Very informative links about formatting SDHC and SDXC cards - worth reading!


jeallen01

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 18:45
Whilst taking a break from more prosaic things (cleaning/ painting outside parts of the house ) I came across this thread on the US forum where someone is having trouble with his K-3 suddenly not reading cards.

One of the responders then points to this Wikipedia page with a lot a (pretty technical!) info on the various types of cards, and

That page then points to this page from the SD Association about a special utility for formatting SDXC cards - which, it appears, can be "damaged" by using the normal formatting utilities in the Windows and MAC OS systems!

Worth reading if you are using SDXC cards in particular, or if your computer does not run a Windows or MAC OS!
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 with the Hacked K-50 f/w to being a backup body) , & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)

johnriley

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 19:30
The recommended way to format cards is in the camera they are to be used in. This should avoid problems.

I would never format one of my cards in a computer.
Best regards, John

jeallen01

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 19:38
John

Agreed, but it does not always work, and there are lots of stories/hearsay as to what you should/should not do - and those pages give some inkling of what might have gone wrong and how to avoid that happening.

Is of particular relevance if, like many of us, you use a number of cameras (and not always all Pentax!) and don't/can't keep track of which cards have been used in which bodies.
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 with the Hacked K-50 f/w to being a backup body) , & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)

johnriley

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 19:53
I think we need to stay organised. The cards can be formatted in camera when loaded, thus guaranteeing they are formatted in the right camera. It's a matter of routine.

If a card shows any sign of trouble, it goes straight in the bin. I did find one card that would format in one K-5 but not in another, so it was taken out of service.
Best regards, John

SteveLedger

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 20:27
jeallen01 wrote:

That page then points to this page from the SD Association about a special utility for formatting SDXC cards

I use this on all my cards, it's faster than doing it in the camera because it's right there after I unload the card onto my PC, a simple click on the SDFormatter and it's done. You can also write a label (volume) name for the card. It's 100% safe because it's designed to correctly format the card. Never had a problem with any card on any camera after using this utility for a year or so. Recommended.

caj26

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 20:58
I have had a problem with missing photographs ( showing on screen but not there when card is downloaded) Pentax told me I must always format on computer. Sometimes I cannot use the card until I have formatted on computer. Maybe I should destroy those cards like John says?

SteveLedger

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 21:04
Don't use Windows/Mac to format - use the camera or the SDFormatter utility.
I doubt Pentax officially told you to always use the computer.
Last Edited by SteveLedger on 30/04/2015 - 21:05

caj26

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 21:17
They did! I have it in an e-mail from them last February. ( I have learnt you guys on the forum know more!)
I would like to ask you Steve, what is the SD formatter utility please?

jeallen01

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 21:22
CAJ

See the third link in my initial post.

John
K-3 II, K-3 and a K-70 from SRS (having now relegated the K-30 with the Hacked K-50 f/w to being a backup body) , & some Sigma and Pentax lenses (and a lot of old 35mm gear!)

SteveLedger

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 21:22
SDFormatter
https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/

The reason I doubt Pentax told you this is because it is [a] Contrary to the manual and [b] because they incorporate formatting in the camera firmware (menu) itself.
It would be illogical for anyone from Pentax to insist that you always format via the computer.
Last Edited by SteveLedger on 30/04/2015 - 21:25

PeterKR

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 22:30
Perhaps I've just been lucky but my experience with the K-r and K50 and several other makes of compact digitals has been that there is NO NEED to format the SD or SDHC cards - I've just put new cards in the camera and started shooting with never a problem ?

The cameras appeared to have automatically formatted the cards on first use ?
Last Edited by PeterKR on 30/04/2015 - 22:31

SteveLedger

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 22:49
Correct, no need to format on first use, but no auto formatting takes place - they are pre-formatted based on the specifications stipulated by the SD Association and are ready for use..
But I think we're talking about 're' formatting after transferring photos to the PC.

PeterKR

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 22:55
SteveLedger wrote:
Correct, no need to format on first use, but no auto formatting takes place - they are pre-formatted based on the specifications stipulated by the SD Association and are ready for use..
But I think we're talking about 're' formatting after transferring photos to the PC.

Many thanks for clarifying that, Steve,

However, I find that good quality SDHC cards are so cheap these days (in relation to the value of our equipment) that I just buy new ones and keep the used cards as an additional backup (I know people say they have a limited life but that is still a useful fall back). After all, we never re-used our film negatives did we !

SteveLedger

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 23:23
Film negs were never designed for re-use, SD cards most certainly are.
They may be cheaper today than they once were, but they are still too expensive for me to keep buying new ones when I fill them. Besides, Hard Drives are much cheaper per GB.
Still, horses for courses - if you prefer buying new cards then that's fine with me

K10D

Link Posted 30/04/2015 - 23:42
I've always formatted in camera and use a card reader for transfer to HD. All of my cards are named (volume label) which was done in Explorer. The cards are also marked with a fine liner on their label with 10, 7, 5, 5-2, Q, 3 and Z respectively. No prizes for guessing what the letters and numbers mean.

Good quality cards may be cheap, fast cards are not so cheap.

Best regards
cameradextrous _ Motorcycles etc. link
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