Format or erase

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by certsnsearches, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. With an Olympus C50 zoom should I format after "erasing all"?




    Brian
     
    certsnsearches, Feb 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. certsnsearches

    Martin Brown Guest

    In message <c0tl2a$9td$>, certsnsearches
    <> writes
    >With an Olympus C50 zoom should I format after "erasing all"?


    It probably makes no difference unless there is a bug in their firmware.
    On most cameras erase all is reliable. Doing lots of selective deletes
    can eventually get you into trouble on some cameras - don't ask me why.

    Normal users don't seem to hit these limits unless they are very
    unlucky.

    Regards,
    --
    Martin Brown
     
    Martin Brown, Feb 17, 2004
    #2
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  3. certsnsearches

    Steven Wandy Guest

    Not really necessary, unless you use the same memory card in different
    cameras. I do it once in a while just to clean up the card, but don't think
    it's actually necessary.

    "certsnsearches" <> wrote in message
    news:c0tl2a$9td$...
    > With an Olympus C50 zoom should I format after "erasing all"?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Brian
    >
    >
     
    Steven Wandy, Feb 17, 2004
    #3
  4. certsnsearches

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    certsnsearches wrote:
    > With an Olympus C50 zoom should I format after "erasing all"?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Brian



    No!

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it :)

    Take care.

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Feb 17, 2004
    #4
  5. certsnsearches

    HRosita Guest

    Hi,

    No need to do both. If you format you will erase all by default.
    Personally, I like to format every so often to take care of possible lost
    clusters.
    It is really a matter of personal preferences.
    Rosita
     
    HRosita, Feb 17, 2004
    #5
  6. certsnsearches

    Azzz1588 Guest

    In article <>, et
    (HRosita) writes:

    >No need to do both. If you format you will erase all by default.
    >Personally, I like to format every so often to take care of possible lost
    >clusters.
    >It is really a matter of personal preferences.



    Every time I upload pic's to the computer, I always put the card in
    the camera (C 4040Z) and format it. I have done this since the day
    I got it, and have never had any problems with the memory cards
    I've used. Just a habit I got into, and never stopped doing :)
































    "Only a Gentleman can insult me, and a true Gentleman never will..."
     
    Azzz1588, Feb 18, 2004
    #6
  7. certsnsearches

    Nibbler Guest

    > Never format anything unless it's necessary. Besides, with CF cards
    > you gain nothing by formatting. The cards do not get fragmented with
    > normal use. OTHO they will get fragmented if you only download the
    > odd image here and there. Even then, once you download everything a
    > straight delete leaves the drive (and they are treated as drives)
    > clean. If the whole thing is empty, it doesn't matter how fragmented
    > the files were prior to that.


    I think you may be thinking of defragmentation and its benefits...
    formatting will defrag, to the extreme :) formatting in camera wipes the
    TOC, sets the data structure for the camera in question, and marks out bad
    sectors from use. (depending on your camera and its firmware) Correct, that
    a card may become useless after format on rare occasion, but that is usually
    because sectors for the cards for internal use were determined as bad, the
    card would have failed or worked erratically if not done eventually anyway.
    (sometimes a bad card may work fine for a while, esp if it is a few last
    sectors that were munged, - IE rarely used - or storage space may seem to
    run out sooner than expected because of lack of space to annote new files in
    the TOC or other data reference structure) I would say format is not
    necessary if your camera has a scandisk feature (which do?) or if you have a
    CF or microdrive with good error correction / diagnostic built in. (no
    different than PC preventive maintenance)
     
    Nibbler, Feb 19, 2004
    #7
  8. On 18 Feb 2004 14:02:04 GMT, (Azzz1588) wrote:

    >In article <>, et
    >(HRosita) writes:
    >
    >>No need to do both. If you format you will erase all by default.
    >>Personally, I like to format every so often to take care of possible lost
    >>clusters.
    >>It is really a matter of personal preferences.

    >
    >
    >Every time I upload pic's to the computer, I always put the card in
    >the camera (C 4040Z) and format it. I have done this since the day
    >I got it, and have never had any problems with the memory cards
    >I've used. Just a habit I got into, and never stopped doing :)


    Never format anything unless it's necessary. Besides, with CF cards
    you gain nothing by formatting. The cards do not get fragmented with
    normal use. OTHO they will get fragmented if you only download the
    odd image here and there. Even then, once you download everything a
    straight delete leaves the drive (and they are treated as drives)
    clean. If the whole thing is empty, it doesn't matter how fragmented
    the files were prior to that.

    I copy to one computer and then move to the other from the CF card.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    www.rogerhalstead.com
     
    Roger Halstead, Feb 19, 2004
    #8
  9. "certsnsearches" <> writes:

    > With an Olympus C50 zoom should I format after "erasing all"?


