Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-10-2007, 08:26 AM   #1
Forum Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Connecticut USA
Posts: 73
After download - Erase or Reformat?

I would be interested your views.

I am reluctant to let my PC erase the files from the SD card after download. I figured the less outside interference with the card the better. I download via SanDisk's own MicroMate USB reader.

I have been reformatting the card in the K10D after reinstalling on the theory that a "clean" card may be a better way to avoid corrupted files.

All thoughts appreciated!!!

04-10-2007, 08:31 AM   #2
Veteran Member
jfdavis58's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: 13 S 0357397-3884316
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 876
Six different dSLRs, 3 different P&Ss: download to PC or external storage (Flashtrax/DiskMate/Jobo/etc). Reformat memory/flash card in camera, every time. Never a glitch of any sort in any camera; never.
04-10-2007, 09:07 AM   #3
Forum Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Connecticut USA
Posts: 73
Original Poster

Thanks for the reply. Your experience confirms my intuition.

The K10D is my second DSLR (after a Olympus 720SW). I had usually erased the Olypmus XD card but based on my general computer experience felt that with the K10D reformat was the better choice. Will now do so with the 720SW as well.
04-10-2007, 10:13 AM   #4
Veteran Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Amherst, NY.
Posts: 334

Just like John, I have had nothing but 'formatting' success - when done so via the camera, instead of the computer. I remember back (with my first digital P&S) when I had downloaded its SM card's contents onto the computer, and then formatted the card - in the computer. For some reason, I was never able to use that card again. Every time that I attempted to format that card, in the camera, I kept getting an error message. After trying to format in the camera, it couldn't even be formatted in the computer again.

So I NEVER format in the computer...ALWAYS in the camera.

04-10-2007, 10:31 AM   #5
Site Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Dayton, OH
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 4,155
I've deleted the files on my SD cards while linked to the computer since day 1 (July 2005) and have never had a SD problem. However, I do use the PC cable and connect my camera to the PC and do not use a card reader.

04-10-2007, 11:01 AM   #6
MRRiley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Sterling, VA, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,276
DO NOT ever format the SD card for your K10D in your computer or even in another model camera. Always erase and format in the camera. It only takes a second and it will insure that your card is set up right for the camera.

You can erase files on the card from your computer if the camera is connected to the computer via your USB cable but I don't even do this.

Best way to transfer the files is with a simple SD card reader (heck, many of the Lexar Pro grade cards come with a great little USB reader for free) and use that. Better for your camera batteries and less subject to electrical interference during transfer. It tends to be a faster transfer to boot...
04-10-2007, 11:07 AM   #7
Veteran Member
jeffkrol's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Wisconsin USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 8,435
I 'move to folder" my images all the time from a cardreader. In effect it erases all the files. This is not always the best way to do things but I've had no problems so far. As to formatting in the computer. I would never do it.
04-10-2007, 11:17 AM   #8
Senior Member

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Estonia
Posts: 261
Technically there are no reasons for one method to be superior to other in terms of reliability. If both processes are allowed to complete without interruption, there are no differences in resilience on filesystem level.

However, formatting is usually faster because less write operations have to be carried out than when deleting cardful of images. But it is generally easier to recover old files when they have been deleted than when the card has been formatted. Smart programs can recover both, but shareware programs or trial versions may not.

I personally format, when I have already card in my camera but delete, when I have card in the reader and I decide to get rid of the images. It is perfectly safe to delete files via Explorer or whichever file manager you're using. There's no difference other than performance.

04-10-2007, 02:20 PM   #9
Inactive Account

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 66

I always format in camera, because the manual to my wife's Canon P&S and my Pentax say that's the way to go. I've never had a problem, but my wife did until I told her to format in camera. In PC formatting may (will) lead to loss of some functions by your camera. That's what the manual's say.
04-10-2007, 02:41 PM   #10
Forum Member
UltraWide's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 59
I always remove the card to download and then format the card in camera. Never had any problems. By the way when I say 'download' I mean COPY the files from the card. If something goes wrong I still have the card's images

Cheers from Oz
04-10-2007, 02:44 PM   #11
Inactive Account

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Boston
Posts: 42
always move files

I'd settled for moving my files only, since with multiple cards/cameras,
don't like the nuke button,....
also usually keep other files on the card, like firmware, release forms, etc.
if I need to format, tend to agree, use the camera.
the other thing is, in case of transfer trouble, with move/delete, there is a better chance for recover software.

other note: heard down the road, they might offer a wrom flash, write once,...
you shoot on it, and use it as permanent backup,... don't think it's prime time yet,... though down the road, could see 0.5 TB for $20 and 600x speed,...
right now the SD has a 128gb limit,...
cheers, Robert
04-10-2007, 05:22 PM   #12
Arpe's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,344
I always use Windows Explorer to copy/move/delete. I don't ever reformat. Haven't had a problem with 2 cards in 2.5 years so far.
04-10-2007, 11:32 PM   #13
Inactive Account

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 79

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.
04-11-2007, 12:56 AM   #14
Senior Member

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 201
I always move the file to my desktop using the build in reader.. or copy it then delete from desktop.. pop card back in camera and continue shooting away.. never has a corrupted file problem yet.. i hope i haven't jinx it!
04-11-2007, 01:13 AM   #15

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,175
NO PC for you

If you format the card with your Windows PC - especially the large SD cards > 2GB - the PC will put a system information folder and a recycle bin (when using the pro versions of XP and Vista) on the device. The PC thinks it is a hard drive after all. Copying and erasing will leave fragments of files laying around (due to the nature of FAT file systems) which can cause issues.

Use the camera to format the card - the processor in the camera has specific routines to format the card for the best performance. Here is a link that explains the care and feeing of Flash memory.

Digital Lab Workshops - Photoshop, Printmaking, Photography
August 2004 - "Digital Film and Memory Card Care"

Read the rest of Jerry's tips also - good stuff here. Nice guy too - director of the digital lab at Santa Fe Workshops for 13 years.


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, card, download, dslr, files, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ist-dl ERASE/DELETE button chromo Pentax DSLR Discussion 0 02-14-2010 01:01 AM
Download only 'new' images on k-x. Is it possible? Harold Beagle Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 01-30-2010 05:57 AM
Download pics swirl Photographic Technique 6 09-02-2009 02:06 PM
Strongly encouraged to erase Norton Antivirus and PIFTS.EXE from your system ftpaddict General Talk 44 03-17-2009 04:33 PM
How to download 1.1 dufruf Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 02-24-2007 11:19 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:25 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]