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01-20-2015, 07:46 PM   #1
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K3 + flu card "memory card error" (both new)

Just yesterday, I picked up my new toy: K3 w/DA18-135 (factory kit) + BG5 grip, extra battery and a brand new flu card.

Upon unpacking and after charging batteries, next step was inserting flu card (slot 2) as per instructions. The second after turning on camera. a "MEMORY CARD ERROR" showed. So I removed card, read all the intructions again and repeated the operation, making sure everything was done "by the book". Again, the error showed.

Just to check, I tried the card in my MX-1 and WG-I I knowing both cameras can use the flu card (for image viewing and transfer only), but with both cameras, the same error showed.

Today, I went back to the Pentax dealer to check if I was doing something wrong, and after going through all procedures, we checked the card on another body... the error showed, so this guy came with another brand new flu card which after several tries it worked fine for a few minutes. We also checked this working card on my MX-1 and it worked too ( after several installation attempts.

Having all clear, we returned the card to the K3 to discover that all the configuration was lost. Did that again then back to the MX-1 To check if configuration was lost too on the Mx..... but horrors! again the memory card error came back!!!!!

To make a long story short, the second card failed completely. The shop had only those two cards and I was their first customer purchasing one, so they had no experience in claims or flu card problems.

Does anyone here has experienced something similar aith the flu card?????

01-20-2015, 08:21 PM   #2
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Sounds like a bad card or firmware issue with the K3, but I'm just guessing. Try an EYE Fi card to see if that works.
01-20-2015, 08:31 PM   #3
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I only recently got my K-3 and Flu card as well. I formatted it in the camera and it has been fine. Sorry to hear you're having problems.
01-20-2015, 08:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by slowhands95128 Quote
Sounds like a bad card or firmware issue with the K3, but I'm just guessing. Try an EYE Fi card to see if that works.

Both new cards failed. First one didn't even wotked a bit. Second one lasted for few minutes (less than half hour). Camera's firmware was updated yesterday during purchase.

QuoteOriginally posted by gebco Quote
I only recently got my K-3 and Flu card as well. I formatted it in the camera and it has been fine. Sorry to hear you're having problems.
Both cards were camera formatted but this produced no effects.

The strange thing here is that BOTH cards failed or just didn't worked after using them in my new K3, which by logic is the common denominator in both cards failure. This poses a big question: Is this specific K3 damaging any flu card inserted? Unfortunately, there is only one way to answer that question, which is by inserting a USED flu card hnown to have worked flawlessly for several months.... anyone taking the challenge?

01-20-2015, 09:12 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear you are having this problem. Your logic is sound and the likely culprit is the camera unfortunately (although it could have been a bad batch of cards, poor storage of them, etc.) but since the second only failed after being in the K3 the camera seems the likely source. I have had no problems with either my K3 or my Flu card, thank goodness. Good luck with your situation, sorry I can't help.
01-20-2015, 11:42 PM   #6
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Did you try formatting the flucard in sd1, then putting it back in sd2? I had the same issue at first and that fixed it.

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01-21-2015, 06:12 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Did you try formatting the flucard in sd1, then putting it back in sd2? I had the same issue at first and that fixed it.
That idea came up, but unfortunately, by then both cards showed the error. Another detail I forgot to mention is that once the error message show up, the camera locks up until you turn it off and remove the card. So formatting was not possibleAFTER error message.

But with the second card that worked for a while, I did had the chance to format it in the MX-1, which showed no improvement and the card still failed randomly for about 5 or 6 on-off cycles until complete fail.
01-22-2015, 04:12 PM   #8
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It might be interesting to investigate the storage environment in the shop, too. Maybe they stick the cards to the fridge in the staffroom with tiny magnets, or lean them up against the side of the electric metre or something!

I often wonder about this when I plug USB sticks into my PC and it says something like ""Retrieving interface programming from storage device". The PC seems much more trusting than I am, because the SD card or USB stick has been floating around in amongst all the dust, coffee rings, and other clutter for much too long!

