Formatting the memory card

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Toomanyputters, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. I have the digital Rebel with the CF card. After taking a number of shots,
    I place the card in a card reader and download to the computer. I place the
    card back in the camera, and format the card. I wonder: since I never fill
    up the card, and always format in the camera, is this wearing out the card
    Toomanyputters, Feb 18, 2006
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  2. Toomanyputters

    tnom Guest

    Why are you formatting the card every time you use it? You won't
    wear it out. Why can't you cut and paste the pics in the card reader
    instead of using copy and paste?
    tnom, Feb 18, 2006
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  3. Toomanyputters

    tomm42 Guest

    CF cards are extremely durable and transfering data, formating won't
    hurt it. I do this at work all the time, work in a medical setting so
    any data on unprotected sources has to be destroyed. We use a 4 year
    old Fuji S1 and reformat all the time, two of the cards are as old as
    the camera.
    tomm42, Feb 18, 2006
  4. Toomanyputters

    ASAAR Guest

    Most people think it's unwise to cut and past, if by that you mean
    a MOVE operation. If something goes wrong during the operation you
    risk losing all of the files. Several months ago using Windows
    Explorer to move files from one drive D: to drive F: not only
    resulting in the loss of files when Explorer crashed, but it took
    with it about 10% of the Windows system files on drive C:. It's
    safer to copy files from the flash card to the computer, and after
    safely making a CD or DVD copy, delete/format the card in the
    camera. Or delete them in the card reader if you wish. But if any
    formatting is done it should be done in the camera.
    ASAAR, Feb 18, 2006
  5. Toomanyputters

    tnom Guest

    Then after a successfully copy and paste just delete the files with
    the memory card reader. Formatting should only be done by the camera
    as you say, but formatting every time with a battery operated camera
    is not needed or wise.
    tnom, Feb 18, 2006
  6. Toomanyputters

    Dave Cohen Guest

    Explain the not wise part.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Feb 18, 2006
  7. Toomanyputters

    Dave Cohen Guest

    Destroying the data won't be achieved by formatting alone. You can do a
    better job using either a good hammer or download from PhotoRescue
    site. The latter will permit re-use of the card.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Feb 18, 2006
  8. In case the battery isn't fully charged, and the camera fails half-way
    through the format.

    I would have no hesitation formatting in-camera /providing/ the batteries
    are well charged.

    David J Taylor, Feb 18, 2006
  9. Only if you live to about a million years old.
    Randall Ainsworth, Feb 18, 2006

  10. Oh? And why is that? I work with a guy who would copy the pics from his
    20D and then delete them from the card, not knowing that Canon makes a
    new folder every 100 shots. It got to a point where he couldn't find
    his new pics on the card.

    Formatting in the camera after copying out each session is a safe way
    to know that you're always starting fresh.
    Randall Ainsworth, Feb 18, 2006
  11. It takes my 10D about a half second to format a 512MB card. I don't
    think the batteries are going to die in that short of a time.
    Randall Ainsworth, Feb 18, 2006
  12. Toomanyputters

    timepixdc Guest

    Nope. The CF card has a format cycle of 10-20,000 so assuming you format
    your card once a day you've got the next 25 to 50 years to got.
    timepixdc, Feb 18, 2006
  13. Toomanyputters

    Prometheus Guest

    A move operation is a copy followed by a delete of the original after
    successfully writing the file to the location, you can verify this
    process by attempting to move a file from a write protected source (CD,
    floppy, SD card, network drive); you will find that you have a copy of
    the file in the new location, a copy left in the old location, and an
    error message telling you that the file could not be moved.
    The fact that it damaged so many files it was not moving, or even
    copying, does not indicate that moving a file has any more risk than
    copying it. Any connected media is at risk during a crash, even a read
    operation could be corrupted in to an uncontrolled write to the device.
    It is certainly a good idea to ensure you have several copies before you
    delete or format the memory card.
    Very true.
    Prometheus, Feb 18, 2006
  14. Toomanyputters

    Battleax Guest

    What's with all the formatting? Once a card is formatted there's no reason
    to reformat unless there's some sort of problem. It isn't even good for
    security as one poster recommended, it won't remove anything from the card
    Battleax, Feb 18, 2006
  15. Agreed.

    Nevertheless, failing batteries do seem to be one of the main causes of
    corrupt memory cards.

    David J Taylor, Feb 18, 2006
  16. Toomanyputters

    Prometheus Guest

    To prevent old date being recovered use one of the secure erase
    programmes, I doubt their is any point write more than once, or you
    could just copy a file that is almost as large as the card to it. There
    are a number of undelete programmes that are free for private use, "Zero
    Assumption" will only recover photograph files of a few formats in its
    freeware version, "Turbo file unerase 1.1" will undelete any files.
    Prometheus, Feb 18, 2006
  17. Toomanyputters

    tomm42 Guest

    For all intents and purposes a format cleans the card enough, unless
    someone is REALLY trying to get the data. The new Lexar secure cards
    may be a little safer, but would my secure database be able to access
    the info on the card. Right now it takes the info right off the card,
    but not after entering the pertenent information aof the photos on the
    card. After some photosessions a hammer may be useful.

    tomm42, Feb 18, 2006
  18. Toomanyputters

    Prometheus Guest

    I once had the battery in my Minolta Xt go flat on taking a picture,
    after recharging the battery the camera reported a system error and
    would not let me do anything. I was able to copy all but the last file
    using a card reader (I did not have the cable for the Xt with me) under
    Windows XP without using any special software and after copying the
    files to a networked server drive and to a USB flash drive I formatted
    the card with the PC before I returned it to the Xt where I formatted it
    again to lay down the folder structure..
    Prometheus, Feb 18, 2006
  19. Also, not good to take a shot, where the camera is writing to the card as
    the baths run out either. My Nikon CP=99/5700 specifically did not like
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 18, 2006
  20. I don't believe that to be true. Most utils can deal with this.
    Ed Ruf (REPLY to E-MAIL IN SIG!), Feb 18, 2006
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