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04-18-2014, 02:58 PM   #1
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Weird SD card behavior

I bought two new SanDisk 32 GB cards from Amazon. They're Ultra SD Class 10 cards. I used one today and everything seemed fine - photos showing on the screen after each shot. However, when I put it into the slot on my computer (MacBook Pro running Mavericks), it seemed to not recognize it. Tried the other card and that worked fine, appearing on the screen as NO NAME as usual. Retried the first card, taking it out and putting it back in several times. Cleaned the contacts a little. Nothing. Finally, I formatted it in the camera and took another shot - this time, the computer saw it and displayed it on the screen as UNTITLED. Of course, all my previous photos were gone but the test shot was there.

Is this an indication that this card can't be trusted? I have not had this experience before. I'm about to go on a trip to Alaska and I sure want to be able to count on every piece of equipment. I'm sure Amazon will take this back if necessary. Has anyone else had this experience, i.e., having to format the card in the camera before the computer will recognize it?

04-18-2014, 03:15 PM   #2
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All cards need to be formatted before they can be trusted.

So nothing wrong with card. Also depends on what file system is default and / or be read by your computer.

FAT12 / FAT / FAT 32 are usually used for SD cards. FAT 12 is obsolete.

Bottom line nothing wrong with your card.

Ofcourse if the problem persists it is the card - But I doubt that.

Cheers!
04-18-2014, 03:36 PM   #3
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Did you buy it directly from Amazon in factory retail packaging with the seal (hologram or whatever they use - it's been a while since I bought one)? There are probably more "SanDisk" fakes than any other brand, and some of them are horribly unreliable.


Usually the cards work fine as formatted from the factory. So keep a close eye on it after making sure it's genuine.
04-18-2014, 05:05 PM   #4
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I bought them directly from Amazon, but there's an interesting wrinkle to that -- I had the option of ordering them in "easy-open" packaging. That's something I hadn't heard of before, and I'd say it's sorely needed, having struggled mightily with hard plastic packaging on many products. These cards came in cardboard envelopes, sealed, with SanDisk's name on them in several places. I believe they're the real thing, not fakes, but at the very least they went through a different packaging process. Whether that bears any relation to their performance is anybody's guess.

04-18-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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You have to format the card in the camera before using or you will most likely have corrupted files. If you did format the card first it could be defective.
04-18-2014, 06:01 PM   #6
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I haven't made it a habit of always formatting a new card. Sometimes I do, perhaps even most of the time, but I'm sure there have been many times that I didn't. In ten years of using digital cameras, this is the first time this has ever happened.
04-18-2014, 08:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dshombert Quote
I bought them directly from Amazon, but there's an interesting wrinkle to that -- I had the option of ordering them in "easy-open" packaging. That's something I hadn't heard of before, and I'd say it's sorely needed, having struggled mightily with hard plastic packaging on many products. These cards came in cardboard envelopes, sealed, with SanDisk's name on them in several places. I believe they're the real thing, not fakes, but at the very least they went through a different packaging process. Whether that bears any relation to their performance is anybody's guess.
I would think you could trust Amazon here, but if they let someone else do the repackaging, you never know! It's probably better to take the small risk of the emergency room visit from the packaging than to buy something where anyone could have switched things up somewhere in the distribution channel. Why not send it back as defective/unreliable - Amazon's good about returns, and it may be their responsibility or fault anyway!

In any case, it's unusual for one of their cards not to work out of the box.
04-19-2014, 08:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dshombert Quote
I haven't made it a habit of always formatting a new card. Sometimes I do, perhaps even most of the time, but I'm sure there have been many times that I didn't. In ten years of using digital cameras, this is the first time this has ever happened.
You're just plain lucky. Why do you think the instruction manual that came with your camera encourages you to format the card in camera?

04-19-2014, 05:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ahab Quote
You're just plain lucky. Why do you think the instruction manual that came with your camera encourages you to format the card in camera?
Because they don't want you to blame the camera. If your format in the camera fails, you'll immediately blame the card and try another one.



Which means the card probably is bad in the first place, but it will save them a lot of trouble.
04-19-2014, 05:27 PM   #10
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I'm going to return the card. Why take a chance on a trip to Alaska? Thanks to all who contributed something positive.
04-20-2014, 04:57 AM   #11
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Not trying to be argumentative only informational, actually most camera MFG's suggest formatting in the camera because it does not wipe out the security partition and maintains the exFat file system which is the system optimized for flash drives. Most computers would attempt to format the card in the OS standard file system, in the case of Windows Fat32 or NTFS, which is incompatible for use with most cameras etc. Also the cameras format writes files for OS system recognition so using a new card does not contain those files's hence the errors and suggested formatting at first by the computers OS. Of course no mfg's, including the SD card manufactures, explains this to the public so it is normal that when people encounter these types of problems they either think something is wrong with their cameras or cards.

You can format using your computers OS if it has the the option to format using exFat but still that may wipe out the security partition if done by using anything more than a quick format OR you can format using the SD Associations SD formatter software, either utilizing a quick or full format, and it will not disturb the partition information. If one is deleting photos a lot using the cameras delete function then at some point doing a full (low Level) format will clean up the SD card and help keep it error free, which is something the SD formatter software will safely do.. These cards if maintained can last 10 years or more.

So I venture to say there isn't anything wrong with your SD Cards they simply lacked the needed file information that would have been there by formatting them in your camera first. Do return them if you feel safer by doing that but when you get your new ones format them in your camera first.

PS you can use a recovery software to retrieve your photos even after formatting over them since the camera only does a quick format.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 04-20-2014 at 05:03 AM.
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