    Skip the "erase all". Format is the quickest and most reliable way to
    put the card into a known empty state. I have always used it with my
    Epson 850Z and Fuji S2 Pro.

    (For example, format will remove directories and files outside the
    usual hierarchy used by the camera, which might have been put there by
    other devices, or by drag-and-drop misses, or whatever. Erase all
    might or might not do that, depending on how it's implemented and
    where the file/directory was.)
    --
    David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
    RKBA: <http://noguns-nomoney.com> <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
    Photos: <dd-b.lighthunters.net> Snapshots: <www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
    Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Feb 19, 2004
    #9
  10. certsnsearches

    Larry Guest

    In article <-b.net>, says...
    > Skip the "erase all". Format is the quickest and most reliable way to
    > put the card into a known empty state. I have always used it with my
    > Epson 850Z and Fuji S2 Pro.
    >
    > (For example, format will remove directories and files outside the
    > usual hierarchy used by the camera, which might have been put there by
    > other devices, or by drag-and-drop misses, or whatever. Erase all
    > might or might not do that, depending on how it's implemented and
    > where the file/directory was.)
    > --
    >


    I agree!
    After a heavy weekend of shooting I always format whatever cards I've
    used.

    During a shoot, I will simply put 'em in a reader and copy 'em to the
    laptop, then do a "mass delete" after checking to be sure they actually
    got copied.

    I have also begun to carry several blank CDRs in the laptop case for
    burning permanent copies of original photos (as permanent as CDRs are
    anyhow, I've had more of them fail than I have had memory cards fail).

    For the record:

    SD cards (4 cameras) 1 failure in two years
    Memory Sticks (3 cameras) no failures in two years
    XD-cards (1 camera) no failures in 6 months of HEAVY use
    cf-cards (1 camera) no failures in 2 years
    CDRW disks (3 inch) (1 camera) at least one failure a weekend
    CDR disks (3 inch)(same camera) no failures (in camera)

    Turns out the CDR camera (Sony 5mp model) is more expensive to run than
    any other I own. Those little disks are EXPENSIVE (if you can find 'em)

    As an aside, I've had 1 memory stick and 1 CF-card go through BOTH the
    washer and dryer, and come out not only working, but still delivering
    the photos. (kids, dont try this at home)


    --
    Larry Lynch
    Mystic, Ct.
     
    Larry, Feb 19, 2004
    #10
  11. "Roger Halstead" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    []
    > Never format anything unless it's necessary. Besides, with CF cards
    > you gain nothing by formatting. The cards do not get fragmented with
    > normal use. OTHO they will get fragmented if you only download the
    > odd image here and there. Even then, once you download everything a
    > straight delete leaves the drive (and they are treated as drives)
    > clean. If the whole thing is empty, it doesn't matter how fragmented
    > the files were prior to that.


    I would offer different advice for memory cards:
    always format the CF card in the camera before use.

    The cards can get fragmented in normal use, requiring multiple I/Os to
    read a single file or directory. Deleting files from the PC may not have
    the desired effect.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Feb 19, 2004
    #11
  12. certsnsearches

    Charlie Self Guest

    David Taylor responds:

    >"Roger Halstead" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >[]
    >> Never format anything unless it's necessary. Besides, with CF cards
    >> you gain nothing by formatting. The cards do not get fragmented with
    >> normal use. OTHO they will get fragmented if you only download the
    >> odd image here and there. Even then, once you download everything a
    >> straight delete leaves the drive (and they are treated as drives)
    >> clean. If the whole thing is empty, it doesn't matter how fragmented
    >> the files were prior to that.

    >
    >I would offer different advice for memory cards:
    > always format the CF card in the camera before use.
    >
    >The cards can get fragmented in normal use, requiring multiple I/Os to
    >read a single file or directory. Deleting files from the PC may not have
    >the desired effect.


    I'll have to go with Roger on this one. I've got several CF cards that have
    about 18 months use on them, totalling something over 3200 pix. I've never
    formatted any of them, and never had a problem. I copy to my directory from a
    reader, then erase while the card is in the reader.

    Charlie Self
    "Health food makes me sick." Calvin Trillin

    http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
     
    Charlie Self, Feb 19, 2004
    #12
  13. "David J Taylor" <-this-bit> wrote in message
    news:rf2Zb.2824$...
    ....
    > The cards can get fragmented in normal use, requiring multiple I/Os to
    > read a single file or directory. Deleting files from the PC may not have
    > the desired effect.

    ....

