In-camera formatting of compact-flash inferior wrt fragmentation?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Steven Lin, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. Steven Lin

    Steven Lin Guest

    Personally, I think the following is bunk, but I'm still wondering if
    there's any truth to the following?

    The instructions that came with my CF card state that using a camera
    for formatting may not correct fragmentation. It recommends using a
    PC with a flash card reader to format the card from time to time.

    Steven Lin, Aug 13, 2003
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  2. Steven Lin

    Tom Thackrey Guest

    Sounds like BS, but who cares. I assume you're talking about a memory card
    (not a microdrive) in which case fragmentation is a non-issue.
    Tom Thackrey, Aug 13, 2003
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  3. Steven Lin

    Chris Watts Guest

    Fragmentation on memory cards CAN be a problem, as the users of the X-S
    drive with the early firmware can attest to!
    I agree that it is irrelevant with a newly formatted card. But try taking
    several photos, deleting some and then taking more - likely result is
    fragmented memory. But any decent firmware/software can cope with that.

    Chris Watts, Aug 13, 2003
  4. Steven Lin

    Alan F Cross Guest

    I presume, on an XP or NT system, you have to be sure to format as
    FAT32, and not NTFS. Is this so? And aren't some earlier cameras neither
    of these, so these *have* to be done in camera or on an older OS.
    Alan F Cross, Aug 13, 2003
  5. Steven Lin

    Chris Watts Guest

    There are lots of Win98 machines out there that allow it. But then I
    believe in formatting in the camera anyway.
    Chris Watts, Aug 13, 2003
  6. Steven Lin

    Ron Hunter Guest

    First, it really doesn't MATTER as flash cards aren't written on in the
    same way as regular hard disks. Also, they have no mechanical aspects,
    so things like rotational latency and track to track access times are
    If you delete all the files on a CF card, it should be as 'defragmented'
    as it can get.
    Ron Hunter, Aug 13, 2003
  7. Steven Lin

    Ron Hunter Guest

    In any system you MUST specify FAT16 unless you have one of the large
    capacity memory cards formatted in FAT32 (larger than 2 gig.), AND a
    camera that can use FAT32!!
    Ron Hunter, Aug 13, 2003
  8. Steven Lin

    Ender W. Guest

    That's a fact! But if you really want to be sure, format it in the
    camera. There is no value in formatting it with the OS. After you
    delete all the pictures off the card, just look in the directory.
    There are no files!

    Ender W., Aug 14, 2003
  9. Steven Lin

    Steven Lin Guest

    Just following up. I've done a bit of research and while I haven't
    found any evidence that in-camera formatting is any different from a
    PC, I did discover some information about flash memory.

    If power is lost when writing to flash a logical error can occur in
    the corresponding sector. Writes to that sector are disabled. This
    is possibly what my CF card manufacturer meant by fragmentation. The
    sectors can only be reused by formatting the flash again.
    Steven Lin, Aug 15, 2003
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