Posts Tagged ‘memory card’

Monday, September 29th 2008

Transcend 16 GB Compact Flash Failure

In the spring I bought a 16 GB Transcend Compact Flash card for my camera. I had some problems getting it formatted. But after I did manage to format it, it seemed to be working fine.

David Naylor and Jenny-Lyn Jacobson

Until our wedding day. I had lent my camera to Silvana who was doing most of the photography. Everything was working fine until after the ceremony. Suddenly the camera said Data Corrupted. The camera hung when you tried to view certain photos. She came over to me and we switched to one of my old memory cards.

I thought it was just one or two photos that were lost. As it turned out, I couldn’t get any photos off the card at all.

Viewing the card through Windows Explorer there were loads of files with seemingly random 09f2¤!”%-style filenames. The card size was suddenly claimed to be 248 GB (beat that Pretec). I could see many of the raw image files, but none of them were readable.

After doing a bit of hunting around I found Ahlberg Data in Stockholm. The website claimed that data almost always can be saved from hard drives and flash memory. So, hopeful, I sent them my card.

It turns out there’s a little processor in the card that deals with the communication between the flash memory units and and the camera/computer. This processor had probably been fried to quote the technician I spoke to. Which means that any data you get off the card will be complete gobbledygook.

So they couldn’t either get anything usable off the card.

You would have to open the card and read directly from the memory units. This would involve manual labour (don’t we all hate it!) and would be very expensive. Also, it would have to be done by a company called IBAS in Norway since Ahlberg Data themselves don’t have the right equipment.

But, he claimed, the Russians are building a machine that will be able to read directly from the memory units, bypassing the processor. (With less manual work required, if I got it right.) He said they are planning to buy one of these when they become available — possibly during the autumn.

Anyway, they were very kind and sent the card back without charging anything for the analysis (or postage). So now I have the unreadable card here, hoping that one day I will be able to salvage the photos from our wedding …

Let this be a lesson to anyone thinking of buying a cheap, large memory card. Please leave a comment if you have had similar problems, I’d be very interested to hear about them.

Monday, April 14th 2008

New Memory Card Seems to Work

After I bought my new memory card I found several reviews of the card saying it didn’t work properly. So I decided to test mine to see that it works properly.

  • First I filled it with old photos from my archive. No problems.
  • Then I deleted a few, and put it in my camera. I seemed to be able to see all the photos, and I could also take a few shots to fill the remaining space.
  • Finally I put it through a few disk tests. I used the Windows disk check thing and a program called CDCheck. The latter seems to work for any kind of disk. Neither of them found any problems.

Conclusion: Works for me!

Wednesday, April 9th 2008

Problem and solution: 16GB Compact Flash in EOS 30D

Transcend 16GB Compact Flash

Today I got the 16GB Compact Flash card that I ordered a few days ago. I just wrote about the crazy weather but this is almost even more insane: 16GB now cost me less than half of what my two 2GB cards cost me two years ago. And back then I had a serious discount since I bought them at the shop I worked at, Allradio. That means that the price per GB is now less than a tenth of what it was two years ago!

Eager to try it out (why? don’t know) I put my 16GB card in my camera, formatted it and … Oh! It now only had 8GB of space.

It turns out, the Canon EOS 30D doesn’t cope with (formatting) cards larger than 8GB. And when the card had been formatted down to 8GB it couldn’t be reformatted to 16GB. Not in the camera, not in Windows.

After hunting around for a while, giving up, and then hunting around some more, I found a solution: A small program called USB_Format. Just unzip it and run it, and it should let you reformat your memory card in your card reader to it’s proper size.

Now I just have to remember not to format the card in the camera. But that shouldn’t be so hard. I don’t usually format, I tend to Delete all instead.