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Old Jun 6, 2010, 6:48 PM   #1
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Default Problem with new SD card

While on vacation, I purchased another memory card. I got an 8 GB SDHC card (SanDisk brand). My camera is a Canon XSi. When looking at the pics in thumbnail view, all of the pics are there. However, there are a couple of pics that (when selected, while viewing on the camera display) show up weird. Again, they are there in thumbnail view. When scrolling through, however, these couple of random pics show up really tiny and say "cannot play back image". I don't understand why the pics are there (really tiny) but can't show up regular size on the LCD. Secondly, what would cause them to say "cannot play back image" anyway? Also, when I copied these files to my computer, those pics show up only with the top 1/2 or top 2/3. The bottom portion was a gray bar. Did I do something wrong? I know I've heard of problems with some cards. But, I thought SanDisk was a good brand.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 7:07 PM   #2
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Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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You can have problems with any of them. But, it's probably just a corrupted FAT (File Allocation table).

The thumbnails are a separate image inside of the larger image file. So, it's not uncommon to have good thumbnails and corrupted images.

I'd try seeing if you can recover your images from it using a program that ignores the File System entirely first. My suggestion would be Photorec (free).

It should be able to recover any images that haven't been overwritten yet (although some may also be bad on the card). Use a card reader versus a USB Attached Camera. See this thread for more details:

Recovering Images or Video from Memory Cards

As for why it had a problem, usually, it's just a corrupted FAT (File Allocation Table). That can happen when something causes incomplete writes to media (for example, deleting files using a PC and removing a camera or card before all writes in memory have been flushed without using Safely Remove features of your Operating system).

Some drivers may cache writes (especially if the card reader is plugged in when a system is booted, where it may not treat it as removable at the time), depending on the OS version you're using. With Windows, you can "right click" on a card under "My Computer" and use the "Eject" choice to make sure the file system is unmounted with all writes flushed to it before removing a card. With a Mac, you can click on the icon for it and use your Eject key to accomplish the same thing.

Personally, I always reformat a card prior to *every* reuse using a camera's menu choice for format (not the PC) -- no exceptions. That's just as fast as deleting files anyway (since you're only recreating the FAT, not writing over everything on the card in most cases).

Reformatting a card prior to every reuse with the camera's format choice insures insures that I always start out with a fresh FAT, without potential issues from USB errors, writes being cached in a PCs memory, etc.), formatted just the way a camera expects it, since it's performing the format.

So, after you get what you can from it, I'd make sure to format it using your camera's menu choice for that purpose before using it again. Then, see if it works OK.
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Old Jun 8, 2010, 4:12 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'll give that a try to see if the images can be recovered. All of this happened while we were on vacation, so I hadn't even put the card into my computer yet. I do always right click and eject before removing it.
I reformat my cards after I save the pics to a CD (just in case my hard drive crashes). Thanks for the info
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