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On Kauai now -- "memory card error" ALL photos gone -- help!

On Kauai now -- "memory card error" ALL photos gone -- help!

Old Aug 24th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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<<You said "to format cards often after xfering your pics." What does this mean? How do you do that? >>

"Formatting" means to wipe the index of the memory card and start completely clean, instead of just deleting all your pictures from the card. It's cleaner to format, because sometimes, the memory card's file system gets corrupted after continued saving and deleting of files. Formatting starts fresh and also erases all the pictures.

Most cameras have a "format" function. Learn to use yours.

<<Then you mention that you burn photos to DVDs. I know how to burn photo CDs, not DVDs. Is there any difference?>>

Not really, except that DVDs can store much more data. A regular CD can hold at most 700MB of data, whereas any DVD can hold at least 4700MB (4.7GB). Some DVDs now are "dual layer" meaning they can hold twice as much again.

You're probably thinking "movie" when you see "DVD" but to a computer, a DVD is just another type of data disc. Your computer must have a DVD burner though not just a CD burner.

<<I have seen many a card reader corrupt data on the card, even name brands.>>

Not sure what you mean. Are we talking about the same type of thing? A "card reader" is a little device that plugs into your computer's USB port (or, your computer may have a card reader built in; some printers have card readers built-in also). You remove the memory card from the camera and insert it into the card reader slot

Anyway, I've never seen a card reader corrupt a memory card. If you are doing a simple copy of your pictures from the card reader to the computer, it seems highly unlikely, since you wouldn't even be writing to the memory card. Most corruptions occur when you are writing, not reading. If you format your memory cards in your camera after you copy the pictures that had been on there with a card reader, you should have nothing to worry about.
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Old Aug 27th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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needsun, I would completely agree with what Andrew said.

For formatting your memory cards, there will be a function to do so that is part of your camera. (On mine, I found it in the setup menu.) Be really certain that you have transferred your pictures elsewhere and that you have checked to make sure they are really there on your computer, not corrupted, etc. before reformatting your memory card. The function really does wipe the card entirely clean.

I'm wondering if what happened to you is that maybe in trying to adjust the picture resolution, you accidentally reformatted your card?

"backup card data through traditional methods before testing new devices such as purchased card readers". How do you actually back it up?
"Backing up data" is the terminology that means to copy files to another location. In other words, you backup your card every time you put the photos on your computer; when you burn them to CD or DVD; when you upload to a photo sharing site; etc. And of course it goes without saying that you would ensure that the photos made it safely to that other media (computer, CD/DVD, internet server) before deleting them from a memory card or using them on a new device.

I hope this helps!
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Old Aug 27th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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In regards to buying bargain memory cards, I have seen reports that counterfeit brand name memory cards are becoming common on the internet and even on EBay. Some are small capacity cards relabeled as multigigabyte cards (they also fiddle with the format making it appear falsly large to the camera before it locks up on the twelfth picture). Others are no-name cheapos or defectives with sandisk or other famous labels stuck onto them.

It would be best to buy your cards from a reputable source that will refund for a defective card.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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Thank you, Andrew and Ggreen. I have a much better understanding now. Will have to explore my camera functions more.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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I just returned from South Africa and used a Hyperdrive Space as my primary backup. It worked great. While it doesn't have a pretty screen like the Epson, it was a third of the price.

I also backed up to my ipod just in case something happened to the Hyperdrive (you just need a $29 connector). While it's extremely slow and drains the ipod's battery, it gave me peace of mind, especially since I could see the photos. Recharging wasn't a problem because I was staying in lodges with 24-hour power. Eventually, I will buy an Epson and use the Hyperdrive as my secondary backup.

I also like to take lots of smaller cards versus one big one. That way, if a card corrupts, you don't lose nearly as much, especially if you aren't backing up every night.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 01:08 PM
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Andrew answered your questions for me, but I can tell you with great certainty that a card reader CAN corrupt your memory card....it has happened to me...all be it 5 years ago. When I called the company for support they told me they were having a problem with that particular model of reader with my particular type of card.

The fact of the matter is, your accessing the card, and electrons can do whatever they want if the circuitry is not programmed properly....rare yes...but after experiencing it once, it left me cautious forever.

The beauty with DVD burners is that you can get over 8 gig per DVD now. But of course you would need a reader that would read 8.4 gig disks. Most people only have the 4 gig models.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 01:25 PM
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I've also experienced problems using a card reader, although I suspect it is the windows driver (software) rather than the actual cardreader doing the corruption. In my case, I think the driver couldn't handle the 1GB card...which was new at the time. And for some reason when I removed the card from the drive, the pictures were gone. Now, they were probably recoverable as beachgirls were, it wasn't very important to me at the time.

I tell this story just to confirm...its always a good idea to try all these new things out BEFORE you have irreplaceable pictures! if you buy a portable hard drive, a card reader, new memory, whatever...take a few pics, and try it at home before you go anywhere and make sure all is working fine.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Well, I've been using card readers for years and swear by them, and I'm just going to continue doing what's been 100% reliable for me. There's always a chance your camera itself, like a card reader, could corrupt your pictures as well. That has happened to me once or twice actually.

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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 04:51 PM
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I also note that back in the days of 35mm film, I lost pictures when the film didn't feed, and when the camera back was popped open with film in the camera, and when the camera was accidently set for the wrong film speed, and when x-rays zapped the film and when the processor lost a roll, and when ...
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 05:02 PM
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I am glad to read you had partly a happy ending. I can certainly sympathize. We took the kids to Disney World for the first time last year, and a few days into the trip I realized I had lost the photo card containing the first couple of days of our trip, along with other important family photos, plus all but one 1 blank card I owned. I didn't realize this until near the end of our trip. I called lost and found, and someone had found the case and turned it in. It turns out I lost the case on a day it poured rain. Must be a good case. Even luckier, we were able to pick the case up right near the park we were visiting the day I called. Whew!!!
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