1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Formatting your Memory card

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by BillN, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Do you Format your memory card every time you put it back in the camera, (using the camera software), after you have downloaded the images to your computer.

    I only used to do it very occasionally - now I do it almost every time I put it back in the camera.

    Any negatives? - I (think) that I may have read conflicting reports, (ie. format EVERY time - or just delete the images and format maybe once every six months)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    Probably about half the time.
     
  3. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    239
    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Nate
    Only once, the first time I got it.
     
  4. cstevens

    cstevens Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Feb 11, 2010
    UK
    Every time - why, because I had a Canon G10 that lost all the photos on it because the card/camera got confused.

    With the DSLR's I do the same, it takes seconds and ensures that the camera will 100% be at one with the card.
     
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Everytime on card insertion procedure.
     
  6. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    I do it every time! Once I have my photos on two hard drives I format my card. Because i am using Time Machine this is as soon as I am finished downloading my images and return my card to the camera. I lost images once to a bad card and I try to avoid that in the future.
     
  7. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    Hi Grant - i see that you live in Nova Scotia - it's a place that I really really want to visit - I have a mate, (from when I started work in 1965), who lives there, in Cole Harbour.
    My particular interest would be nature, the history of the place and of course, the food.

    I am going to try to get there next year

    What's the weather like, (probably great by the fire - but I mean outside) - post of few images of the weather this time of year, please

    Cheers
     
  8. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    239
    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Nate
    I've never heard about constant formatting making a difference in card health before, but I've never thought to look into it either, guess I'll go try to find some tests or studies on this.

    -Nate
     
  9. grebeman

    grebeman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2010
    South Brent, south Devon (UK)
    Barrie
    I format the card everytime.

    Barrie
     
  10. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    I have had one problem in the past, (that I was aware of) - with the CF card on mt Nikon D300 - the number of images it would take just got less and less - as soon as I formatted the card in the cam - all went back to normal

    I format every time now once I have downloaded the images

    no one has mentioned any negatives yet - i.e. life of card or similar!
     
  11. Chuckr53

    Chuckr53 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Jun 15, 2010
    Estero, FL
    Memory card formatting

    I usually use "erase all" instead of format because if you format you stand no chance of recovering photo files on the card if needed. If you erase you may have a chance at recovery.

    I do use format about once a month at most, and only after I've confirmed that I have a copy of the image files on my computer.
     
  12. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Once I copy AND backup my photos I will format the card. I always make sure I have copies in two (or more) locations. Overnight I copy them to my dad's computer at his house for a 3rd off-site copy.
     
  13. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    This is not true. As long as the data is not written over it's quite easy to recover sat a from a formatted card. I have done this on more than one occasion.

    Always format and always format in camera. The easiest way to have card problems is to use your computer to format a card. And erasing images often leaves small traces of files that can either lower the capacity of the card or corrupt the new files written over them.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Yes, formatting in-camera is important.
     
  15. Chuckr53

    Chuckr53 Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Jun 15, 2010
    Estero, FL
    Not for me...after I formatted in camera, Sandisk RescuePro is unable to recover files. The camera overwrites with 000000000's. If you have had success with recovery with another rescue program, I'd like to try it also. What program did you use?
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I'm an every timer. After I download my photos, I immediately put the card back in the camera, format and I'm ready to roll.

    I never used to do this but after I found out the importance, I'm a devotee.:biggrin:
     
  17. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    This is a slow format. I've not heard of any camera using slow format as a default in years. Even then, there are things more sophisticated that can recover the data, although they'll cost you, lots. Interesting, that Rescue Pro wouldn't work after a single format and before use. It is usually reasonable with freshly deleted FAT tables. Of course recovery becomes far more difficult and complex after new files are written to the card.

    The default on all modern cameras is a quick format. A quick format is where the FAT (file allocation table) is cleared, but not the actual image data. Basically the FAT is like the index and a fast format just tells the index that the location where you want to write the image is available. With a digital camera and, say, an 8GB card a quick format will take seconds and a slow format will take minutes. It's a simple and reliable way to tell which is which.

    Gordon
     
  18. jmacpix

    jmacpix Mu-43 Regular

    Me too!:biggrin:
     
  19. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    I use quality cards and I format every time a card goes back into a camera following download. This was suggested on a Luminous Landscape video and it seemed like a good idea.
     
  20. sinpig

    sinpig Mu-43 Regular

    163
    Sep 2, 2010
    Superior, WI
    After downloading to the laptop and backing up to desktop and external hardrive, first thing to do is format the card using the camera. You can never be too careful, I can say that by personal experience.