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04-11-2007, 06:13 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
Copying and erasing will leave fragments of files laying around (due to the nature of FAT file systems) which can cause issues.
Generally correct, but not entirely in given context
Fragmentation occurs, when you delete pieces files from inbetween other files, leaving a hole AND when trying to create or copy there a new file which fit the gap entirely (being too big). In that case file is split and different parts are written into different free holes (clusters). Filesystem can handle that, it is not a problem in itself, the problem is that it becomes slower and slower to both read and write files when each file has to be split or glued into one again.

It should not present a big problem for memory card where access time does not really depend on the location of the pieces and besides, the data is usually deleted in bulk, thus creating a lot of empty space in one go, not variable size empty holes. Therefore there is no real need to worry about fragmentation in camera memory cards.

As for aforementioned link, then knowing how filesystem works in general I can't but to disagree with all due respect with following: "A contributing factor to card failure can be the existence of previously deleted photos." Think of your memory card as your USB-stick (which it essentially is). Do you reformat it every time you download stuff from it to your computer? Have you ever heard that it may fail because of previously deleted files? It'd be nonsense. Think about it, we used to run computers off the FAT filesystems and 99% of the failures were result of power loss, not the filesystem itself.

Filesystem is probably the most robust and time-tested component of memory card. If there are problems then because of interrupted or interferred operations, physical failures etc. If card fails once and reformat seems to cure it, it may have been a glitch. If card fails more than once and every time format seems to cure it for time being, it's time to replace the card or check the camera, because something else is fishy there, not filesystem.

Generally the only rational reason to prefer formatting to deleting would be the speed. But of course, its better to let the camera do the formatting with suitable defaults rather than Windows.

Sorry for long post, it's just that that "formatting is better than deleting" thing has been bugging me for ages.

04-11-2007, 07:21 AM   #17
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I usually copy pics to my desktop and then chuck my camera ones in the wastebasket and empty wastebasket. All using a card reader. Never had any problems. I've used cable too but normaly can't remember where it is so use the reader. Meant to be bettter for your card too. I reformat the card whenever I can be bothered to (in camera).
04-11-2007, 07:36 AM   #18
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Re-format

After each card download to my computer and after saving to at least three seperate hard drives and confirm that all the info has been recorded I re-format my card...

Ben
04-11-2007, 08:03 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by andrei46 Quote
After download (with camera - PC cable), I erase the card within the camera, with the camera menu option. In seven years, no problem. I never formated any card.
Success!
Andrei
What Andrei said...



Carol

04-11-2007, 09:39 AM   #20
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Between my wife and I we have 3 Pentax DSLRs, 2 Fuji advanced P&S, & 1 Panasonic advanced P&S 9Leica lens), 3 Nikon Coolpix, and a bunch lesser HP & Fuji P&S cameras. We almost never format cards after first use. We use PCs to copy, then delete once we know the copy is OK (occasionally use the slightly riskier move). The only time I formatted to fix a problem was my sister who would pull cards while powered on. My K100D prevents that mistake. When I do format it is always with the camera.

With everyone posting SUCCESS with their methods, a better question would be who is having TROUBLE with their chosen method. Maybe it does not matter which method you uses to transfer files as long as you:

Don't pull the card from a powered camera.
Don't format in the computer, delete is OK or use the camera instead.

I'm a Novice in DSLR, but old timer in Electronics.

Last edited by LeoTaylor; 04-11-2007 at 09:40 AM. Reason: typo
04-11-2007, 10:17 AM   #21
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I have used PCMCIA adaptors and USB card readers for most image transfers. Both CF and SD.

One time I used the cable on my K$d&k P&S and found that the file creation date changed to the download date, not date and time taken. It was the first and last time for download via cable.

After download I have never had a problem, and the only corrupted files I have had were on a Pentax 2.1 MP P&S where battery contact was intermittent, and on my K$d&k P&S at the instant I dropped it on a carpeted floor.

