CANNOT ACCESS CARD - FORMAT? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by infiniteMPG, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. infiniteMPG

    infiniteMPG Guest

    I have a new Sony A100 DSLR with a nice Tamron AF 18-250 lens and a
    Delkin Devices eFilm 2GB compact flash card. We snagged great tickets
    for the Tampa Bay Ray's MLB game against the Red Sox at Tropicana
    Field and were right behind the home dugout. Got great shots pre-game
    and then snagged some great shots during the first couple innings
    including some point-of-contact home runs and a great shot of a close
    call at first base. We were really enjoying the game and people
    around us were checking out some shots, too.

    An important at bat was at hand so I picked my camera up to shoot and
    noticed a red "E" on the bottom right corner of my camera display.
    Being fairly new to this I thought maybe my battery was dying. I
    turned the camera off and back on to see what was up and when it
    powered back up I got the message CANNOT ACCESS CARD - FORMAT? YES -
    NO to which I replied NO. My heart sunk!!!

    I tried several more times with no luck. The Ray's won the game but
    my mood was pretty low. When I got back home I put the card in my USB
    adapter and my computer would just tell me to place a disk in the
    drive when I clicked on the drive letter. I downloaded several free
    memory card recovery app's and nothing worked, including Data Doctor
    which I have heard good things about.

    I have memory cards in my other cameras that are more then 5 years old
    and have been thru all kinds of abuse and they still work great. This
    card is almost new and had some of my best sports shots ever on it.

    Any help????? :O/
     
    infiniteMPG, Sep 18, 2008
    #1
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  2. Use another card.

    Maybe you got a faulty card --- or even a fake one with much
    less than the promised amout of storage.
    Professional data rescue companies do such things for a living.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Sep 18, 2008
    #2
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  3. infiniteMPG

    infiniteMPG Guest

    A who? Do yourself a favor and get a reputable manufacturer CF card.

    Didn't have much choice as it was kitted with the camera.
     
    infiniteMPG, Sep 18, 2008
    #3
  4. infiniteMPG

    infiniteMPG Guest

    Use another card.

    Don't think I'll trust this card as far as I can throw it now. And I
    think I could throw it pretty far.
    Been using it for about 10 months without and issue and taken
    thousands of pictures.
    Don't know if I want to spend major buck$ on something like that.
    Anyone had luck doing that?
     
    infiniteMPG, Sep 18, 2008
    #4
  5. infiniteMPG

    Guest Guest

    Can you see the images on your camera screen? If yes then you maight still
    be able to recover them.
     
    Guest, Sep 18, 2008
    #5
  6. Obviously. (though it _could_ be the camera at fault)
    (And don't touch the card --- certainly do not write anything
    --- if you want a chance to get the data back.)

    I meant during the shoot.
    Ever filled it up?
    Go ask for a quote; and/or pay-only-for-success.


    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Sep 18, 2008
    #6
  7. infiniteMPG

    infiniteMPG Guest

    Obviously.  (though it _could_ be the camera at fault) (And don't touchthe card --- certainly do not write anything
    --- if you want a chance to get the data back.)

    Haven't done a thing except try to see if I can read it but no luck.
    Even DataDoctor says cannot read system.
    Once. No problems, just told me I was out of space. I was shooting
    RAW + JPEG and space flew by.

    Asked around and so far only one place responded. They said they'd
    charge $175 for success but they want $75 up front. For $175 I think
    I can buy a new card, and another ticket to a Ray's game and shoot all
    my shots over again.

    Thanks!
     
    infiniteMPG, Sep 18, 2008
    #7
  8. infiniteMPG

    Me Guest

    Yes - recovered data from CF card not recognised by camera or
    reader/operating system.
    Problem is I can't remember which software I used. A quick google - this
    looks like it would do the trick - but wasn't what I used:
    http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

    Not sure how this one works, but when I did it, the recovered files lost
    original filenames/extensions, but were fine when renamed. There was a
    lot of garbage also recovered as files, but you have a good idea of what
    it's recovered by file size, so can sort that out. For safety when I did
    it, rather than attempt recovery direct from the card, I made an image
    of the raw data on the card - copied to a hard drive, then recovered
    files from that. I don't know if the software above works like that.
    Note the warning to make sure it's set /not/ to save recovered data
    saved back on to the card - as you'll overwrite recoverable data before
    it's recovered.
     
    Me, Sep 18, 2008
    #8
  9. Eh ?

    In your first post you said -


    then you posted -



    If you've been using the camera and card for 10 months, where does the "new"
    come in ?



    michael adams

    ....
     
    michael adams, Sep 18, 2008
    #9
  10. Sounds like the filesystem or File Allocation Table or something got
    corrupted. Windows (your OS?) is VERY particular about filesystems,
    etc. If things aren't just so, it can't even "see" the drive let alone
    read it. Have you tried reading the card with another OS like Linux,
    BSD, or Mac OS X--They are more forgiving--or using their file or
    filesystem recovery software?

    So, don't format the card. Don't give up hope. Your pictures are still
    there.

    Stef
     
    Stefan Patric, Sep 18, 2008
    #10
  11. infiniteMPG

    Mark Thomas Guest

    I've helped several folk recover lost data from cards and one program
    that worked on a card that refused to work with anything else, was an
    odd (and rather old) Windows program I found called Photo Recovery.

    On this page:
    http://www.mjmdatarecovery.co.uk/photos/free-photo-data-recovery-software.html
    there's a link (about halfway down in the text) to download it. May be
    worth a shot.
     
