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Author Topic: Card Reader or Camera Formatting CF Card Problem?  (Read 3796 times)
Wolfman
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« on: August 21, 2011, 10:16:13 PM »
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I was shooting today with my 5Dll and when I put the card in the Sandisk CF Card reader it said this computer can't read the files so I connected the camera with a usb cable and was able to download the images into the computer. I then put some of my other cf cards into the reader to see what would happen and I got the same message on all of them...
computer can't read the files. Then I put one of my cards into the camera and the camera said the card needs to be formatted and to format in the camera, so I hit format and nothing happened except it said it was busy formatting and it never changed that notice so I removed the battery and took out the card and put the battery back in...... I repeated this with 2 more cards and the same thing happened and then I tried 2 more cards they were fine and I could format them in camera...... I'm baffled because none of this has ever happened before with this card reader or my camera, so tomorrow as a 1st step I getting another card reader and see if that is the problem first and go from there.

Any thoughts..... sorry for the long description.
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tom b
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« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2011, 10:33:55 PM »
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Ditch the card reader and download from your camera. It's fast and doesn't seem to be much of a drain on batteries.

Cheers,
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Wolfman
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 10:35:46 AM »
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I'm pretty sure it's the reader that is causing the problem, but my camera will not format 4 of my 6 cards.... how can I format them?
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Steve House
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 10:56:26 AM »
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I'm pretty sure it's the reader that is causing the problem, but my camera will not format 4 of my 6 cards.... how can I format them?
If the camera won't format the cards I would suspect that it is the card itself that has become defective.  I sppose a fault in the reader could cause it but even so, it appears those cards are now damaged and need to be replaced. Even if you can format them on the computer and the camera eventually recognizes them, I wouldn't trust any critical shoots to them because something is obviously wrong.  As for downloading directly from the camera via USB, that just feels wrong to me.  I'm paranoid about hot plugging the USB port on my expensive camera and I just don't trust those flimsy little connectors to stand up to much stress wear and tear from repeated plugging and unplugging.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 11:48:18 AM »
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I'd stop using that card reader immediately, and the same goes for any card that won't format in the camera.  The card reader is possibly defective, especially if it worked right before but now doesn't.   If it worked right before, but it's not working on a new system, try going to the card reader manufacturers site and looking for a firmware upgrade for the card reader.  They're rare these days, but they do exist.  Most just don't need to upgrade the firmware, USB 2.0 has been mastered years ago.

The most accepted and I think reliable practice is to always format your cards in the camera and not the computer.  Period.  And then to use a card reader and not the camera to download the images to your computer.

Most of us have umpteen card readers.. one in every bag, attached to every computer, etc.. In Thailand good fast card readers (actual well made 5-1 or better card readers) could be routinely found even in super markets for the equivalent of $2-$3.. but for some reason here they're often 10x that.  In any case,  next time this happens try a new card reader first and don't keep sticking different cards in a suspected defective card reader.

I was hoping we'd be seeing USB3.0 card readers by now but they're not yet common and they're very pricey.  If you have a desktop or even a laptop with an esata port look at this SATA CF Card Reader from Lian-li.  It works well and is very fast compared to USB2 readers.  Well made and inexpensive.  I paid $33 for mine on Amazon a while back, I'll bet they're cheaper now.  And that was with a high quality brushed aluminum 5 1/4 to 3.5" adapter and cables to use it externally with USB 2.0 or esata.

Good luck solving your issue.. I'm sure it just involves tossing the defective cards and reader and replacing them.  A hard pill to swallow, but necessary.
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 09:54:27 PM »
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How old is the card reader, and was it working fine with the 5D II/card combo before? Are the cards shared with other cameras? And have you been formatting between uses, and just with the camera and not with the 'puter? Check for bent pins in the reader.

I recently purchased a new camera that wants class 6 or better cards, which proved to be incompatible with my older Sandisk Imagemate 8 in 1 reader. Picked up a Lexar Professional 2 in 1 USB reader, which is working fine.

I format with the camera between each use, and before using. I'm also careful where I get my cards. So far have not had a problem with either CF or SD cards in 12 years.

Cards do 'wear' out.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2011, 04:14:00 PM »
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When I upgraded the motherboard (i7), HDs, and other components on my Windows tower I had the tech install a card reader on the front panel of my tower, below the DVD burner. Best decision I've made in a long time. It accepts just about any size or type of card and the way it was configured I don't have to 'remove' the card using the task bar, just pull the card when I'm done using the reader. Currently, I use SD cards with my Nikon D90 but I also have an old Nikon 8800 that I use for macro and I still use the original 512MB CF card I got with the camera and the spare 1GB CF I bought at the same time. To transfer my images I plug the card into the reader, drag the images to a new folder and backup to an external drive . THEN, I delete the images from my card while it is still in the reader. I NEVER format the cards, just delete the files and have never had an issue any card. I could just be lucky but I see no reason to format a card rather than simply deleting the files while it is in the reader. Any thoughts on this method?
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Randy Carone
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2011, 08:07:08 PM »
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To transfer my images I plug the card into the reader, drag the images to a new folder and backup to an external drive . THEN, I delete the images from my card while it is still in the reader. I NEVER format the cards, just delete the files and have never had an issue any card. I could just be lucky but I see no reason to format a card rather than simply deleting the files while it is in the reader. Any thoughts on this method?
Wow! And I thought I was the only one who did it that way. For seven years (since I sold my soul to Digital) I have downloaded, bcaked up, and then deleted. Nowadays I do format cards about once a year, just because so many photographers say it's the only safe thing to do. But I have never had a problem of any sort with a card.

On the rare occasions that I do format a card, I do it first in the computer and then in the camera, so that the "freshest" format has been done in the camera. And I never delete an image in the camera, so I don't have to worry about file fragmentation on the card. On my PC I have used Chris Breeze's Downloader Pro for years and found it always quick and reliable, on CF and SD cards from three different digital cameras.

So Randy, maybe it's you and me against the rest of the world, but I'm happy with this method.
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EduPerez
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« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2011, 03:17:48 AM »
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Wow! And I thought I was the only one who did it that way. For seven years (since I sold my soul to Digital) I have downloaded, bcaked up, and then deleted. Nowadays I do format cards about once a year, just because so many photographers say it's the only safe thing to do. But I have never had a problem of any sort with a card.

On the rare occasions that I do format a card, I do it first in the computer and then in the camera, so that the "freshest" format has been done in the camera. And I never delete an image in the camera, so I don't have to worry about file fragmentation on the card. On my PC I have used Chris Breeze's Downloader Pro for years and found it always quick and reliable, on CF and SD cards from three different digital cameras.

So Randy, maybe it's you and me against the rest of the world, but I'm happy with this method.

Add me to the list... even if I use a different download software, and may have other motives, I follow the same procedure: never delete on the camera, download to two different locations, and then delete. I think most of the advice one can find about this subject on the Internet is based on misconceptions.
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Wolfman
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2011, 12:42:12 PM »
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Thanks everybody for your comments...... it turned out to be bent pins in the reader.... it was a firewire reader and I went to get a replacement and you can only find usb, usb2 and usb3 readers so a little slower with the usb2 than firewire.... hard to find a firewire compact flash reader anywhere.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 03:35:24 PM »
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I believe that USB2 is as fast, or faster, than Firewire. You should have no problems with USB2. Firewire seems to be going away. When I used it on an Epson printer I couldn't get the ink Status Monitor to display and I was told, by an experienced computer geek, that Firewire would not support the Status Monitor. This may have changed in recent years but that was my last attempt to use Firewire.
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Randy Carone
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