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08-09-2018, 08:29 PM   #1
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Lost all settings - unintended factory reset

My K-1 lost all its menu settings, including custom modes and lens fine adjustment. Saved photos were not lost.

I was shooting at night and ended with a partially charged battery. Next morning, I turned the camera on to review some photos and all seemed okay; the camera started and I browsed photos. I then needed to check my spare batteries because I lost track of which batteries were used the prior night. I turned off the camera, swapped batteries, turned it on to see battery meter. I repeated that a few times to check all my batteries.

On what I think was the 4th swap of batteries, the camera took a long time to start, the rear LCD stayed off while the red card activity light flickered, and when the camera finally responded it prompted me to enter the language and time. I've had that happen from a dead battery but I never lost settings like this.

Guesses about what may have happened:
  1. Power-cycling 4 times in under a minute is an undocumented feature intended to fix a camera lockup.
  2. I accidentally pressed just the wrong combination of buttons to do a factory reset immediately after turning the camera on. This seems highly unlikely.
  3. A one-time glitch.
  4. A broken camera. It couldn't be a routine internal battery/capacitor problem because that should just reset the language and time. I used the camera for a full day after having the unwanted reset, and didn't experience any further problems.
Any comments on what happened? Does the K-1 automatically reset if it's power-cycled many times in a short timeframe?

My problem seems identical to Unintended factory reset - PentaxForums.com. No one came up with a better guess than static, which is unlikely for me because the weather was humid.

08-09-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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First party or third party battery, and how old?

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08-09-2018, 09:59 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I always thought that it would be great to save your configuration off to an SD card, just for events like this.

08-09-2018, 10:02 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
First party or third party battery, and how old?
I didn't think to record which battery had the problem because it was 5am and I was rushing to be ready for sunrise. I have 2 Pentax and 2 Wasabi batteries. The oldest is a Pentax one from 5 years ago which doesn't get very hot during charging.


Low voltage seems unlikely to cause a factory reset, or else we'd see lots of unplanned factory resets from putting a drained battery back into the camera. I've accidentally done that several times without losing any settings, not even the time.


(Some sources claim Li-ion batteries should be discarded after 2 calendar years regardless of how many recharge cycles. We'd have an even larger e-waste problem if people took that advice. Heat, overly fast charging, and long-term storage of a completely discharged pack shorten battery life. I always use the Pentax 3-contact charger at home. My 2-contact Wasabi charger is only used when I'm traveling.)

---------- Post added 08-10-18 at 01:12 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I always thought that it would be great to save your configuration off to an SD card, just for events like this.

Yeah, give us that, and make it a non-encrypted file so we can edit our settings on a computer and also share settings with each other. Rather than scroll through everything on the small rear LCD, see it all on a big screen. Music synthesizers have been doing that for decades.

08-09-2018, 10:39 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I always thought that it would be great to save your configuration off to an SD card, just for events like this.

Agreed!

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08-10-2018, 04:05 AM   #6
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Bummer!

There's also the possibility that if you were rushing, you may have yanked the battery before the camera was actually off.

The power switch on most digital cameras is not really a true switch that disconnects the battery. It merely sends a signal to the processor to start shutting down. That's why you can take a photo, immediately turn-off the camera and it will still run for a few seconds saving the image.

But if you yank the battery during the shutdown process, there's some chance of corruption of the settings memory (if the camera was saving that) or the card (if it was writing files to the card).
08-10-2018, 05:12 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I'm with photoptimist on this one. When I put on my old fart's hat and think about things a bit, I am in awe of exactly how complex the hardware and firmware really is in these cameras. They do need time to complete their cycles or things get out of whack. A nice future feature would be the ability to save custom settings in a file on your memory card that could be uploaded to a computer and then reinstalled if needed.


The extra camera batteries that I have I carry is either a one, two or four pocket holder that can be worn on my belt. When a battery need recharging I place it in the pouch contacts up which tells me they need recharging. Charged batteries are inserted into the carriers contacts down which means ready to go.

