Is the FAT or FAT32 for on a CF card the same as on a hard drive? If so ...

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Father Kodak, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Father Kodak

    Father Kodak Guest

    I'm asking here, not making a statement of fact. Please note that I
    haven't bought my first digital yet, so I'm asking for a response from
    knowledgeable people (and therefore not flames!)

    Thanks in advance.

    IF the FAT or FAT32 on a CF card is the same as on a hard drive, then
    are the following true or false:

    If you insert the card in a CF card reader attached to your PC, it
    will show up as "just another hard drive."

    You can format a CF card with your PC just as you can any hard drive
    or floppy.

    On the CF card, filenames are restricted to the same 8dot3 format as
    on PC drives. No long NTFS-style names.

    You can use any standard data recovery utility, such as Norton
    Utilities, to recover lost pictures from a CF card. (In other words,
    you don't need to buy a special CF-card-only data recovery utility.)

    You can use Norton Utilities or Executive Diskeeper or similar utility
    to defragment your CF card. (I'm not sure WHY you would want to do
    that, however.)

    You can use your favorite backup utility (you do back up your system,
    don't you?) to back up the contents of your CF card.

    You COULD format the CF card with NTFS. However, your camera probably
    won't be able to read/write to the card.
    Father Kodak, Jun 20, 2005
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  2. It should show up as "Removable Media" like a CD-ROM.
    Yes, but DON'T! Your camera puts special directories on it that it
    needs, when you format the card in the camera. If all you're going to
    do is use the card with your PC, then that won't matter. I even have
    one set up with an entire OS on it to boot my system (or any PC) to
    troubleshoot problems.
    Yes. And yes.
    One would think so, but I've never tried it.
    Fragmentation is not a problem, since most people only use the cards for
    temporary storage until the images are transferred to some hard drive,
    then the images are erased off the card. I wouldn't use flash media as
    permanent storage.
    I don't see why not, but I've never done it, since my images don't stay
    on the cards all that long.
    Yes. And yes.
    Stefan Patric, Jun 20, 2005
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  3. Father Kodak

    Bill Funk Guest

    My understanding is that Paul Rubin has it correct; for all intents
    and purposes, Flash RAM memory cards are presented to a capable
    (meaning able to see the cards as a drive, like Windows XP, for
    example) OS as a hard drive.
    The caveat is that these devices are dual use; their primary purpose
    is to take the files presented to them *by a digital camera*, and this
    must be remembered when doing things to the cards in the computer.
    Thus, for example, you don't want to format them using NTFS, as I
    don't know any cameras that will then be able to use them.
    Bill Funk, Jun 20, 2005
  4. Father Kodak

    Father Kodak Guest

    Thanks to all who replied.

    Father Kodak

    Father Kodak, Jun 20, 2005
  5. Father Kodak

    Deedee Tee Guest

    true. However, it will use different drivers than, say, an ATA hard
    disk, so a memory card is treated differently by the operating system.
    Just because it looks like a drive in Explorer means very little.
    true (but not with all hard disk file systems, just like you cannot
    format a floppy or CD-ROM with e.g. NTFS).
    false. FAT16 and FAT32 allow long file names in addition to the
    (usually hidden) 8.3 format that, however, is the one truly used by
    the operating system in these two file systems (not in NTFS). Long
    file names in FAT* are stored elsewhere on the disk, not in the
    directory structure, because long file names are an afterthought, not
    a feature originally designed into FAT16.
    never tried this. However, I should expect that hard disk utilities
    will not see memory cards at all. The recovery process likely makes
    use of special calls to the driver (e.g., raw sector reading).
    Recovering data from a defective ISO CD-ROM, for instance, -is-
    different than from a hard disk, and requires different software.
    false (at least with the utilities I tried). They do not recognize
    memory cards (nor floppies, nor CD-ROMS).
    partly true. File by file backup works without problems, but most disk
    image utilities do not recognize memory cards (just as they do not
    recognize CD-ROMS or floppies).
    theoretically true if the card is big enough to contain an NTFS disk
    structure, but in practice Windows only allows FAT and FAT32 (just
    like floppies). The same is true with USB sticks.

    AFAIK no camera can read NTFS, while modern ones read FAT32 and FAT16
    and older ones only FAT16.
    Deedee Tee, Jun 20, 2005
  6. Father Kodak

    ASAAR Guest

    Not really. Long filenames can't fit in the traditional directory
    entry, but they are stored in the same directory structure. Each
    file contains one 'primary' directory entry. This is pretty much
    the standard MSDOS 32-byte directory entry which holds the 8.3 short
    filename. There also at least 1 and often several more of the
    'secondary' directory entries (also 32 bytes in length), whose
    purpose is to hold the long filenames. If a true filename uses the
    old MSDOS 8.3 filename convention, these 11 characters (max.) will
    require only one secondary directory entry, as each one can handle
    up to 26 of the 32 directory entry bytes to hold up to 13 dual-byte
    Unicode characters. The number of additional directory entries
    depends entirely on the length of the long filename, each additional
    13 characters in the filename requiring one more directory entry.
    ASAAR, Jun 20, 2005
  7. Father Kodak

    Martin Brown Guest

    You could, but NU never seems to make a good job of recovering image
    files from damaged media. And its attempts at "repairs" can make it
    substantially more difficult for more capable image recovery programs to
    rescue what remains.

    Martin Brown
    Martin Brown, Jun 20, 2005
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