Deleting pictures on an SD card

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Kiran, Feb 9, 2007.

  1. Kiran

    Kiran Guest

    I wish to delete the pictures on my digital camera's SD card, which is
    almost full. Is it best to do it withe camera controls or computer
    controls? Thank you.
    Kiran, Feb 9, 2007
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  2. Just reformat the card in the camera.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 9, 2007
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  3. Kiran

    _nemo_ Guest

    Do you whant to erase all? Just use Format on the camera.
    Only delete some? Can be done on both, but as you are asking, perhaps
    on the camera will be less risky. ;-)
    _nemo_, Feb 9, 2007
  4. Kiran

    Colin_D Guest

    If you just want to re-use the card, use 'Format' on the camera menu.
    This, like individual image erase, does not remove the image, it merely
    rewrites a new FAT table on the card, which loses the connection to the
    images, but they are still there, recoverable by a number of software
    applications - until they are overwritten by new images.

    If you really want to remove the images for privacy reasons, you will
    have to reformat the card in a computer, using full format, not quick
    format. Full format rewrites data into every sector and checks whether
    the sector is ok, thus erasing all images on the card. Quick format
    merely rewrites the FAT table as in the camera, and the images remain.

    There are a few programs that write random data to the card, Flash Card
    Wiper is one, available on the web.

    Your computer can probably write either FAT16 or FAT32 when
    reformatting, and most cameras can use FAT32, but check in the book.

    I see by your groups that you post to a Mac group. If your computer is
    a Mac then I cannot tell you how it will format a card, as I don't know
    whether Mac formatting is compatible with PC style FAT16 or FAT32 as
    used by digital cameras.

    Colin D.
    Colin_D, Feb 9, 2007
  5. : I wish to delete the pictures on my digital camera's SD card, which is
    : almost full. Is it best to do it withe camera controls or computer
    : controls? Thank you.

    Others have suggested Format in the camera to totally erase the card, and
    this is a good suggestion. But if you wish to be more selective of which
    images to erase the "right" answer may be a bit more complicated. For some
    cameras, some people have reported that if an image is erased in a card
    reader attached to the computer the camera may have a problem as the
    camera saves some data seperately of how many images are on the card and
    such. If the data is mismatched the camera can become confused. On the
    other hand both of the cameras I use have no problem if I erase images
    with the card reader.

    I would suggest that if you are going to format the card anyway you might
    want to explore what works with your camera. Put the card in the card
    reader and erase one or more files and then put the camera back in the
    camera and see if it causes problems. If it does, format the card in the
    camera and you will know you need to do all erasures in the camera. If the
    camera has no problem with the card reader erasure then you know you can
    erase individual images in either place.

    Personally I prefer to erase images in the card reader when I am using it
    for copying the images to the HD. I may be wrong but it SEEMS that the
    computer completes the erasures slightly faster (tho that is purely an
    impression, I haven't actually timed it). Of course if I am wanting to
    just erase a single image (or a very small number of them) it just isn't
    worth it to fire up the computer to erase them. Just doing it in the
    camera makes more sense. JMHO


    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
    Randy Berbaum, Feb 9, 2007
  6. Kiran

    Jon Guest

    Apple's "Disk Utility" application will format volumes to FAT32 as an
    alternative to the Mac's native HFS+.
    Jon, Feb 9, 2007
  7. Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!) ha scritto:
    I sink is better with the computer.
    salvatoremurgia, Feb 9, 2007
  8. Kiran

    Jon Guest

    On a Mac, use "Image Capture", found in /Applications. This is actually
    the program that does the behind the scenes work of iPhoto when it is
    grabbing pix off a card or a camera. IC - as opposed to iPhoto - can
    selectively copy or delete images on a camera (I use a Canon Ixus) or a

    BTW: IC's Preferences is also the place where you decide what the Mac
    should do as default action when it detects a camera or card. May seem
    awkward, but is a confirmation of the fact that it is IC, not iPhoto,
    that is the real stage worker here.
    Jon, Feb 9, 2007
  9. Kiran

    jmc Guest

    Suddenly, without warning, Kiran exclaimed (09-Feb-07 7:23 PM):
    If you're deleting everything, quickest way is to Format the card. If
    you're selectively deleting, best to do it on the camera (even tho it's
    more annoying). I've had problems with cards after deleting images on
    the computer - worked fine when I put it back in the camera, but after
    taking some pics and putting it back into the card reader, there was
    "nothing there"! When this happened I'd have to use recovery software
    to get the pictures off the card. This didn't happen if I did the
    deletes from the camera itself.

