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12-17-2008, 07:08 PM   #1
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help! my photosticks are not being read by my PC!

Please help. I bought a 4g sandisk III, it took lovely photos but my PC didn't recognize the stick. Then, just now, after taking photos in the freezing cold all morning, I find my old reliable 2 g stick isn't being read either. It's not the PC. The tech tested the PC and now I have a brandnew one to boot. I tried to download the 4g at the drugstore; didn't read it. Something is wrong with the camera. What do I do now? Oh dear, oh dear.
Irene Sophie

12-17-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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Don't Panic!

QuoteOriginally posted by irene sophie Quote
Please help. I bought a 4g sandisk III, it took lovely photos but my PC didn't recognize the stick. Then, just now, after taking photos in the freezing cold all morning, I find my old reliable 2 g stick isn't being read either. It's not the PC. The tech tested the PC and now I have a brandnew one to boot. I tried to download the 4g at the drugstore; didn't read it. Something is wrong with the camera. What do I do now? Oh dear, oh dear.
Irene Sophie
Irene:

Can you see the images in your camera playback? If so, you could try to download the images using your camera and the connection cable they should have supplied you. Plug it in and your camera should appear as a removable drive.

If you can't see the pics anywhere, don't panic.... go on your newest PC (it IS a Microsoft Windows PC, right?) and google a program called "Image Recall" It is a great program to rescue images off our corrupted memory sticks. Give that a try, it has saved my bacon several times in the past.

On the issue with the sticks... I assume that since you tried three different readers (your old machine, your new machine and the drugstore machine) that there is either a problem with your camera or the memory. Start (once you get your photos off using Instant Recall) by formatting the sticks in your camera, not the PC. Try shooting some test shots and see if you can view them in the camera.
Then see if your PCs can read them. If you can, then try to download them with your stick reader.

If you have further problems, you may want to have your camera shop check out your camera for recording issues. But I bet you'll find a reformat will make things right.

Good luck saving your photos.

germar
12-17-2008, 09:12 PM   #3
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Many card readers cannot handle the new SDHC cards (anything greater than 2 GB), or at least, cannot do so without a firmware upgrade. That's probably your main issue, unless the card reader has simply gone bad. Is the card reader built in to your PC, or is it separate (plugged in via USB, for example)? If the latter, try a new card reader. Actually, even if it's built in, try a new one instead. They're only $10 or so.
12-18-2008, 06:24 AM   #4
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It's me, again with update on my memory stick problem.

Hey guys,
Thanks so much for rapid replies and good advice. I decided to reformat before I even thought things through - consequently losing ALL my images. (It's not so bad though; they were only outdoors scenes that can be taken again.) The memory stick really doesn't work in the PC, sigh.
The USB cable was mentioned and I didn't even remember having one. A couple of test shots, a search through two closets to find the cable, and a run-through shows those photos are there and can be transferred to the PC using this method.
My IT tech also says that anything over the 2g is sometimes hard to read.
Don't you think I should still have the camera checked out to make things right?
Irene Sophie


Last edited by irene sophie; 12-18-2008 at 06:30 AM. Reason: needed to add info
12-18-2008, 06:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by irene sophie Quote
Don't you think I should still have the camera checked out to make things right?
Irene Sophie
Irene:

If the images are readable from the camera, then I agree with Marc: it may be an issue with the actual card reader being unable to deal with your new 4gb card. You want to find a card reader that has SDHC shown as a readable format. These are easily found at Target and Best Buy and to a lesser degree places like Walmart and Costco.

In regards to your old card not being read anymore, I suggest rebooting your PC, making sure that the card reader is unplugged or otherwise removed from the system...no power to it. Then put your old 2gb card in FIRST, and see if your card reader can find it. Hopefully that will help the problem.

By the way, "Image Recall" CAN rescue images even from a formatted disk if they haven't been overwritten. It's up to you how valuable those first images were to you.

good luck,

germar
12-18-2008, 06:55 AM   #6
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Irene, if you're running Windows XP you probably will struggle to get it to read anything more than a 1Gb card. As Marc suggested, a new card reader won't do any harm, but I'd also recommend just sticking to 1Gb cards. They're easy enough to carry around and quick to change over and it means that if you have another dud you won't lose so many pictures all in one hit. In cold weather, carry them in your pocket (in the little plastic case) or somewhere close to your body. Some of them are affected by cold temperature. Also, make sure the little metal contacts are clean and not bent in any way.
I agree with germar - I'd be very surprised if the problem was with your camera, whereas I've yet to meet anyone who hasn't had a card or two go belly up. They're churned out by the squillion so it's not surprising so many of them don't work after a while.
I'm sure we'd all like to know how you get on.
12-18-2008, 07:32 AM   #7
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Wombat, I'm wondering why you think you would struggle with XP to read anything more than
a 1gb card. I am using an Acer laptop that is over 2 yrs old and only 512 ram, I also use
a 4gb extreme III and a 4gb Ducati (Sandisk) and don't have a problem with it reading Raw images from a K20D. I use cs3 ex and download using bridge.
It may be a bit slow but still no problems.
Like a few others have said, check the card reader or even get a new one or a
better quality one.
12-18-2008, 09:20 AM   #8
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?????

