Can't format Smartmedia, "!Card error" MP3 player trashed the format,olyD510Zoom Fuji2400Z

Discussion in 'Fuji' started by mike, Jul 3, 2005.

  1. mike

    mike Guest

    Most of my SmartMedia cards have been used in/formatted
    by my mp3 player and are no longer visible to my digital cameras.
    Olympus D-510 Zoom and Fuji 2400Z.
    I get a "!Card error" and the camera refuses to format.
    I can format the cards in windows as fat16, but the cameras
    still can't use 'em. And there are strange effects in windows.
    a 64MB card looks like 128MB only in some flash readers.

    The remaining card that works in the cameras is a 16MB card that appears
    to be formatted FAT12.

    I've googled my fingers off. There is reference to a formatting program
    that runs on a discontinued flash reader that you can't get with a SMC chip.
    I've messed around with Ranish Partition Manager without success.

    This has to be a pervasive problem.
    Any solutions? Maybe newer cameras that can fix the problem?
    Can printers that print directly from flash cards format them?
    Linux programs? I'm grabbin' at straws here...

    Thanks, mike
    --
    Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
    with links. Delete this sig when replying.
    ..
    Wanted, PCMCIA SCSI Card for HP m820 CDRW.
    FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
    Wanted 12" LCD for Compaq Armada 7770MT.
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    MAKE THE OBVIOUS CHANGES TO THE LINK
    ht<removethis>tp://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/
     
    mike, Jul 3, 2005
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. mike

    Matti Vuori Guest

    I don't know, but sometimes my Olympuses (three different models) have had
    problems recognizing an SM card. Juggling the card in and out the camera a
    couple of times have corrected the situation (I did throw away one card
    that I thought was dead before I realized this). I don't know whether it is
    a case of static electricity or the phase of the moon...
     
    Matti Vuori, Jul 3, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. mike

    Bill Funk Guest

    A not uncommon problem when using SmartMedia cards in some MP3
    devices.
    Here's a site that discusses the problem, and some solutions...
    http://www.digit-life.com/articles/smcrestore/
     
    Bill Funk, Jul 3, 2005
    #3
  4. mike

    vixen2yall Guest

    you might also try plugging the card into a reader and reformating the
    card via the computer. if the camera can see it after that, let the
    camera format the card again.

    hope that helps

    cheers
    kat
     
    vixen2yall, Jul 3, 2005
    #4
  5. mike

    mike Guest

    Thanks, but that's the site that fixes the problem with the obsolete
    card reader.
    Anything that works on something obtainable?
    mike

    --
    Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
    with links. Delete this sig when replying.
    ..
    Wanted, PCMCIA SCSI Card for HP m820 CDRW.
    FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
    Wanted 12" LCD for Compaq Armada 7770MT.
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    MAKE THE OBVIOUS CHANGES TO THE LINK
    ht<removethis>tp://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/
     
    mike, Jul 4, 2005
    #5
  6. This problem was much discussed back when SM was still viable. I don't
    recall the solution and am suprised Google is of little help. If I had this
    problem (and I once did and fixed it...so keep hope alive) I would email
    both Oly and the card manufacturer. I am sure they have heard of it. I think
    it had something to do with the file system...but all that information that
    was in my head had to go to make room for more current stuff.
     
    Gene Palmiter, Jul 4, 2005
    #6
  7. mike

    ASAAR Guest

    There may be stuff on the card outside of the disk partition that
    contains your formatted drive/volume. It could even be that the MP3
    player messed up a perfectly fine disk volume by redefining whether
    the partition is "Active" or not. There's probably an easier way to
    obliterate all partition information, but I'm not familiar with the
    Windows Way. If you have DOS device driver that would let you
    access a card reader, or can get a PCMCIA slot to work, such as is
    almost always found in laptops, the DOS program FDISK.COM could be
    used to delete everything on the card and then recreate any
    necessary partition. With luck, the camera might be able to
    recognize the card if it contains no partitions.

    But that's only a remote possibility. You'd probably have to use
    FDISK to also recreate a partition and then add a logical volume
    (the "letter"ed disk drive). The logical volume would have to be
    formatted and some later versions of FDISK automatically do that for
    you. Other versions require that you run a separate program
    (FORMAT.COM) instead. If you could manage all that, I think that
    your camera would then be able to recognize your memory cards.

    If you don't have the resources to do any of this, your best bet
    would be to find someone with a laptop computer, some bootable DOS
    floppy disks, already set up with any necessary PCMCIA drivers in
    CONFIG.SYS (and possibly AUTOEXEC.BAT). Then you'd just need a
    suitable inexpensive PCMCIA card adapter to hold your SmartMedia
    cards and someone at least slightly familiar with FDISK, or
    determined enough to plow on regardless.
     
