Polaroid PDC 1300 and CF card problems

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jordan Tucker, Oct 31, 2003.

  1. Hello,

    I bought a used Polaroid PDC 1300 at a computer show a few months back which
    seemed to work okay except for a corrupt CF card (SST 8MB) causing it to
    freeze up at the logo screen -- a common problem whose solution is to
    reformat the card using the camera.

    A few weeks ago I got another CF card (Sandisk 6MB), and using it I was able
    to operate the camera as it should, taking pictures, etc. Today I bought a
    PNY USB CF reader (they're on sale for $15 at Best Buy, not including $10
    manufacturer's rebate, but I digress.) I was able to take a few pictures and
    read them off the CF card, but I made the mistake of formatting (FAT12) it
    with my computer. Now the camera just says "Bad card!" when trying to access
    the play menu. But, the CF card works fine in the reader on my computer,
    transferring files without corrupting the data, etc. Scandisk also returns
    with no problems.

    The curious thing I discovered was when I put the original SST card in the
    reader. It was also working, with the previous owner's contents on there. I
    tried recreating the directory structure on the Sandisk card, thinking
    perhaps the designers at Polaroid didn't create such robust code. But this
    didn't work. I then formatted the SST card from the computer, and tried it
    in the camera. "Bad card!" again, with no way to access the reformat
    utility. Like I stated earlier, this card previously caused the camera to
    hang, so something has at least changed and I think I've narrowed it down to
    the way the cards are formatted. So, I'm wondering if the PDC 1300 has some
    magic bytes that it writes to the filesystem, like I've read about with
    Smartmedia cards (smprep). But then, of course, it would have problems with
    any virgin cards. So the problem might also lie with the way the
    computer/reader is formatting the card, either the physical writing or the
    logical filesystem. I'm using Windows XP SP1, and the built in drivers for
    removable mass storage.

    I've read archived posts (yay for googlegroups) talking about problems with
    using the computer to format cards, but these usually deal with people
    formatting a card FAT16/32 when the camera expects FAT12. But, I know for
    sure I'm formatting using FAT12. I may go back to Best Buy and ask if I can
    borrow a camera to try and format my CF cards. Anyone have any other ideas?

    Jordan Tucker, Oct 31, 2003
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