I'm using 4GB (CF and SDHC) cards on my XP box without any struggling

QuoteOriginally posted by Wombat Quote
Irene, if you're running Windows XP you probably will struggle to get it to read anything more than a 1Gb card. .


12-18-2008, 10:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ozzi-paul Quote
Wombat, I'm wondering why you think you would struggle with XP to read anything more than
a 1gb card.
XP isn't inherently incapable of it, of course. It's more a matter of percentages: "most" XP machines are relatively old, and hence their card readers might have been produced before SDHC was widely supported. Meaning you're limited to plain SD cards (2GB max, I believe) unless your card reader happens to have a firmware update available. Newer XP machines probably have the SDHC support built in to their card readers, as would most Vista machines. Similar story, I would assume, for Mac - machines more than a couple of years old would be less likely to work with SDHC right out of the box.

BTW, *really* old machines might struggle with anything over 512MB. I'm not sure why, but I've experienced it myself, and ended up finding some writeup about the issue somewhere online to convince me it wasn't a fluke.
12-18-2008, 11:27 AM   #10
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Get a new card reader!

I was using an old Sandisk 2gb stick for the *ist DL which was working perfectly across three card readers. I recently got 2gb and 4gb Extreme III's that would only read on one of the card readers; the one on my newest laptop. Hope it helps.
12-20-2008, 08:11 AM   #11
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trouble wth the memory sticks

Hello,
You guys are SO good! I tell my friends that "the guys" at the Pentax Forum are helping me.

The 4g and the 2g are both giving me trouble. I just switched from Windows XP to Vista (my present to myself for double-time shifts). I can't try the 4g on the Vista because I sent it back to Fargo with my daughter to Ritz Camera before I asked you "guys" what to do.

I got the photos to transfer using the cable. I'm thinking that at some point I should let a camera repair shop look at it. I just can't bear to let it out of my hands for a while. I actually have nightmares of someone losing my camera and my SCREAMING at them.

Irene Sophie
12-20-2008, 09:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
XP isn't inherently incapable of it, of course. It's more a matter of percentages: "most" XP machines are relatively old, and hence their card readers might have been produced before SDHC was widely supported. Meaning you're limited to plain SD cards (2GB max, I believe) unless your card reader happens to have a firmware update available. Newer XP machines probably have the SDHC support built in to their card readers, as would most Vista machines. Similar story, I would assume, for Mac - machines more than a couple of years old would be less likely to work with SDHC right out of the box.

BTW, *really* old machines might struggle with anything over 512MB. I'm not sure why, but I've experienced it myself, and ended up finding some writeup about the issue somewhere online to convince me it wasn't a fluke.
Geez, don't scare me. My Win2K machine reads 4Gb cards just fine (using the SanDisk MicroMate reader that came with the cards). I never saw the need to upgraded to XP.
12-20-2008, 10:16 AM   #13
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Why not just use the supplied USB cable to download the photos directly off the camera?
12-20-2008, 01:49 PM   #14
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The opserating system is not the issue. The SD card reader is.

When I was using XP and I bought a 4GB card, my SanDisk reader would not read it. My Wolverine portable HD would not read it. Once the firmware on the Wolverine would read it I used my normal technique (SD -> Wolverine -> PC) and proceeded as normal. (The inability to read SDHC cards included my laptop's built in SD reader - with no firmware upgrade possible).
So to fix this I used my IO Gear SD card to USB thumbdrive converter. Works with all OS's just fine - even reads my 16GB card and it was purchased before SDHC cards were available. (I bought it long before 4GB cards were available). This is not a "XP" issue - XP will read FAT32 formated devices with up to 200+GB in size - not an OS issue.

If you have purchased a "new" laptop - the internal SD reader should be SDHC capable. If not, then you might have purchased a not so "new" laptop design. (My new laptop reads my 26GB SDHC card without issue).

Just go get a current SDHC card reader (I have two of them from buying SanDisk 4GB cards plus a SDHC reader that came with the K20D package I bought). It is not the OS, the camera or the card, it is the interface via the hardware ---- the SD reader.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL
12-21-2008, 01:14 AM   #15
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Interesting to hear everyone's experiences with XP. I'm curious. My laptop has XP and Linux, dual boot setup. I can read any size card in Linux but only up to 1Gb in XP. My local computer man reckoned it was an XP problem and you'd say that was a logical conclusion. But from what some of you say, maybe it's something else. Anyway, I just use the USB cable if I'm in Windows now as I don't want any more gadgets hanging off the lappie.

Sorry, Irene! These little asides happen a lot on the forum. They're part of the fun. Anyway, glad you found some useful advice here. By all means get your camera checked out if you can't sleep at night, but I really don't think it's the culprit.
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