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Thread: Bad memory card

  1. #1
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    Default Bad memory card

    I was on a job yesterday, taken pictures as usual when, error shows up on screen.
    It said "Memory card needs formating". What!!
    Took the card out, put it back in several times, same thing.
    So I tried to format the card.
    Then it said "Unable to format memory card".
    I guess I have a bad card.
    No warning at all, just spotted working.
    Lost all the pixs that were on the card.
    Finished up with only the built in memory on lower resolution.
    I guess I need to carry a spare card around.

    Anyone else ever have a card go out on them?

    Now if I can only find the cable for the camera to download the pix.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    I only use the cables, never touch the cards. Carry a spare just cuz I got one.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    I carry a spare, not because I've had a failure, but because I forget to reinstall it in the camera.

    Kinda' "belt-and-suspenders" as 1) I always carry a spare camera (with a card in it) and 2) I can pull the card from the IR camera, and use that.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Same thing happened to me a few years ago. I was able to format the card and shoot the photos again, but it was pain in the neck. I do carry a spare camera as well, just in case mine craps out on me. I use real cheap cameras, and they wear out in a year or two, so I keep a new one ready to go.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    I bought an 8GB card a couple of weeks ago and it worked for about 5 minutes. For $15 I'm not sure its worth sending back.
    The 2GB are only about $7, might as well have a few spares.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    I have had several CF and SD cards fail at one time or another. I have also had a flash drive fail, and an external hard drive (that I used for my back up).


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Carry a spare camera with a card. Usually reseating the card solves the problem. An old computer tech trick is to use a pink #100 eraser and "clean" the contacts by rubbing the eraser on the card contacts.

    Pencil eraser or your shirt tail often works in a pinch. Cleans the oxidation of the contacts and you can get a better signal between the card and camera.

    I pulled a card out of a brand X camera and put it in brand Y camera. Worked fine until I placed the card in the laptop. Laptop complained. Used the cord and was able to download the pics. Then I reformatted the card with the camera using the card.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

  8. #8
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I only use the cables, never touch the cards. Carry a spare just cuz I got one.
    Cable only for me too....


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Yep, I've been burned by those things as well.
    As a measure to keep frustration down and the loss of pictures, I replace the cheap 2 GB cards every couple to three months. Nothing worse than being on a home inspection, being nearly done and seeing the error as you did .


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Camera cards are a necessary evil for most of us. Basically, they're cheap and unreliable but often times hold a day's worth of work. I use them on a day to day basis but always have anything crucial backed up.

    Several times over the last few years I've had problems after doing an inspection and trying to access the pics. There are numerous programs out there but the one I've had great luck with is

    Memory Card Recovery Software to Recover Lost Photos - CardRecovery

    I think it costs 20 or 30 bucks but is well worth it when you have no other option. Basically, when the card becomes corrupted, most times it's just the pathway to the file not the file itself. A recovery program will scan the card and turn up any file/picture there is. You'll be shocked how many old pictures come up when you run it.

    fwiw... I've found my cards most often fail after I move a large amount of data across them. For me, it's happened when I take an mpeg movie and fill a large amount of the card and then move it to my HD. For some reason that messes with the card. Now, whenever I do that..... or just every month or so I re-format the card and don't have any problems.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    I pull the SD card out every time I need to read it. I found that when I use the cables that the battery is drained faster, so I seldom use the cable to download the photos.

    I have had a few cards die over the years but not often. I think the card in my camera now is around 2 years old and it is going strong, or it is working lets say!

    Last week on the way to a job I did not recall putting the card back into the camera, and I didn't! Stopped off at a Walgreen's and picked up a 2gig card for $12.99!

    I have a theory that helps me with life, whether it is traveling or working! There is always a WalMart or a Walgreen's a few minutes away and if I need something I can pick it up!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Knock on wood, I've never had a card die. (at least not yet) but I always carry a spare camera with card and batteries.
    I like to be prepared but like Scott if I forget something it is usually cheaper and faster just to buy another than to drive home. No way I drive 20 miles with $3.50 gallon gas to retrieve a memory card if there is a store nearby.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I have a theory that helps me with life, whether it is traveling or working! There is always a WalMart or a Walgreen's a few minutes away and if I need something I can pick it up!
    In my world, London Drugs. One day, I drove about 50 miles to a job, got there about 8:50, 10 mins early, pulled out camera, dropped it with the lens out, crap, it was kaka, jumped in my truck drove 5 miles to the town plaza, whipped in to London Drugs, bought a Nikon Coolpix, $90, drove back to my job site, 9:15.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Check the card and make sure that little gray slide has not been moved. Slide it one way and the card is locked, slide it the other way and the card is unlocked, that may be your problem, or may not be.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    I get a couple of tech support calls a month from guys saying that all of a sudden they can't import photos. It's been a bad memory card every time. They do fail and they're VERY cheap. I picked up some 16 gig cards for less than $30 from newegg.com.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    This is somewhat of a thread drift but I thought it might be helpful to know this. I have always feared this, accidentally deleting pictures from my camera before loading them to my computer. It just recently happened and of course it was from a big inspection on a 6000+ sf ft home. I was able to take the memory card down to Staples and they retrieved the pictures from the card even though all pics were deleted. It turns out the the pics do not actually get deleted the file simply gets overwritten.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Good to know Trent, thanks for the tip.