Last edited by gaweidert; 08-10-2018 at 01:33 PM.
08-10-2018, 07:15 AM   #8
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<<I always thought that it would be great to save your configuration off to an SD card, just for events like this.>>

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Agreed!
Sorry to be so dense but how is that done? It certainly is a great idea.

08-10-2018, 08:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
but how is that done?
It's not done, but it would be nice if it were.
08-10-2018, 10:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
.......Yeah, give us that, and make it a non-encrypted file so we can edit our settings on a computer and also share settings with each other. Rather than scroll through everything on the small rear LCD, see it all on a big screen. Music synthesizers have been doing that for decades.
Well, since I made the suggestion, let me pour some cold water on it now, as to why it probably will not happen any time soon, if at all. However, there is a smidgen of hope - in that Pentax did release the recent set of API SDKs for the USB interface. That actually is a very positive step, that could possible hold out some hope here. Especially, since the same set/type of problems would occur within the USB interface.

First, let me say, obviously I don't work for Ricoh/Pentax and have no absolute direct or indirect knowledge, but I would have to guess that their software engineers already have such an application on both their desktops/laptops and on their smartphones that they use to troubleshoot problems and extract/analyze/modify/upload data both in the lab and out in the field. I too, use to be an embedded real time software engineer - and this would be among the first tools, I would have created.

So, what's the problem? In a word, data checking as in content, range, size of, type, bounds along with other similar maladies. If they were to dump/reload an encrypted file, then the problems / concerns would be substantially reduced - as Ricoh/Pentax would have absolute control of the content (based on camera body type and firmware version). The main problems arise when users try to mix and match, and especially when third parties can create, modify and update the file.
  • Mix and Match - use a file from model X with firmware version Y to update to model X with firmware version Z. Or model A with firmware version B to model X with firmware version Y, etc. You get the idea. In order to bridge the firmware version problem, you then need to go to the concept of labeled data, and the dump or writer functionality, takes on additional intelligence and complexity.
  • Third Party utilities - This would be the main area of risk. The newly created/modified file may not have checked or correctly checked the data for goodness/correctness. This could cause all types of problems, both direct and indirect.
  • What if there is a problem? - When you go to reload the file, and there is a problem - how do you go about communicating it back to the user in a useful and descriptive way - other than "load failed". Especially with third party support, you need failure information in a way that the user may/can successfully correct the problem. The loader then takes on additional intelligence and complexity.
  • $upport Co$t - The co$t of the additional $upport in terms of the added intelligence for both the read/write functions across the camera models and firmware versions would be probably at least 1 FTE engineer. Then you need to balance this against offering this "free" capability will result in any meaningful additional $ale$. These support costs also wash in to the overall camera design - especially the firmware. How much additional memory is this going to take? On the newer models that can be factored in. Also, how do you introduce it into the field - older and current models will not be supported (causing disappointment), while newer models going forward will. Considerations will also need to be made in the maintenance area, where it could both assist and potentially in other area be a detriment.
Overall, I do believe it would be a net plus, but I think I was posting almost 10 years ago that a USB API SDK would be an excellent addition when the tethering capability disappeared after the K20D. So, time will tell.


Last edited by interested_observer; 08-10-2018 at 10:37 AM.
08-10-2018, 12:55 PM   #11
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Update: I tried to force the problem again, without success. That's good. I did things like power-cycling 10 times in a row, removing the battery while the camera was on, turning on with no battery installed, leaving the battery out for a few minutes, etc.

Pentax documentation says the K-1 should keep time for 48 hours without a battery and will never lose menu settings.
08-10-2018, 01:28 PM   #12
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The Spectacular K-1 User Mode Sharing Service! - PentaxForums.com

QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Yeah, give us that, and make it a non-encrypted file so we can edit our settings on a computer and also share settings with each other.
The Spectacular K-1 User Mode Sharing Service! - PentaxForums.com
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