    Mark Thomas, Sep 18, 2008
    #11
  12. infiniteMPG

    Mark Thomas Guest

    Sorry, forgot one caveat.. this software is jpeg only. Yep, weird.
     
    Mark Thomas, Sep 19, 2008
    #12
  13. infiniteMPG

    John A. Guest

    I wonder if it works by scanning through all the raw card data and
    recognizing JFIF headers. IIRC I've heard of a program that does
    something along those lines.
     
    John A., Sep 19, 2008
    #13
  14. infiniteMPG

    Mark Thomas Guest

    You may be right. I was surprised to find that it managed a far better
    recovery rate than the other freebies on one badly mangled card, so it
    seems to have some more advanced re-combination techniques. Pity it
    doesn't work on other formats - it appears to be an abandoned project.
     
    Mark Thomas, Sep 19, 2008
    #14
  15. infiniteMPG

    D-MAC Guest

    That was about what I was going to say. Look in the camera and see if
    it has a bent pin.

    The fact you have previously used the card but can't find *ANY* data
    on it makes me think it is a dud card. Something is not right here.
    Even when you swap a card from one make of camera to another, I. E.
    Olympus to Canon or Nikon, the data from the first camera stays in
    place and can be recovered.

    I don't know if you are aware but file deletion (formatting) on CFCs
    is done by replacing the first character of each file name with a
    character that flags the space the file is occupying as empty and
    writeable. File recovery programs work by finding the flags and
    replacing the file name with a number or other identifier. The reason
    some won't recover RAW files is often that they usually do recover
    them but think they are TIFF files and baulk at the often minor
    difference in the header. Canon CRW files are actually TIFF files in
    drag and can be recovered as such.

    Anyway... If you can't ID the card as a valid drive, there is
    obviously something wrong physically with either the card or the card
    reader. It is quite possible that a card (not necessarily the one in
    question) can collect a dirt particle in one of it's holes and bend a
    pin when inserted in a reader or camera.

    The quickest way to discover if the camera is at fault is to use a
    (new) card in it and see if it can be formatted and record images. If
    it can, the original card is the problem and you can take a lesson
    from the exercise... Take spare cards with you next time!
     
    D-MAC, Sep 21, 2008
    #15
  16. PLEASE. Use the correct terms. It's the FAT (File Allocation
    Table) file system of DOS fame that is used on CFs and SDs and
    USB sticks and so on that does that. Obviously you can use a
    different file system, but it's the standard, and (most likely) the
    only FS your camera knows. FAT is simple, and simple to
    implement, known about everwhere, but has it's drawbacks.
    And then they have to go chain cluster hunting. Basically, each
    cluster (smallest logical unit in the FS; often 32KB or 64KB)
    entry "knows" which would be the next cluster (but not vice versa).

    Since all the clusters (and cluster entries) are marked as 'free to
    use' if the file they belong to is deleted, overwriting any cluster
    is a bad idea if you want to rescue the data. And of course, the
    next cluster in the file needn't be the next cluster on the medium.
    Ah, no, Canon CRWs are to TIFF files like drag queens to queens
    --- similar exterior (structure) , different filling (RAW data
    versus many formats TIFF supports).
    Nope. Trash the partition table, or the FATs, or ... and you
    would get the same behaviour. dd_rescue and friends will
    probably be able to read the raw card. In fact, it probably
    isn't physical damage at all.
    I had a funny MMC card (32MB IIRC); it recorded images, it
    showed them ... unless you had switched the camera off in the
    meantime.

    Thus just 'formatting and recording' may not be a good enough test.
    If it was me, I'd see if I could reproduce the behaviour with the
    'bad' card (and if possible not only in the camera, but also
    in the card reader), but *not* with other cards. After all,
    the damage can just as likely be wrongly written bits ...

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Sep 21, 2008
    #16
  17. infiniteMPG

    Robert Coe Guest

    The fact you have previously used the card but can't find *ANY* data
    : on it makes me think it is a dud card. Something is not right here.
    : Even when you swap a card from one make of camera to another, I. E.
    : Olympus to Canon or Nikon, the data from the first camera stays in
    : place and can be recovered.
    :
    : ...
    :
    : The quickest way to discover if the camera is at fault is to use a
    : (new) card in it and see if it can be formatted and record images. If
    : it can, the original card is the problem and you can take a lesson
    : from the exercise... Take spare cards with you next time!

    Not just *spare* cards. You should change cards from time to time as a matter
    of principle. If the OP had used several cards in the course of the baseball
    game, the loss of one card wouldn't have been so traumatic.

    Note that this argues against the current fashion of ever larger cards. Losing
    8GB of data is four times as bad as losing 2GB. (OTOH, a 15 megapixel 50D is
    going to make my 2GB cards look puny.) :^|

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 21, 2008
    #17
  18. The chance for that type of data loss is low, the annoyance factor
    is high.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Sep 21, 2008
    #18
  19. infiniteMPG

    Robert Coe Guest

    : > Not just *spare* cards. You should change cards from time to time as a
    : > matter of principle. If the OP had used several cards in the course of
    : > the baseball game, the loss of one card wouldn't have been so traumatic.
    :
    : The chance for that type of data loss is low, the annoyance factor
    : is high.

    Fair enough. But bear in mind that this thread is about a case where that type
    of data loss did happen.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Sep 21, 2008
    #19
  20. Knoppix-bootCD and dd_rescue?
    And you got all files back OK. Then it's not a 'fake' card.
    That's an alternative, of course.

    -Wolfgang
     
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Sep 22, 2008
    #20
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