01-22-2015, 07:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bagga_Txips Quote
It might be interesting to investigate the storage environment in the shop, too. Maybe they stick the cards to the fridge in the staffroom with tiny magnets, or lean them up against the side of the electric metre or something!

I often wonder about this when I plug USB sticks into my PC and it says something like ""Retrieving interface programming from storage device". The PC seems much more trusting than I am, because the SD card or USB stick has been floating around in amongst all the dust, coffee rings, and other clutter for much too long!
Thanks for your comment. What you say makes a lot of sense. I know this people have been in business for many years, going back to the Spotmatic days, but just recently (About a year or so) thy moved out of downtown towards a more appropriate locale in an open shopping center . Who knows, maybe during the move something inadvertently happened, like leaving both new cards on top a "vintage" microwave oven during a coffee break. Who knows... anything could be blamed. I just think for example in all those new security gizmos that work with inducted magnetic fields (store door sensors) that were non existant in their former location.

Next time I go by them, I will comment about this.

BTW, my new K3 was not related to the cards failure. Because I remembered that the first card (one purchased) showed the error message in the MX-1 before I even unpacked the K3 kit.
01-24-2015, 04:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by rburgoss Quote
That idea came up, but unfortunately, by then both cards showed the error. Another detail I forgot to mention is that once the error message show up, the camera locks up until you turn it off and remove the card. So formatting was not possibleAFTER error message.

But with the second card that worked for a while, I did had the chance to format it in the MX-1, which showed no improvement and the card still failed randomly for about 5 or 6 on-off cycles until complete fail.
I just pulled out my flucard after several months on the shelf, and I also got hit by the memory card error. The camera refused to format it, and my laptop didn't even recognize it, but when I put it in my desktop it did show up. I went ahead and formatted it there and it worked.

After putting it back in the camera, I still got the memory card error. The first format failed, but the second one succeeded, and after that everything went back to normal.

Strange, but not unusual, it sounds. In any case, there was definitely nothing wrong with your camera, and probably not the card, either. I do suspect that there's some sort of flaw in all the flucards, though

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01-24-2015, 05:44 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I just pulled out my flucard after several months on the shelf, and I also got hit by the memory card error. The camera refused to format it, and my laptop didn't even recognize it, but when I put it in my desktop it did show up. I went ahead and formatted it there and it worked.

After putting it back in the camera, I still got the memory card error. The first format failed, but the second one succeeded, and after that everything went back to normal.

Strange, but not unusual, it sounds. In any case, there was definitely nothing wrong with your camera, and probably not the card, either. I do suspect that there's some sort of flaw in all the flucards, though
That is quite interesting. Next Monday (Sundays closed) I will drop by the photo store with my camera and perform the same procedures you are describing. Just in case, I will take a brand new card reader to try formatting with it, just in case their computers refuse to format the card. I just hope they still have both cards at the store and haven't shipped them for warranty coverage back to Pentax.

I will post my findings right here. If successful, the article on the flucard right here Review: Pentax FluCard O-FC1 - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews could be updated with this VERY VALUABLE information, and through the right channels, suggest Pentax to update their instruction manual.
01-26-2015, 03:27 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Important update: flucard error!!!

As said, I went by the photo store today, armed with my new K3 and an "almost new" multi card reader USB 2.0. I told this guy about the ideas exchange here at the Pentax Forum, and asked him to allow me do some tests on either one of the failed flucards.

This is what happened:

1) Both cards still showed the "memory card error" at camera start up. Camera got locked until turned off.

2) Attempts to format both cards on slot 1 were tried, but in both cases, again the "memory card error" showed upon pressing OK to format.

(From now on, we continued with only one card)

3) Flucard was inserted into built in card reader on a Toshiba Netbook computer running W7 32 bit (home edition). Card was not recognized.

4) On same computer, card was inserted to a Kodak A251 card reader (USB) and plugged into one of the Toshiba's USB ports. Again, even the little LED on the reader came on, the flucard was not recognized.

