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11-05-2010, 04:36 PM   #1
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How to format card for firmware update

I have a K-7 with version 1.0 and makes sense to update firmware to the latest version.

I am confused on how to format the card though. Do I format it in the camera or computer?

If I understand it correctly, as of now I have formatted it in the camera and when I put it in my card reader I see the DCIM folder. I know NOT to put the update in there but just drag it onto the card. So when I look at the card on my computer I see the update and the DCIM folder side by side. Right?

Or am I supposed to use the computer to format the card so it is completely empty?

Sorry if this is a completely dumb question, don't want to screw it up. Charging the battery now too.

11-05-2010, 04:45 PM   #2
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Format in computer, camera will not "see" the firmware file if DCIM folder is present. Fresh batteries is a must.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 11-05-2010 at 04:50 PM.
11-05-2010, 04:53 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corvairfan Quote

If I understand it correctly, as of now I have formatted it in the camera and when I put it in my card reader I see the DCIM folder. I know NOT to put the update in there but just drag it onto the card. So when I look at the card on my computer I see the update and the DCIM folder side by side. Right?
Don't worry about that, the camera will know what a DCIM folder is, and the difference between a folder and a file in the rootdir of the media.

The firmware update file needs to be in the expected format, and filename convention~sequence, too; ie. not packaged in an archive or weirdo renamed for 'human readable' convenience.
RTFM anyway.

QuoteQuote:
Or am I supposed to use the computer to format the card so it is completely empty?
You could, but make sure you format it with the right filesystem that the camera will accept and be able to read from.
That will be FAT or FAT32, not exFAT and definitely not NTFS. In-Camera disk operating systems just aren't that sophisticated.

IOW; use the camera to do the format job instead and you don't have to know anything about the latter. The vendors expect and package these updates and write the camera's OS accordingly to cater for non-computer literate users.
The KISS principle applies and reading between lines isn't required and can (often does) only lead to serious problems.

Did the instructions specifically state that it must be formatted in a computer? They will if it need be. Trust me.

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 11-05-2010 at 05:13 PM.
11-05-2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Format in computer, camera will not "see" the firmware file if DCIM folder is present. Fresh batteries is a must.
I don't think that this is quite correct. The camera firmware will not see the update file if it is IN the DCIM folder. AFAIK, as long as the update file is in the root directory, the camera will find it.

I updated my K10D to version 1.31 a couple of months ago, and I don't remember doing anything special. I'm pretty sure that I just formatted the card in the camera and then copied the update file to the root of the card.

I've never tried it, but I suspect that the card doesn't even need to be freshly formatted. Any images left on the card will be in the DCIM folder and the camera firmware would ignore them and just use the update file it finds in the root. I think that the recommendation that it be freshly formatted is more to insure that there is sufficient space on the card for the update file. Back when 256MB or 512MB cards were common, that might have been an issue, but who uses anything less than 2GB now days?

I've never tested this hypothesis, however. Just as I've never tested whether formatting in the camera is really preferable to doing it in the computer.

11-05-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips. I did leave the DCIM folder on the card and added the file next to it and the camera found it. Seems to have updated fine and nice features for sure. Thanks again.
11-05-2010, 10:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote

I've never tried it, but I suspect that the card doesn't even need to be freshly formatted. Any images left on the card will be in the DCIM folder and the camera firmware would ignore them and just use the update file it finds in the root. I think that the recommendation that it be freshly formatted is more to insure that there is sufficient space on the card for the update file. Back when 256MB or 512MB cards were common, that might have been an issue, but who uses anything less than 2GB now days?

I've never tested this hypothesis, however. Just as I've never tested whether formatting in the camera is really preferable to doing it in the computer.
Well I have tested it, months back. And yes it works, naturally. In fact I had a whole Windows 7 OS (had made the SD card bootable for OS installations) plus other files and swags of pictures on the 16GB card too.

But what you say there is essentially correct, the mfgrs advice is to protect people against themselves.
So unless one knows what they're doing, play safe, and trust RTFM.

Also a 2GB, or any 'large' card, is not necessarily an automatic safe solution.
The card could be too full.

Aside from the update firmware's filesize, there could presumably need to be a certain amount of free "temp" workspace on the media for the read~buffer~write spooling of the update process to succeed. (there is normally a code and a data component to f/w, and both may require and be designated for updating, most often is only the data though)

A part-way crash is not recommended, it will leave the camera unusable and unrecoverable by the user = a costly repair bill. Ouch!

.R.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 11-05-2010 at 11:08 PM.
11-06-2010, 04:00 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Corvairfan Quote
I did leave the DCIM folder on the card and added the file next to it and the camera found it.
I did not dare to take a chance. Something in the instructions about "use a blank! formatted card, place the file in root directory and not in a blah,blah,blah.".
QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
if DCIM folder is"present"

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 11-06-2010 at 04:09 AM.
11-06-2010, 05:31 PM   #8
Ananta Androscoggin
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For some of us it would be a mite harder to format the card in our computers. My old Mac only lets me format to DOS FAT whatever that might be.

So I formatted the 2GB card in my new K-x and installed the firmware update (via a card reader) with no trouble at all.

In fact, I didn't even have any of the battery problems (early warnings of low batteries) until I sat down to do my first upload of images to the computer. Then I got "Device Removal" warnings and shut-down repeatedly, including with the K-AC84 in place of the batteries. After the update, no more battery "problems."

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