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Quote Originally Posted by Trent Tarter View Post
    This is somewhat of a thread drift but I thought it might be helpful to know this. I have always feared this, accidentally deleting pictures from my camera before loading them to my computer. It just recently happened and of course it was from a big inspection on a 6000+ sf ft home. I was able to take the memory card down to Staples and they retrieved the pictures from the card even though all pics were deleted. It turns out the the pics do not actually get deleted the file simply gets overwritten.

    I did that once by accident. I bought a utility called Image Recall, the program finds just about everything on a memory card.

    Dom.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    I was on a job yesterday, taken pictures as usual when, error shows up on screen.
    It said "Memory card needs formating". What!!
    Took the card out, put it back in several times, same thing.
    So I tried to format the card.
    Then it said "Unable to format memory card".
    I guess I have a bad card.
    No warning at all, just spotted working.
    Lost all the pixs that were on the card.
    Finished up with only the built in memory on lower resolution.
    I guess I need to carry a spare card around.

    Anyone else ever have a card go out on them? YES, I carry an extra camera and a couple of extra cards just in case.

    Now if I can only find the cable for the camera to download the pix.
    answer above

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Maybe your buying cheap cards, any one have info on brands that fail or seem to last?
    Maybe higher capacity cards are more fragile??

    I have a Lexar 1GB SD card that has been in use through several different cameras over maybe 3 years with no problems.
    Seems like I paid around $30 bucks back when 1GB was a bunch of space.
    I never fill it up but then I tend to dumb down the camera to about 1600x1200 just to make working and storing the photos easier.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Maybe your buying cheap cards, any one have info on brands that fail or seem to last?
    Maybe higher capacity cards are more fragile??

    I have a Lexar 1GB SD card that has been in use through several different cameras over maybe 3 years with no problems.
    Seems like I paid around $30 bucks back when 1GB was a bunch of space.
    I never fill it up but then I tend to dumb down the camera to about 1600x1200 just to make working and storing the photos easier.
    I've bought several at Micro Center in Dallas (Central and Spring Valley). They've got pretty good prices and they do carry cheaper cards.

    It's funny, but my Lexar CF card went bad (expensive back then) and I've had one SD with the format problem, but it corrected itself in another camera.

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  22. #22
    Katie Bedard's Avatar
    Katie Bedard Guest

    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Sometimes it's an even simpler fix. (I don't know if you tried this, but I've done it before and it's worked well.)

    When the "error" message comes up, turn off the camera, take out the card, take out the battery, wait a minute or so and put it all back in and turn it on. Same thing with a smartphone or a computer, sometimes these electronics just need to be "reset."

    Worked just fine after that. We do, however, usually keep a spare card just in case.


  23. #23
    Russel Ray's Avatar
    Russel Ray Guest

    Smile Re: Bad memory card

    Interesting. I and my employees have gone through dozens of cameras but have never had a problem with any of the memory cards. I am using 16GB cards right now. Of course, now that I posted this, I'll have a problem as soon as I turn my camera on. Maybe I'll turn it on before I post this and keep it on while posting this. LOL


  24. #24
    Don Burbach's Avatar
    Don Burbach Guest

    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Always carry a spare camera! More batteries, another memory card, assume that primary and backup camera take the same type card.

    My primary camera broke last week. My failures are normally related to the telescopic lens being jammed. Has anyone had luck with buying a camera at Best Buy, or one of the other stores that offer a 'Lifetime Warranty Policy'???? It seems that I regularly go through a camera every 8-10 months because of 'dropped' accidents, most are probably avoidable, maybe I am just a klutz... LOL.

    The fine print may exclude commercial use, so don't wear your monogrammed work shirt when you go back with a cracked lens. This is one way to get back at the annoying sales pitch at post-purchase time that tries to get you to cough up a few more bucks after you've decided to buy!


  25. #25
    Katie Bedard's Avatar
    Katie Bedard Guest

    Default Re: Bad memory card

    We had one go bad 11.5 months after we purchased it...but had the 1-year warranty - perfect timing! Best Buy replaced it no questions asked, no charges to us, etc. Turned out the lens had gone bad (I had no idea, it just wouldn't stay on when turned on). I honestly can't remember if we had purchased the warranty or if it came with the camera, though. And I did tell them it was a "work" camera, they didn't care.


  26. #26
    Vince Santos's Avatar
    Vince Santos Guest

    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Had that happen to me last week. I was done with the inspection and only had the attic to go. When I tried to take a photo is gave me a card error. Luckily I had my laptop in the truck and was able to recover the images that way and just started with a clean card for the attic, otherwise I would have taken all the photos over again. Now I carry an extra card and extra camera.


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Bad memory card

    That is a pain!

    I've never had it happen but I carry a spare camera set-up just in case because one of these days....it will.


  28. #28

    Default Re: Bad memory card

    Yep, cards do go tits up now and then. The cheap ones from off-brand manufacturers are more likely to fail. Spares are always a good idea. Not much help when the failure comes when you are back in the office and discover that it's hosed.

    I have had some success in this case using a recovery software to pull the pics off the card if it will mount and read. 50/50 shot there but worth the effort.

    An option is to use your smart phone and a cloud service like Photobucket. I've done this when I forgot the camera or the battery was toast. When I get back to the office, the pics have all uploaded to a folder set up for this on my Photobucket account and are waiting there to be downloaded.

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