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Secure Digital Format Error

by stilinbeta / October 13, 2004 9:33 AM PDT

Recently I bought a 128 Mb SD memory card for a trip I was taking as the 32 Mb card would not be adequate. The camera is a Gateway DC-T50 about a year old with no issues with the original card. The SD memory card was from Toshiba, just as the card that had originally come with the camera. The memory card came pre-formatted and I had tested it out thoroughly. I checked the capacity from time to time throughout the trip. I was connecting to publicly available computers to upload photos to a travel blog I was keeping. I connected via a USB cord. Operating systems used were Windows XP, 2000 and ME. At the very end of the trip I connected to a computer, uploaded a few photos, made no additions or deletions to the memory card, and disconnected. This was a W2k machine. I disconnected by turning off the camera while the USB cord was still attached. The next time I turned on the camera a "Format Error" message was displayed and I could no longer access the memory card. I have tried to install and uninstall the card and clean the contacts, but nothing works. So is it the card, the camera or something I did? Is there any way to recover the photos on there?

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Re: Secure Digital Format Error
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 13, 2004 10:29 AM PDT


2. This media is not bullet proof. Simple errors, static shocks and more can cause it to fail. If it fails this quickly, you get to exercise the warranty.


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Re: Secure Digital Format Error
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 13, 2004 11:32 AM PDT

"The memory card came pre-formatted and I had tested it out thoroughly."

I assume that means, you did not format the card with the camera.

I did the same with a compact flash card about a year ago. It worked for a few weeks and then, all at once I could not read or format the card. I was able to get the card working by putting it in a card reader and using the computer to download the photos. Then I erased all the files with the computer. I did not use the computer to format the card. After that the camera would accept the card.

Then I did what I should have done in the first place .... format the card with the camera. It has worked fine ever since.


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Re: Secure Digital Format Error
by stilinbeta / October 14, 2004 6:34 PM PDT

Thanks! I tried both methods and they both worked. I took my memory card into a commercial photo printer and their card reader had no problem reading it. I then transferred all photos to a CD. Cost $4.15.

I also tried the Photorecovery app. I first had to reformat the card using the camera's reformating utility, there is a risk that this will erase the card. Photorecovery allows you to recover photos from a card that has been reformatted as long as it is not a destructive reformat. After reformatting, I could view the photos using the demo version of Photorecovery, verifying that this would work. Saving the photos requires purchasing the software for $40.

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Re: Secure Digital Format Error
by Mary / October 20, 2004 12:57 PM PDT

PC Inspector smart recovery will do the job and it's completely free.

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Great advice, Mary
by Sunnie55 / January 29, 2005 8:41 AM PST

I just tried Mary's suggestion and used PC Inspector File Recovery's FREE software download. I had lost 56 pictures on a 256 MB SD that became corrupted. (Including pictures of my son's birthday party). It worked like a charm, was simple, easy & successful.
I am so glad I read this forum & took Mary's suggestion. Thanks for spreading the word!

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Re: Secure Digital Format Error
by bpopwell / November 18, 2004 10:47 PM PST

Install GetDataBack for NTFS from This can still be used without a key. This is for file recovery. If GetDataBack can detect card you should be able to recover your files. First under Options check all three listed, run a logical scan. If this scan does not work, run a physical scan.

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