    ASAAR, Jul 4, 2005
    #7
  8. mike

    mike Guest

    Actually, I have all that stuff. Problem is knowing what to do with it.
    For example, a 128MB SM card seems to be formatted FAT12. Dos/windows
    won't let me do that directly. There may be some command line numbers I
    could punch in if I knew what they were.
    As I mentioned in my first post, I've messed around considerably with
    Ranish partiion manager, but the FAT12 format always comes up with
    errors cause the programs don't expect such strange numbers.
    There's stuff on the card that FDISK/FORMAT doesn't know about.

    With all this meesing around, being careful as I can, I still trashed
    my only remaining "good" card. Sigh!!!

    There's considerable written on the subject, but little actual solution.
    Many dead links to "solutions".

    I'll keep pluggin'
    Thanks for help.

    mike
     
    mike, Jul 4, 2005
    #8
  9. mike

    ASAAR Guest

    Why do you want to use FAT12?

    You're not being clear. Are the errors coming up when you're
    modifying the partion(s) or formatting with Ranish, or afterwards,
    when other programs try to access the cards?

    Other than a few utilities, programs don't access the drives
    directly, but use Windows to handle disk I/O. If you're getting
    disk errors when running other programs, it's Windows that is having
    problems accessing your card.

    If there's stuff on the card that FDISK doesn't know about, don't
    worry about it - it's perfectly capable of removing alien
    partitions. You would then be able to create standard partitions
    and logical drives that should be recognizable by both your computer
    and also by your camera. But before you try that, FDISK, and
    presumably Ranish, should be able to show you whether the memory
    card contains a primary or an extended partition. If it's extended,
    that could be the cause of your problem. I don't know if this
    applies to all versions of Windows, but some, such as NT don't
    recognize extended partitions when they're on removeable media.
     
    ASAAR, Jul 4, 2005
    #9
  10. mike

    Bill Funk Guest


    Ebay?
     
    Bill Funk, Jul 4, 2005
    #10
  11. mike

    Paul Allen Guest

    Perhaps that's the only thing the camera understands? My Olympus C700
    is pretty picky about changes I make outside the camera.
    It would be interesting to zero the card under an OS that lets
    you have your way with the hardware. For example, boot your PC
    under a Tom's Root Boot Linux CD, insert the card, and say:

    dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda

    (Careful! That assumes the card is the first "SCSI" disk! Know your
    hardware!)

    If Linux can't write zeros to the whole card, the card's likely bad.
    If it can, put the card in the camera and see if you can format it.
    If the camera still can't format it, plug it back into the PC and
    use fdisk under tomsrtbt to create a partition table with one primary
    partition and tag it as FAT12. Linux fdisk will let you do whatever
    you want, although it might not do exactly what the camera wants. :)

    Good luck,

    Paul Allen
     
    Paul Allen, Jul 4, 2005
    #11
  12. mike

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi...

    Another way to accomplish much the same thing if the op is
    more comfortable with windows would be to open the card
    as a physical device (I'm assuming it doesn't show up as
    a logical device) with a hex editor such as winhex.

    He should then be able to write all the 0's he likes anywhere
    he likes. :)

    Take care.

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Jul 4, 2005
    #12
  13. mike

    ASAAR Guest

    Possibly, but even if both cameras (Olympus D-510 Zoom and Fuji
    2400Z) are really ancient as far as digital cameras are concerned,
    they would have been sold and used long after FAT12 formats were
    commonly used. So I think it likely that they'd be able to
    understand both formats, FAT12 and FAT16. And it seems unusual that
    FAT12 would be the only format usable by *both* cameras. According
    to the OP, the problems seem to have arisen after the cards had been
    "used in/formatted by my mp3 player". If the mp3 player created a
    non-standard partition for its own use, and the cameras can't deal
    with cards that have multiple partitions, they may only see the
    (presumably) oddly formatted partition used by the mp3 player and
    give up, ignoring the DOS/Windows FAT drive in a second partition.
    Additionally, it would be worthwhile to check whether this drive was
    created as "primary" vs. "extended". As I mentioned earlier,
    removable drives are not supposed to contain extended partitions,
    and if that's what is on the card, it could also be the reason why
    the cameras don't recognize the partitions. I'ts too bad the cards
    can't be reinitialized by passing a bulk tape eraser over them. :)
     
    ASAAR, Jul 4, 2005
    #13
  14. mike

    mike Guest

    Yep, but there hasn't been one sold there for as long as the archive
    retains.
    I did find a commercial product with hardware and software to do the job.
    Only costs about 4X what the cards are worth.

