F5 to toggle through your disk drives and look for your 4GB Card. Make SURE you've got the 4GB card selected versus your hard disk drive with Windows on it. You'll see the drive information for each drive at the top of the screen when you press F5 to toggle between the devices it sees.

After the 4GB card is on screen, with the first row highlighted in the table (the MBR), press enter to edit it and change the Executable Code type to a Standard IPL (you'll see the choices where you can edit it near the bottom right hand side of the page). It will likely show an "Unknown IPL" to begin with. I'd change it to Standard IPL.

This will overwrite the existing MBR (Master Boot Record) after you save it later with F2.

Then, delete all partitions you see on the card (highlight them and press delete).

Then, press the F2 key to save everything (updating your changes to the MBR, deleted partitions back to the drive).

Then, boot back into Windows XP and go into Disk Management Tools under Control Center, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Storage, Disk Management and follow the steps in my first post to create a new partition and format it as FAT32.

Again, make sure you're working with your CompactFlash card. The first drive that comes up when you load Ranish is likely to be your primary hard disk. You're just seeing it's MBR and partitions, not a list of any other drives on the system. So, don't accidently delete it's partitions. ;-)

Use the F5 key after loading Ranish to toggle through your drives get to the 4GB Card in a Reader first. You'll see the drive info at the top of the screen change when you press F5 to toggle between any drives it sees in your system (and a card reader with a CompactFlash card should show up, as I can use Ranish with a Sandisk USB reader I've got, and the technique I'm mentioning here works fine that way with CompactFlash media I've tried).


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2006, 2:04 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3
Default

Hey thanks again. I am going to give this a try. See what happens. I'll update you as to the results. Thanks again!

Anthony
amasterphotog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 3, 2006, 2:10 PM   #6
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

Just be careful.

I was half asleep not long ago and deleted all of the partitions on my primary hard drive (including my NTFS partition with Windows on it), created another partition and started formatting it before I realized I had not bothered to select the CompactFlash card I wanted to work with before I started. lol

Big Ooops (but, I actually recovered the partitions I deleted using another utility).

You really don't want to go through that part, especially if you don't have good backups. ;-)

So, make sure you select the correct device (your 4GB Compactflash Card), using the F5 key to toggle between drives until you see the information for it's size at the top of the screen after you load Ranish.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2006, 12:26 PM   #7
Member
 
JockScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 83
Default

JimC wrote:
Quote:
Then, use the New Partition Wizard that comes up to create a new paritition using all the space on the drive and format as FAT32 with a 32KB cluster size (which seems to be more reliable with some cameras using larger media).


Jim, you say here to format to "FAT32", and yet I'm sure I read in other postings that memory cards for cameras are formatted to "FAT". Could you clear this up for me please?
JockScott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2006, 1:10 PM   #8
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

JockScott wrote:
Quote:
Jim, you say here to format to "FAT32", and yet I'm sure I read in other postings that memory cards for cameras are formatted to "FAT". Could you clear this up for me please?
Sure.

Most cameras only support a 16 bit FAT (File Allocation Table), and a 16 Bit FAT will only support partitions of 2GB or smaller.

Unless a camera has support for a 32 Bit FAT, you need to make sure to select FAT when using Windows to format a card (otherwise, Windows will use a 32 Bit FAT by default, which is not compatible with many cameras).

Cards that are 2GB or smaller will come formatted using a 16 Bit FAT anyway. So, it's a good idea to leave them that way for maximum compatibility (or when trying to reformat them in order to recover photos after corruption, so that the FAT matches up with the way it came from the manufacturer).

Lack of support for a 32 Bit FAT also limits the card size you can use in many cameras to 2GB (the maximum size support by a 16 Bit FAT).

But, most higher end cameras support a 32 Bit FAT (which is required for cards larger than 2GB). These cameras can read and write to cards formatted either way (16 or 32 Bit FAT).

The original poster's camera does support a 32 Bit FAT, and he's using a 4GB card, which will require formatting with a 32 Bit FAT in order to use the entire card, unless you wanted to create a 2GB Partition formatted using a 16 Bit FAT (called FAT when formatting using Windows), leaving the rest of the card unused.


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 4, 2006, 6:19 PM   #9
Member
 
JockScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 83
Default

Thanks for the explanation, Jim.
JockScott is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:04 PM.