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Old Jun 2, 2010, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default Lost all on my SD card????? (FZ35)

Newbie to the forum here and new to my FZ35! I had a Memory card malfunction today (lost everything), any Idea what went wrong?

I went out shooting a few photos this morning with my FZ35 and after taking 50 or so what I thought was going to be some nice shots with dew from rain, slight fog settling on a field with the morning sun, I came in and looked at them off my SD card on my PC, not seeing the one shot I really wanted I put the SD card back in the camera and went to get that shot. While shooting the camera came up and stated a memory card problem or something along those lines. I pulled the card out and reinstalled it and all was fine it seemed. After I was finished I went in to download all onto my PC and there now was only 13 pictures. Some how everything on the card was lost. I even ran a couple recovery programs on the SD card with no luck! I also lost my son's Orchestra banquet photos and video, any idea what may have gone wrong?
Here is one of the shots I took after the malfunction!
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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I wish I knew what to tell you. I hit the same problem on Monday as I was taking pictures on Skyline Drive - the camera said there was a memory error, which panicked me for a moment. I did much the same as you did, removing the card, then putting it back in, then went into photo view to see if there were any losses. Fortunately for me, there wasn't any losses, and the rest of the photos came in successfully as well.

Wish I knew what to tell you, but sorry for the loss in effort and work!
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 11:33 AM   #3
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No. Anything could have happened. Substitute a good known card (such as one that came with the camera if it did) and make sure that the camera writes reliably to it.

Format the problem card & carefully test/evaluate it over time before you use it in earnest. Memory cards can become corrupt or acquire a problem spot that can be temporary (which can be cleared via a re-format) or a permanent spot, in which case the card should be discarded.

This is why I tell people that after buying a new card, ensure that the camera is able to write to fill the card. This helps check that there is not a defective spot (memory address?) somewhere on the card (ie, somewhere in the range of available memory addressing).
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 11:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
...I even ran a couple recovery programs on the SD card with no luck!
Make sure you do not try anything that writes to the card (don't use anything to try and fix it like chkdsk, etc.), or you'll reduce your chances of recovering the images. Only use utilities that read from it instead until you recover your images from it. I'd quit trying to take more photos with it until you get your photos back, too (otherwise, you're going to overwrite more of them).

I'd try Photorec to recover your images (it's free). It ignores the underlying file system entirely and can do a better job than many other programs. It should be able to recover any images that haven't been overwritten yet. See this thread for more details:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/me...ory-cards.html

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.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 3:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, JimC big thanks photorec did it! I had tried 2 other programs and they pulled nothing off but Photorec recovered them all and the video I had shot also that I thought was gone forever. I'm glad I posted this thread, I had pretty much given up on recovering anything!

Thanks again!
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 4:03 PM   #6
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Great. Glad to hear it. Photorec is what I use when I need to recover images.

We have a friendly community of Panasonic users here, so make sure to visit more often if you get a chance.
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 4:34 PM   #7
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Default Advanced SD Card diagnosis

Thanks Jim, I had also not heard of Photorec.

Since the format performed in-camera only recreates a clean FAT and folder structure, it is therefore not aware of any potential physical issues with the card.

Such issues can be factory produced (quality control; sample variation; manufacturing tolerances; transport conditions), or induced over time by random spurious environmental factors, primarily heat, water ingress, magnetic fields or extreme physical shock.

If you can afford it, and data loss is not a factor, the best recommendation for any memory card problem is to replace it immediately.

However if this not possible, then the card needs to be error checked and formatted on a PC first, then formatted in-camera if this is successful.

N.B. The following process will permanently delete any images or data on the card.

For Windows Vista/7:

Open an administrator-level Command Prompt from the Start Menu. (Right-click on Command Prompt, and select "run As Administrator")

We will assume for this example the the drive letter assigned to the SD card is J:. Replace the J: shown here with the applicable drive letter for your system.

Now type exactly chkdsk J: /r

After a few minutes a results listing will be displayed. Take note of anything above zero (0) next to the Bad Blocks. If it has found any then the card should be thrown out or returned under warranty. If this is zero, then Windows has not found any physical errors on the card.

If the result is Zero, then do a "low-level" format as follows. This differs from the camera's format, in that it physically addresses and reformats each individual sector on the card.

Close the Command Prompt window.

Open My Computer. Right-click on the SD Card J: drive in Windows, choose the Format command, make sure you uncheck the "Quick Format" selection box, and FAT32 is shown as the File System. All other settings can be left alone. Now proceed.

At the end Windows should give a successful result message with no errors displayed.

Now format the card in-camera before taking any pictures.

This is the most thorough method, and is usually unnecessary unless for some reason a faulty card message keeps reoccurring.

Sorry if that all sounds a bit complex, maybe Jim can help simplify it, or there might be an existing thread on this that I wasn't aware of.

Kind Regards
Greg
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 4:50 PM   #8
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Well... the controllers built into modern Flash memory cards have error correction built in, thanks to sophisticated ECC and Wear Leveling algorithms.

So, in most cases, formatting a card using a full format and marking sectors as bad is not a needed approach, as you're dealing with logical versus physical areas when looking at most flash media with typical operating system utilities (as the built in wear leveling algorithms and remapping of pages are not visible to the OS, since the OS is seeing logical versus physical blocks, with the controllers built into the media handling remapping to physical areas on the card as errors are detected). So, marking sectors as bad can be counter productive (as the wear leveling algorithms are going to move anything with physical errors to different pages anyway). The main thing is to recreate the FAT to handle file system issues, unless you have physical errors of some type.

If you see hard errors (sector read/write failures versus file system errors) with flash media, you're going to want a new card. ;-)

Now there is still a chance you can recover data from a card with hard errors using specialized utilities. But, once a card gets to that point, you're not going to want to use it again after you get your photos back from it. See my posts at the bottom of this page for one technique to get images from a failing card with component problems (versus simple file system corruption):

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/me...ialised-3.html
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Old Jun 2, 2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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Glad you were able to recover them. Those are some nice photos, btw. I especially like the 1st and last one.
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