I have never re-formatted any cards, just erase the files, and extra folders created when I exceed 500 images.
04-11-2007, 10:38 AM   #22
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I just fill the card and then trash 'em. I'm not sure about this copy to computer thing. I do have these slots in the front of my computer, but I usually just use them as a coin holder.
04-11-2007, 11:03 AM   #23
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I transfer files to my computer via a card reader, back them up, and then put the card back into the camera and format. Just seems easier and quicker. That way I always have an empty card in the camera so I'm always ready to shoot.

NaCl(I may have the wrong lens on, or the wrong settings on the camera but I'm ready to capture!)H2O

04-11-2007, 11:03 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by aabram Quote
Generally correct, but not entirely in given context
Fragmentation occurs, when you delete pieces files from inbetween other files, leaving a hole AND when trying to create or copy there a new file which fit the gap entirely (being too big). In that case file is split and different parts are written into different free holes (clusters). Filesystem can handle that, it is not a problem in itself, the problem is that it becomes slower and slower to both read and write files when each file has to be split or glued into one again.

It should not present a big problem for memory card where access time does not really depend on the location of the pieces and besides, the data is usually deleted in bulk, thus creating a lot of empty space in one go, not variable size empty holes. Therefore there is no real need to worry about fragmentation in camera memory cards.

As for aforementioned link, then knowing how filesystem works in general I can't but to disagree with all due respect with following: "A contributing factor to card failure can be the existence of previously deleted photos." Think of your memory card as your USB-stick (which it essentially is). Do you reformat it every time you download stuff from it to your computer? Have you ever heard that it may fail because of previously deleted files? It'd be nonsense. Think about it, we used to run computers off the FAT filesystems and 99% of the failures were result of power loss, not the filesystem itself.

Filesystem is probably the most robust and time-tested component of memory card. If there are problems then because of interrupted or interferred operations, physical failures etc. If card fails once and reformat seems to cure it, it may have been a glitch. If card fails more than once and every time format seems to cure it for time being, it's time to replace the card or check the camera, because something else is fishy there, not filesystem.

Generally the only rational reason to prefer formatting to deleting would be the speed. But of course, its better to let the camera do the formatting with suitable defaults rather than Windows.

Sorry for long post, it's just that that "formatting is better than deleting" thing has been bugging me for ages.
The FAT file system is not robust - to begin with. It is very fragile and prone to error and the errors tend to be cumulative.

Fragmentation occurs when - you take a series of images and - rotate an image from landscape to portrait on a *ist Ds class system - delete a bad image in the middle of a series. Apply filters to jpegs etc. The flash card appears to the camera as if it were a hard drive - that is why you can use the micro hard drives on some cameras that use CF cards - no difference to the system.

Reminants of deleted files can cause issues - just like on a floppy drive or a very small hard drive (yeah I remember the time when all hard drives were formated in FAT16) - Have I ever run chkdsk (on a windows box) against a SD card that has had files deleted? yes - and it found crosslinked clusters on a SD card that had everything on it deleted. I have had this happen on SD, SmartMedia and CF flash memory. It happens.

I format my SD cards when I start to use them - every time - if there is something physically wrong with the SD card - not found when just deleting files - can, in most cases, be discovered by having the camera reformat the device. Oh and do I reformat my thumb drives - you bet your bippy I do - though not that often since I use the thumb drives rarely these days. But when I am ready to start a new project - I reformat and look for bad sectors to boot. I have been known to defragment my SD cards too - mostly to see what the effects are - but I do have that little trick.

My basic workflow is to
1. Have my available SD cards in one pocket - unlocked.
2. Load the SD card into the camera and format it. - If it fails (so far has not happened) then lock the card and into another pocket for later - WTF happened here investigation.
3. When the card is full - or I have enough for the project - take the card out and Lock it. Put the card in my used pocket.
4. When I am back at the ranch - Take out he locked cards and transfer the images to my Wolverine flashpac 7000 device - once the data are transfered - unlock the card and put it in the "to be used again" pocket.
5. Once home - attach the Wolverine to my main PC and burn DVD's off of the Wolverine - then copy the data off the Wolverine onto my workstation for PP.

Since I know that I will format the cards before use - I know that there is nothing on the cards and the camera can see the filesystem - because it put it there. So far I have not had an issue, where on my old Toshiba P&S if I deleted the images with the PC - there were issues with mislabled folders - broken file entries and other bad things.

PDL
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