    David:

    In a FAT based system, multiple I/Os are essentially always required to read
    any file larger than 1 cluster, so that's not really the issue. On a rotating media
    drive, the repositioning of the read heads takes time (as does waiting for the proper
    sector to rotate under the read head). Solid state media, like CF, xD, SD, and MS
    don't have any mechanical movement issues; reading or writing sequential or non-
    sequential sequences of clusters takes the same amount of time. Fragmentation
    just isn't an issue, like it is with hard drives.


    --
    Dan (Woj...) dmaster (at) lucent (dot) com

    "Darkness, darkness, be my pillow / Take my hand and let me sleep
    In the coolness of your shadow / In the silence of your deep
    Darkness, darkness, long and lonesome / Is the day that brings me here
    I have felt the edge of silence / I have known the depths of fear"
     
    Dan Wojciechowski, Feb 19, 2004
    #13
  14. "Dan Wojciechowski" <> wrote in message
    news:c12ssm$...

    > David:
    >
    > In a FAT based system, multiple I/Os are essentially always required to

    read
    > any file larger than 1 cluster, so that's not really the issue. On a

    rotating media
    > drive, the repositioning of the read heads takes time (as does waiting

    for the proper
    > sector to rotate under the read head). Solid state media, like CF, xD,

    SD, and MS
    > don't have any mechanical movement issues; reading or writing sequential

    or non-
    > sequential sequences of clusters takes the same amount of time.

    Fragmentation
    > just isn't an issue, like it is with hard drives.


    Dan, try measuring it on some earlier cameras. They are really slow on
    I/O, as were the earlier CF cards, and doing unnecessary I/O operations
    costs time. This is particularly true when the direcory gets fragmented.
    A set of contiguous I/Os can be merged into a multi-sector read. When the
    device is fragmented, multiple I/Os may be required.

    But there's more to it than that - the safest way is always to format in
    the camera. For example, you don't get the situation where the OS has
    formatted FAT32 and the camera can't read it.

    Cheers,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Feb 19, 2004
    #14
  15. certsnsearches

    KBob Guest

    On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 01:25:13 -0600, David Dyer-Bennet <>
    wrote:

    >"certsnsearches" <> writes:
    >
    >> With an Olympus C50 zoom should I format after "erasing all"?

    >
    >Skip the "erase all". Format is the quickest and most reliable way to
    >put the card into a known empty state. I have always used it with my
    >Epson 850Z and Fuji S2 Pro.
    >
    >(For example, format will remove directories and files outside the
    >usual hierarchy used by the camera, which might have been put there by
    >other devices, or by drag-and-drop misses, or whatever. Erase all
    >might or might not do that, depending on how it's implemented and
    >where the file/directory was.)


    I generally quick-format my cards after dumping their content--that
    it, all except a Taiwanese "eBay special" that won't record images
    without having a dummy image as the first one on the card, otherwise
    it just "pretends" to work.
     
    KBob, Feb 19, 2004
    #15
  16. On Thu, 19 Feb 2004 12:47:19 GMT, "David J Taylor"
    <-this-bit> wrote:

    >"Roger Halstead" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >[]
    >> Never format anything unless it's necessary. Besides, with CF cards
    >> you gain nothing by formatting. The cards do not get fragmented with
    >> normal use. OTHO they will get fragmented if you only download the
    >> odd image here and there. Even then, once you download everything a
    >> straight delete leaves the drive (and they are treated as drives)
    >> clean. If the whole thing is empty, it doesn't matter how fragmented
    >> the files were prior to that.

    >
    >I would offer different advice for memory cards:
    > always format the CF card in the camera before use.


    Why?
    >
    >The cards can get fragmented in normal use, requiring multiple I/Os to
    >read a single file or directory. Deleting files from the PC may not have
    >the desired effect.


    IF you delete all files with either a move or delete there is no
    fragmentation, unless there are bad sectors. In that case and that
    case only would the card benefit from a formatting which would mark
    the bad sectors.

    I rotate between three cards.
    They have never been formatted *except* when I ran some experiments
    with formatting, different formats, and formatting in the camera
    versus formatting in the card reader. One image became corrupted due
    to shutting off the camera while the buffer was being written to the
    memory (CF). Deleting the offending file and then moving the rest
    left me with a clean card.

    Between the three cards I have shot over 13,000 images in roughly two
    years. I'd have to do a count to be sure, but I think it's over that.

    Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
    (N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
    www.rogerhalstead.com
    >
    >Cheers,
    >David
    >
     
    Roger Halstead, Feb 20, 2004
    #16
  17. > >I would offer different advice for memory cards:
    > > always format the CF card in the camera before use.

    >
    > Why?


    Because I see reports of people who have created recycle bins, formatted
    the card with FAT32 instead of FAT16, used Move when they thought it was
    Copy, found sequence number errors due to remnant files, lost capacity due
    to hidden folders etc. etc.

