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Is it possible to reformat Compact Flash cards?

by are_emm / May 11, 2005 6:22 AM PDT

I have a 256mb CF card and I'd like to try to reformat it if possible. It's empty, but it's telling me that I only have 25mb available and I'm wondering if reformatting would help. I'm on a Mac by the way.


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CF format
by dirtnapper / May 11, 2005 12:16 PM PDT

Both cameras that I own use CF's, my gps an SD...rule of thumb, format the card in the device that it will be used in. Your computer should see the card when you put into the card reader and format from there if you choose..and that is where you use it. But, I would try the device it came out first.

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CF Format
by jsatterwhite / May 19, 2005 11:12 PM PDT
In reply to: CF format

The experience I have had is to format the card in the device you are using, i.e. in my Canon camera the menu provides for "formating" the card. I suspect that you will find the computer will see all but will not format the CF card for the device you want to use it in.

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(NT) CF Format
by davdub / May 20, 2005 1:01 AM PDT
In reply to: CF Format

If I format a CF in my Nikon 5700 and place it in my Nikon D-100 I need to reformat in that camera. The format isn't acceptable even though they are both Nikon. I've also encountered the same issues formatting with WinXP.

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fomatting cf cards
by doddyvision / May 20, 2005 7:30 PM PDT
In reply to: CF Format

I have been using compact flash cards for some years now in two different cameras. I find when using a card reader attached to a Win98 or XP home/pro computer that deleting everything on the card is as good as formatting. The camera adds its own files to make it work on the next use. Obviously formatting with the camera is OK but if you have a Canon Ixus with a broken TFT display and a missing video out lead this not possible!!

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Best way to reformat CF card
by brienm72 / June 30, 2006 1:50 PM PDT

From my experience, follow the following steps:

1) Disk Clean, Defrag and reformat using Windows. This will "clean" the CF card.

2) Put the CF card into your device (eg. camera), then use the format feature using that device.

If you don't reformat with your device (step 2 above), then the CF card may not work or most likely, not use the full capacity.

I hope this helps.


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Why defrag?
by llamadon / September 3, 2010 2:33 AM PDT

What would you defrag the card then format it. Makes no sense. You arrange the the data nicely on the card then wipe it clean.

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Defragging a card ...
by Kees Bakker / September 3, 2010 2:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Why defrag?

has little or none use, in fact. Defragging minimizes the mechanical movement of the recording arm between different tracks on a hard disk. But there are no moving mechinical parts on such a card. So rearanging the data only has a minor effect, if at all.


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