SD cards


Link Posted 06/12/2005 - 15:22
I have three cards - a 128MB, 256MB and a 512MB, all Viking (Toshiba).
Has anyone else had problems with these or any other brand for that matter?

The 256 began to display decode errors when playing back images on my Trust 910Z compact but the images were still visible on the pc. I downloaded the files and reformatted (in camera) and then the card was no longer recognised - "card error"
The 512 has been used exclusively in my DL and so far, I've had no problem with it but I wanted to use the 128 in the Trust this coming weekend.
After viewing the stored images (128 card in Trust), I opted for the 'delete all' option, rather than formatting but once again, "card error".

Now, neither card will work in the Trust, the DL or on the pc via a card reader.

Viking is a cheap make and the 512 cost about the same as I paid for the 128, 2 years are they 'cheap and nasty' or have I just been unlucky?
Do you think that the Trust camera (which I happen to think is very good) is somehow damaging the cards?

The 512 is staying put in the DL for the time being and the Trust has 15MB internal memory so it is at least usable but I don't want to buy another card, only to have it destroyed by the camera - so much for Secure Digital!
Die my dear doctor, that's the last thing I shall do!


Link Posted 06/12/2005 - 15:36

AFAIK, SD cards are different to CompactFlash in that they have a simpler "controller" in them. CompactFlash looks much like an ATA disk drive, and the controller takes responsibility for bad block management.

However, with SD cards the camera (or other device) has to take responsibility for bad block management, block replacement and the like. All flash chips have failures - CF controllers have varying degrees of detection and correction (so it's difficult to compare like for like). SD cards will have failures, but it's normally in the region of about 1% failure after 100,000 erase/write cycles.

Such flash devices are normally marked at the factory with their bad block list (bad blocks have a byte marked differently).

I have a Viking SD card I have used in my Pocket PC for some time, and this hasn't been a problem at all.

Then, on top of the "raw" flash controlling there's the file system. You may find there's an incompatibility between the Trust and the other devices in terms of file system, or a bug in the Trust firmware (personally I wouldn't rate Trust as a brand to trust too highly )

Not sure what you can do to recover the SD card... if anything. I don't know whether there's a low-level format and verify for SD. It's quite likely, since the electronic interface is extremely low level in SD. I'll have a Google and see what I come up with.

[edited: checking the SD spec for more detailed info]



Link Posted 06/12/2005 - 15:52
Here are a few links: - this seems to be what you want, but runs on a Pocket PC. - Pocket PC app that appears to be able to format SD cards with special settings. Might be worth a look - info to do with formatting within Windows for Pocket PC devices. Best read the whole thing.

"Secure Digital" is not to do with reliability of data, but rather CRM (Content Rights Management). SD has the ability to protect copyrighted material

Failing that, send me a PM and you can post one of the duds to me and I'll have a play around



Link Posted 06/12/2005 - 17:21
Thankyou for the links, Matt, I'll have a proper read through them later when I've got more time.
All I get on the cameras is "card error" and I can't format on the pc because Windows can't 'see' either card - "please insert card into the removeable drive" - or words to that effect!

I think I might contact Trust, there's a two year warranty on the camera and I think there's about a month left but in any event, they might be aware of the issue and be able to advise - not too hopeful though!

The camera itself is pretty good - Samsung lens, Sony sensor and the 5MP interpolated resolution is remarkably good and I've been very pleased with it's performance, for a cheapie...........but it's no good if it 'eats' SD cards!

Thanks for your help so far
Die my dear doctor, that's the last thing I shall do!

Arthur Dent

Link Posted 06/12/2005 - 21:48
FWIW, I've been using Lexar CF cards in my *st D, with Write Acceleration. They cost a bit, but they're FAST! Well worth searching out. I'm pretty sure they make SD cards too.


Link Posted 06/12/2005 - 22:54
I think it's worth spending a bit more and getting a high quality memory card that might prove to be more reliable. In most areas, you get what you pay for.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 07/12/2005 - 10:52

If you have lost images, I can recomend Fuji's Image Recovery Service.

I "lost" a SD card following a crash on my computer while it was copying from the card (in an internal reader) to my hard drive.

They recovered all the images and replaced the card for about 40.

It's one reason why I don't use card sbigger than 512Mb - you spread your risk around.
London, England
K-30, Optio Z10, Optio S5i, LS465, Nikon P7100

Arthur Dent

Link Posted 07/12/2005 - 14:33
The Lexar cards come bundled with a file-recovery utility on the card, you copy it to your machine and use it to recover lost files on cards or your hard drive.

If the lost files have not been over-written, it can recover most of them.


Link Posted 07/12/2005 - 14:50
Correct me if I'm wrong, Kimbo, but it sounds like your SD cards are not showing up at all. This is a different situation to "I need to recover my lost images", and the file recovery tools probably won't help.

However, I seem to remember that the Lexar recovery software does also have card verification tools that will put them through a little exercise and check them out (at least my CF Pro WA cards did).

The offer of posting one for an post-mortem is still open



Link Posted 07/12/2005 - 17:34
Thanks for the suggestions folks but I've not lost any images.

Yes you're correct Matt, I get "card error" in the cameras and Windows asks me to insert the card into the card reader - so it effectively can't see it.

I'm not sure where the 256 card is at the moment but I can send you the 128, to see if you can do anything with it.

BTW, the Trust can also use MMCs and as they are particularly cheap, I think I may try one of those.
Die my dear doctor, that's the last thing I shall do!
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