    You sound methodical, but many people are not.

    Hence for an all encompassing piece of advice:
    format in camera before use to be sure.

    73,
    David
     
    David J Taylor, Feb 20, 2004
    #17
  18. Many thanks to you all for your advice.


    Brian


    "David J Taylor" <-this-bit> wrote in
    message news:LekZb.3546$...
    > > >I would offer different advice for memory cards:
    > > > always format the CF card in the camera before use.

    > >
    > > Why?

    >
    > Because I see reports of people who have created recycle bins, formatted
    > the card with FAT32 instead of FAT16, used Move when they thought it was
    > Copy, found sequence number errors due to remnant files, lost capacity due
    > to hidden folders etc. etc.
    >
    > You sound methodical, but many people are not.
    >
    > Hence for an all encompassing piece of advice:
    > format in camera before use to be sure.
    >
    > 73,
    > David
    >
    >
     
    certsnsearches, Feb 20, 2004
    #18
  19. "David J Taylor" <-this-bit> wrote in message
    news:4X6Zb.3052$...
    ....
    > Dan, try measuring it on some earlier cameras. They are really slow on


    Unfortunately, I don't have an "earlier" camera to try. I would hope that this
    situation would have been rectified in any relatively recent camera.

    > I/O, as were the earlier CF cards, and doing unnecessary I/O operations
    > costs time. This is particularly true when the direcory gets fragmented.


    Interesting. Wouldn't there have to be over about 124 files before a directory
    entry fragmented? Given the size of FLASH cards and file sizes and people's
    usage patterns, I would guess that directory fragmentation would generally be
    minimal. Unless I've overlooked something.

    > A set of contiguous I/Os can be merged into a multi-sector read. When the
    > device is fragmented, multiple I/Os may be required.


    Actually, I suppose that the FAT read could be optimised for contiguous clusters.

    >
    > But there's more to it than that - the safest way is always to format in
    > the camera. For example, you don't get the situation where the OS has
    > formatted FAT32 and the camera can't read it.


    I always copy the files to the computer, then delete all the files in the camera.
    That probably amounts to the same a format in the camera.

    ....

    --
    Dan (Woj...) dmaster (at) lucent (dot) com

    "Darkness, darkness, be my pillow / Take my hand and let me sleep
    In the coolness of your shadow / In the silence of your deep
    Darkness, darkness, long and lonesome / Is the day that brings me here
    I have felt the edge of silence / I have known the depths of fear"
     
    Dan Wojciechowski, Feb 20, 2004
    #19
  20. "Roger Halstead" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    ....
    > IF you delete all files with either a move or delete there is no
    > fragmentation, unless there are bad sectors. In that case and that
    > case only would the card benefit from a formatting which would mark
    > the bad sectors.

    ....

    My use of Compact Flash indicates that "bad sectors" aren't handled in
    the "disk" manner you are implying. CF never actually has a "bad sector"
    in the usual sense. As far as I've been able to determine, two things can
    happen:

    1. A sector wears out from extensive usage. FLASH devices have a limitted,
    though quite large, re-write limit.
    2. If the card controler has a failure, it can effectively mark a sector as unusable.
    I've only seen this happen when the card loses power in the middle of writing
    a sector.

    Now: Users generally never see case 1. since the memory card contains a
    number of spare memory locations. When the usage count on a particular
    memory reaches it's max, the device actually maps a spare location over the
    "worn out" location. Different manufactures have different schemes as to
    whether one spares pool covers the entire devices, or whether sections of the
    each have their own spares pool. Anyway, until the spares pool is exhausted,
    no "bad sectors" should be visible to the user of the device.

    In case 2., the sector is actually erroniously unusable. With CF devices, I believe
    that a successfull write of all "1s" to the "bad sector" will make it usable again.
    This probably happens in a "format". While there never is a need to format a
    FLASH device, in the sense a disk is formatted, the entire disk can be erased, and
    the camera specific directories/files may need to be created.

    Anyway, the one time I could see formatting be useful (outside of the user messing
    up the card while it was in his computer) is if the card has a problem,
    most likely due to power interruption while writing, that can be recovered by the
    "format" operation.

    In any case, formating certainly does no harm.


    --
    Dan (Woj...) dmaster (at) lucent (dot) com

    "Darkness, darkness, be my pillow / Take my hand and let me sleep
    In the coolness of your shadow / In the silence of your deep
    Darkness, darkness, long and lonesome / Is the day that brings me here
    I have felt the edge of silence / I have known the depths of fear"
     
    Dan Wojciechowski, Feb 20, 2004
    #20
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