    Which brings me to my second point. You'd think that a full format
    would delete the images, but at least on my three Nikon cameras, it does
    not - image recovery software easily gets the pictures back.

    jmc, Feb 9, 2007
  10. Kiran

    Ed Ruf Guest

    No you would not think that. All this high level formatting does here
    is overwrite the FAT. It does nothing to the data on the card itself.
    There are utilities to destroy/overwrite the data. My Lexar CF card
    came loaded with their ImageRescue software. Here is the help file
    info on the Format function:

    Format Card will delete all files found on the CompactFlash card,
    however, these files may be able to be restored using the Image
    Recovery feature. Additionally, the CompactFlash card will be
    formatted back to the original factory settings. This will make a
    corrupted card useable again in your digital device or computer.
    This is how high level formatting works on your hard and floppy drives
    as well.

    They also provide a secure erase function.
    Ed Ruf ()
    Ed Ruf, Feb 9, 2007
  11. Kiran

    Jon Guest

    Just to be very clear: This is equally true on a normal hard drive
    unless you do a low level format or you zero and/or overwrite all the
    data (preferably multiple times if you really, REALLY want to be sure.)
    Jon, Feb 9, 2007
  12. Kiran

    Dave Cohen Guest

    It's best to full format a floppy (if you still use them). They aren't
    the most reliable of media.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Feb 9, 2007
  13. Kiran

    Just D Guest

    It's much easier to use some special tool rewriting the location occupied by
    these files with some random data. Even ancient Norton Tools were able to do
    that. Or you or anybody of your friend programmer can write this tool in
    coupe minutes using any computer language :) The algorithm is pretty
    simple - delete all original files, create one or many files depending on
    the maximum file size available for this file system, fill this file or
    files with some random info, finally delete this temporary file. Even if
    this file is restored it's worthless.

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 9, 2007
  14. Kiran

    ray Guest

    Your chances of success are maximized by doing a 'format' in the camera.
    ray, Feb 9, 2007
  15. You think wrong. There are only pitfalls in doing it via computers.

    Reformatting is quicker than deleting, and keeps things simple.
    John McWilliams, Feb 9, 2007
  16. Interesting to note the OP said nothing about secure deletion.

    And please put your reply at the bottom, quoting judiciously.
    John McWilliams, Feb 9, 2007
  17. Kiran

    Jon Guest

    True, but my point remains the same: You need to overwrite the data in
    order to truly delete them. :)
    Jon, Feb 9, 2007
  18. Kiran

    Jon Guest

    In fact, I think floppy formatting on a Mac at least was always a fulll
    Jon, Feb 9, 2007
  19. Kiran

    Just D Guest

    Interesting to note the OP said nothing about secure deletion.

    Well, not me started this sub-thread first :) For a complete deletion of my
    cards I'd use a format in my camera, it's tested and works great. It takes
    ~1 sec or even less for a complete format of 8 GB SDHC card. But actually
    when I copy the data from the card to my computer I actually MOVE files to
    delete them from the card, that's easier, don't need to sync next time or
    guess what's already done.

    For a real secure reformatting it would take hours with this relatively card
    if I need to do that according to the standard which assumes a several times
    rewriting over and over some randomly generated data. There are some apps
    doing that. But in most cases it's worthless since the card has just a
    personal set of images (music files) and the card will be used by the same
    photographer (user) again and again.

    Also it should be noticed that some SDHC 4 GB cards are probably still
    having FAT16 which is supported by the older devices even if they can't work
    with real SDHC formatted with FAT32. Reformatting will create a new FAT32
    structure especially if it's done with the computer (where it's optional and
    can be selected by the user, at list it works with al other media types) and
    the owner will simply lose his card for these older devices if he can't
    reformat it back with FAT16. I saw several complaints on the Internet when
    the user lost their cards after reformatting. That's why I asked here before
    if anybody has any trouble formatting SDHC cards, particularly 4 and 8 GB
    SDHC with D80.

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 9, 2007
  20. Kiran

    Just D Guest

    Well, good scissors will solve this issue in less than a second :) I'm not
    talking about usability of this solution, but I saw shredders on the
    internet able to destroy the floppies, CD/DVD disks, even hard drives...)

    But I'm sure we're so far from the original question of deletion of the
    images. There are at least half-a-dozen of different methods and I'm sure we
    shouldn't lose our time enumerating all of them, that's naive to do that.

    Just D.
    Just D, Feb 9, 2007
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