    With a hexeditor and a generous helping of google, I've managed to
    get 128MB FAT16 cards working on a Fuji 2400Z.
    Best I've been able to do on the Olympus D510Zoom is 64MB FAT12.
    It's apparently possible to do FAT12 at 128MB, but I haven't discovered
    the magic incantations yet.

    The Olympus D510 datasheet claims to support 128MB cards, but it's
    entirely possible that it was "wishful thinking".

    They seem intent on
    forcing you to buy their cards. I'm not optimistic about discovering
    what to edit onto the card.

    What I need is the equivalent of fdisk for smart media cards.

    mike

    --
    Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
    with links. Delete this sig when replying.
    ..
    Wanted, PCMCIA SCSI Card for HP m820 CDRW.
    FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
    Wanted 12" LCD for Compaq Armada 7770MT.
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    MAKE THE OBVIOUS CHANGES TO THE LINK
    ht<removethis>tp://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/
     
    mike, Jul 5, 2005
    #14
  15. mike

    mike Guest

    There's been a lot of bits flying by the bus these last two days.
    I'm not exactly sure how I got where I am, but I've got 128MB FAT16
    cards working in the Fuji2400z and 64MB FAT12 cards working in the
    Olympus D-510 Zoom. Signs point to the fact that the Olympus may not
    be able to understand FAT16.

    At this point, the cards are recognized ONLY as logical devices by
    winhex. I did something that caused the "physical device" options
    to dissapear. I've loaded so many usb card reader
    drivers/utilities/recovery applications that I'm surprised my computer
    still runs at all.
    So, the current quest is for a method to get FAT12 at 128MB.
    mike

    --
    Return address is VALID but some sites block emails
    with links. Delete this sig when replying.
    ..
    Wanted, PCMCIA SCSI Card for HP m820 CDRW.
    FS 500MHz Tek DSOscilloscope TDS540 Make Offer
    Wanted 12" LCD for Compaq Armada 7770MT.
    Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
    MAKE THE OBVIOUS CHANGES TO THE LINK
    ht<removethis>tp://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/
     
    mike, Jul 5, 2005
    #15
  16. mike

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi...

    As for the card reader that you were looking for, I *think* this
    might be what you're looking for to run the third party
    formatting utilities.

    Remember, though, that it's a high level formatter, seriously
    doubt that it'll help you.

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43451&item=7527536010&rd=1

    And I absolutely guarantee that the 510 likes 128 meg cards.

    Take care.

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Jul 5, 2005
    #16
  17. mike

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    mike wrote:

    Hi...

    I'm kinda suspicious that you mis-typed and have the physical
    and logical backwards - but if that's truly the case, and you
    have a know good 128 card, you might wanna try winhex's
    clone disk option?

    Take care.

    Ken
     
    Ken Weitzel, Jul 5, 2005
    #17
  18. mike

    Paul Allen Guest

    Wow! Is this thread still going on? I guess I'm not used to using
    operating systems that force you to use a hex editor just to format
    a device.

    On Linux, an incantation like this will apparently create a FAT12
    filesystem on whatever device you name, no matter how obsolete or
    ridiculous it may be to do that:

    mkdosfs -F 12 /dev/sda1

    But, as I recall, the old FAT12 filesystem had 12-bit pointers and
    a 4K max blocksize. The largest FAT12 filesystem is 16MB. FAT16
    supports block sizes between 2K and 32K, for a maximum size of 2GB.
    If your camera claims to support 128MB cards, it's either using
    FAT16 or some really weird variant of FAT12 that only the camera
    knows how to write.

    Paul Allen
     
    Paul Allen, Jul 5, 2005
    #18
  19. Mike-

    I had a problem with one Smart Card go bad, and wasn't able to format it
    in the camera. After trying several utilities, I eventually succeeded in
    formating the card on the computer using a card reader. Whatever error
    had been on the card was apparently corrected, and it could then be
    formatted in the camera with no further problems.

    It may be possible that the two cameras do use a different format. Are
    you trying to force one to be different in order to use the same card
    interchangeably between the two?

    If you format the card in the camera, that is the format it uses. Ditto
    for the other camera. What am I missing?

    Fred
     
    Fred McKenzie, Jul 5, 2005
    #19
  20. mike

    Bill Funk Guest

    Maybe what you need is another SM card or two.
    There's a lot of trouble being gone through, and not a small amount of
    angst, for something that costs under $30, shipped.
     
    Bill Funk, Jul 5, 2005
    #20
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.