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"Low-level" format in Canon A590 - what does it do?

 
 
Peabody
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      02-27-2010
Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
file system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.

I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
Canon would do it.




 
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John Passaneau
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      02-27-2010
On 2/27/2010 12:02 PM, Peabody wrote:
> Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
> format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
> to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
> file system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
> actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
> we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.
>
> I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
> application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
> can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
> Canon would do it.
>
>
>
>

My first suggestion is to try it and see what happens. I will not hurt
the card. I've heard that it's not a good idea to format a card outside
of the camera so do it in the camera for safety. I don't think that it
will make much difference but it can't hurt to try. If you really want
to do this right get a card with 6 speed rating. In the case of video
the sustained wright speed is more important than the much more
advertised burst rate. You can find this rating on the SD card unclosed
in braces like this (6). a much slower 2 or 4 speed are much more common.

John Passaneau
 
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Ray Fischer
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      02-27-2010
Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
>format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
>to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
>file system.


How long does it take?

Completely erasing a 2GB memory card should take a minute or two.
Writing a new file system will take a couple of seconds.

> In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
>actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
>we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.


Nobody does that. It's probably not possible.

>I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
>application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
>can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
>Canon would do it.


You'd do better to get a faster memory card and stop wasting time on
chasing a mythical 1% speed increase.

--
Ray Fischer
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)

 
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ray
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      02-27-2010
On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:02:35 -0600, Peabody wrote:

> Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
> format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying to
> find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the file
> system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but actually
> returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what we used to do
> with UV light applied to an EPROM.
>
> I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another application,
> and in theory an erased card will write faster. I can't find any other
> way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the Canon would do it.


I can't speak to that particular camera, but I can tell you a few
generalities gathered from 30 years as a computer professional:

1) it is probably best to format a card in the camera you intend to use
it on. Reason: some cameras have an incomplete implementation of the
filesystem structure (due to the fact that they contain very limited
processing power). That is the main reason that they sometimes become
corrupted after a bit of saving and deleting images. That problem is not
as bad as it used to be, but . . .

2) you should be able to do a low level format in a card reader attached
to a computer. If you did that, I'd still recommend doing a 'quick
format' on the camera it will be used with. Fact is, they are not using
any novel filesystem on the cards - they are still a variant of MS
filesystems - so most computers should understand that.

3) the main advantage of a 'low level' format on a memory card would be
that the data is erased - overwritten. A 'quick format' simply resets the
file allocation table - removing the directory contents. Until some data
is overwritten, the previous data can still be retrieved with varying
degrees of success.

I'd be surprised if the access was measurably faster on a low level
formatted card than one that had a quick format done. To my knowledge, it
does not make in difference in write time depending on what was there
before, but I could be wrong on that point.

 
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Ted Banks
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      02-27-2010
On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:02:35 -0600, Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
>format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
>to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
>file system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
>actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
>we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.
>
>I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
>application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
>can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
>Canon would do it.
>
>
>


For the speed issue:

If it's an SD card and not an SDHC card (4GB or less only, though some 4GB
cards are also SDHC) format it in FAT16. It can improve the write speed up
to 30% in Canon P&S cameras. Don't use the camera, use your computer and a
card-reader for this. Formatting in the camera will format it as FAT32.

After using it for a while for many files and file deletions and it seems
to slow down, you can retain that speed by using Windows tools to
defragment it. It will speed up as if freshly formatted in FAT16 again
without a reformat needed. Most other stand-alone defragment utilities
don't seem to recognize SD cards in a card reader. Contrary to most of the
opinions you'll read online by those who post what they don't really know,
defragmenting does work as well as a fresh format. Defragment twice, as one
time doesn't seem to catch all of the gaps the first time.

 
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Ted Banks
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-27-2010
On 27 Feb 2010 18:52:49 GMT, (E-Mail Removed) (Ray Fischer) wrote:

>Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
>>format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
>>to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
>>file system.

>
>How long does it take?
>
>Completely erasing a 2GB memory card should take a minute or two.
>Writing a new file system will take a couple of seconds.
>
>> In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
>>actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
>>we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.

>
>Nobody does that. It's probably not possible.
>
>>I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
>>application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
>>can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
>>Canon would do it.

>
>You'd do better to get a faster memory card and stop wasting time on
>chasing a mythical 1% speed increase.


Contrary to that opinion, class ratings for cards are for read-speed only.
The write speed can be as low as 50% of that, so using tricks like
formatting in FAT16 can be more beneficial for write-speed than just buying
a faster card and wasting your money for no appreciable write-speed gain.

 
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John McWilliams
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-28-2010
Ted Banks wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:02:35 -0600, Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
>> format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
>> to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
>> file system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
>> actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
>> we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.
>>
>> I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
>> application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
>> can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
>> Canon would do it.


> For the speed issue:
>
> If it's an SD card and not an SDHC card (4GB or less only, though some 4GB
> cards are also SDHC) format it in FAT16. It can improve the write speed up
> to 30% in Canon P&S cameras. Don't use the camera, use your computer and a
> card-reader for this. Formatting in the camera will format it as FAT32.
>
> After using it for a while for many files and file deletions and it seems
> to slow down, you can retain that speed by using Windows tools to
> defragment it. It will speed up as if freshly formatted in FAT16 again
> without a reformat needed. Most other stand-alone defragment utilities
> don't seem to recognize SD cards in a card reader. Contrary to most of the
> opinions you'll read online by those who post what they don't really know,
> defragmenting does work as well as a fresh format. Defragment twice, as one
> time doesn't seem to catch all of the gaps the first time.
>


Simply reformat it once in camera. Done.