5) On another computer (Desktop) running W7 pro edition 64 bits, we inserted the card reader into a known USB 2.0 port. This time, the flucard was recognized. We formatted the card making sure it was under FAT 32 specs, but using fast format mode. After finishing, the flucard still showed the "memory card error" in camera.

6) We returned the card into the reader, but this time we performed a low level format (uncheck the fast format mode). It took, about 5-6 minutes to format fully.

7) After low level format was done, upon inserting flucard into slot 2 and turning on camera, a "card is not formatted" warning appeared. Turned off camera, moved flucard to slot 1 and formatted card in camera as usual. Then replaced the flucard back to slot 2.


IT WORKS!!!


Everything is back to normal. Flucard instantly established connection to my smartphone and everything went "by the book" from then on.

Conclusion: This behavior apparently is a known issue among users, but not documented properly neither in the K3's manual or the flucard's manual. The point is that if in any moment the "memory card error" shows, it means the card needs a low level formatting that is not possible in camera and needs a computer with the proper OS and hardware to do it.

Unfortunately, I cannot pinpoint or even say what are the minimum specs needed to perform a low level format on the flucard. I just found out a combination that worked among hardware at hand at this moment.

I also cannot say how long this situation will work or if the card will revert to error mode in some time after being stored away without use. In the meantime and until Pentax/Ricoh/Trek can figure out what is going on, I would advise to add this message as an instruction manual addendum for the flu card, and to the fine article written in this forum:

Warning:
If a "Memory Card Error" shows upon turning on camera,
remove flucard and perform a low level format in a computer
capable of doing so. Low level format is not possible in camera.
After doing a low level format, then perform a logical format in camera
using Slot 1 (K3) then return flucard to slot 2.
This should fix the problem.

Last edited by rburgoss; 01-26-2015 at 03:32 PM.
01-28-2015, 06:30 PM   #13
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There is an organization called SD Card Association. You may freely download their recommending formatter at:

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/index.html

It has several options including full erase (low level format) for formatting.
01-28-2015, 07:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by K-3-lover Quote
There is an organization called SD Card Association. You may freely download their recommending formatter at:

https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/index.html

It has several options including full erase (low level format) for formatting.
Thanks for the contribution. This is very valuable information.

What bugs me is that this behavior "apparently" has been happening since Ricoh/Pentax issued the flucard and there's been no acknowledgement of such behavior and a solution.
02-04-2015, 05:55 AM   #15
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Flaky FLU Card

I am currenly on my second FLU Card. The first one appeared to have been used previously as it had a few pictures on it obviously taken in someone's house to try it!
It worked for about five uses only before failing to connect to anything. It would beep away and turn grey but there was no WiFi signal, nothing could see it. After a very long wasted lunch hour in my local Pentax dealer's shop they agreed it didn't seem to work and replaced it. I left them attempting to restore the pictures to it as the were very interested in seeing who was playing with it before me!
While the new card worked i was still flaky and unreliable. It would drop the signal on a regular basis and often refuse to connect at all. I gave in using it until I saw the first firmware update. After installing the first update the card functioned much better than it ever had before.I did find that sometimes I would have to take it out and put it in once or twice before it would work but once it did it would be flawless for ages... unless I removed it for any reason, then I'd have to sometimes format it in slot one before it would work again but it always did work eventually.
Then I made a huge mistake. I updated the firmware to the current version. Since then it has become totally unstable. It will beep and flash the symbol. You can find the FLU Card SSID but then the issues start, sometimes it won't connect: as soon as I select the SSID the Flu Card appeaars to reset the connection and starts the initiation cycle again. Every now and then it will connect but as soon as you try to open Chrome it resets again. I've tried lots ofdifferent devices, cleared caches and reformated in slot 1 and on my PC all to no avail. I've redownloaded the firmware and reinstalled using different machines to eliminate an issue with the file/PC but no joy.
I'm trying now with the tool above. If that doesn't fix it I'm going to need to wipe the flash and install the last version, anyone experienced that or even have the original firmware?
I'm only glad I didn't pay for the FLU card as it was free with the camera. I'd be really disappointed if this pain had cost me money!
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