--
John McWilliams
 
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LOL!
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-28-2010
On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 18:55:57 -0800, John McWilliams <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>Ted Banks wrote:
>> On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:02:35 -0600, Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
>>> format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
>>> to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
>>> file system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
>>> actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
>>> we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.
>>>
>>> I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
>>> application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
>>> can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
>>> Canon would do it.

>
>> For the speed issue:
>>
>> If it's an SD card and not an SDHC card (4GB or less only, though some 4GB
>> cards are also SDHC) format it in FAT16. It can improve the write speed up
>> to 30% in Canon P&S cameras. Don't use the camera, use your computer and a
>> card-reader for this. Formatting in the camera will format it as FAT32.
>>
>> After using it for a while for many files and file deletions and it seems
>> to slow down, you can retain that speed by using Windows tools to
>> defragment it. It will speed up as if freshly formatted in FAT16 again
>> without a reformat needed. Most other stand-alone defragment utilities
>> don't seem to recognize SD cards in a card reader. Contrary to most of the
>> opinions you'll read online by those who post what they don't really know,
>> defragmenting does work as well as a fresh format. Defragment twice, as one
>> time doesn't seem to catch all of the gaps the first time.
>>

>
>Simply reformat it once in camera. Done.


You're a moron.

 
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John McWilliams
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-28-2010
LOL! wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 18:55:57 -0800, John McWilliams <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote:
>
>> Ted Banks wrote:
>>> On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:02:35 -0600, Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
>>>> format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
>>>> to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
>>>> file system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
>>>> actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
>>>> we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.
>>>>
>>>> I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
>>>> application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
>>>> can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
>>>> Canon would do it.
>>> For the speed issue:
>>>
>>> If it's an SD card and not an SDHC card (4GB or less only, though some 4GB
>>> cards are also SDHC) format it in FAT16. It can improve the write speed up
>>> to 30% in Canon P&S cameras. Don't use the camera, use your computer and a
>>> card-reader for this. Formatting in the camera will format it as FAT32.
>>>
>>> After using it for a while for many files and file deletions and it seems
>>> to slow down, you can retain that speed by using Windows tools to
>>> defragment it. It will speed up as if freshly formatted in FAT16 again
>>> without a reformat needed. Most other stand-alone defragment utilities
>>> don't seem to recognize SD cards in a card reader. Contrary to most of the
>>> opinions you'll read online by those who post what they don't really know,
>>> defragmenting does work as well as a fresh format. Defragment twice, as one
>>> time doesn't seem to catch all of the gaps the first time.
>>>

>> Simply reformat it once in camera. Done.

>
> You're a moron.



Right, "Ted".... always take the more convoluted path.

--
lsmft
 
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LOL!
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-28-2010
On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 20:24:54 -0800, John McWilliams <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>LOL! wrote:
>> On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 18:55:57 -0800, John McWilliams <(E-Mail Removed)>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Ted Banks wrote:
>>>> On Sat, 27 Feb 2010 11:02:35 -0600, Peabody <(E-Mail Removed)>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Does anyone happen to know what exactly happens in the "low-level"
>>>>> format of an SD card in a Canon P&S? What I'm specifically trying
>>>>> to find out is whether it erases the card before intializing the
>>>>> file system. In flash memory, erasing is not just overwriting, but
>>>>> actually returning the memory to its unprogrammed state, like what
>>>>> we used to do with UV light applied to an EPROM.
>>>>>
>>>>> I'm trying to get the maximum video write speed for another
>>>>> application, and in theory an erased card will write faster. I
>>>>> can't find any other way to erase a card, so I thought maybe the
>>>>> Canon would do it.
>>>> For the speed issue:
>>>>
>>>> If it's an SD card and not an SDHC card (4GB or less only, though some 4GB
>>>> cards are also SDHC) format it in FAT16. It can improve the write speed up
>>>> to 30% in Canon P&S cameras. Don't use the camera, use your computer and a
>>>> card-reader for this. Formatting in the camera will format it as FAT32.
>>>>
>>>> After using it for a while for many files and file deletions and it seems
>>>> to slow down, you can retain that speed by using Windows tools to
>>>> defragment it. It will speed up as if freshly formatted in FAT16 again
>>>> without a reformat needed. Most other stand-alone defragment utilities
>>>> don't seem to recognize SD cards in a card reader. Contrary to most of the
>>>> opinions you'll read online by those who post what they don't really know,
>>>> defragmenting does work as well as a fresh format. Defragment twice, as one
>>>> time doesn't seem to catch all of the gaps the first time.
>>>>
>>> Simply reformat it once in camera. Done.

>>
>> You're a moron.

>
>
>Right, "Ted".... always take the more convoluted path.


http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Benchmarks

You're a moron.

You weren't just happy with being told that you are a moron, you insisted
that I prove you are a moron to the whole world.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth again
and remove all doubt again.


LOL!
 
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