SD cards are unreliable

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by ralfmouth, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I've never had any trouble at all with quality SD cards.
  3. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 20, 2012
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Real Name:
    Apart from proper use with procedure & handling, also use proper branded cards & not cheap fakes. I prefer to use SanDisk Extreme (45MB/s) cards & for even more speed & reliabilty in extreme conditions, I use the Extreme Pro version (95MB/s).

    Same here & only with a fake one (from an ebay seller in Melbourne).
  4. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    Real Name:
    Never lost data due to an SD card. I buy quality cards and only format / delete images from the card in the camera.
  5. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Now i always use sandisk and lexar.

    I've had an energizer branded sd card failed on me (yeah i know), also a 512mb sandisk became unreadable in the past.

    Any thoughts on transcend?
  6. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    I'm a Sandisk man, I've never had a CF card fail, and knock on wood never has a SD card fail. I'm paranoid about fakes though, so I paid a bit more and bought them from a reputable local camera store, that way if something hokey happens at the very least I can glare at them ;)
  7. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Transcend and Patriot seem like decent second tier cards after sandisk and lexar. A lot of it just seems to be luck of the draw...

    Myself I use a variety of smaller cards to mitigate the risk of disaster.
    Oh and some people like the Panasonic cards as they are made in Japan and maybe to a higher standard.

    Sent from my SGH-I897 using Mu-43 App

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Real Name:
    I use high quality cards and I have had them crap out on me before. I now keep two extra brand new cards with me at all times. Also I transfer all my images off the card as soon as Im able to so no data is ever stored on them. I also randomly format them from my PC between usage. I have'nt had any issues recently, but it does happen.
  9. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    If none of the files are duplicated on the smaller cards, wouldn't this expose you to a higher risk of card failure? (ie: there's a higher chance of 1 out of x cards failing in the same period of time, than a single card failing.... although you're exposing less pictures per card) :)

    I think the answer is to have a daily backup system... offloading the pictures every night to your tablet/notebook/hdd/other sd card...
  10. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    I am not necessarily saying it is wrong but it doesnt make a lot of sense to me to format a card from your PC. It would seem to make sense to format a card from the machine that is writing its file structure - namely the camera.

    Not everything formats everything the same way. Certainly I have had cameras that that format cards differently. Anyway I format my cards in the camera in which I use them for what its worth.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    Back in my Canon days of long ago, I was told by a rep to never format a card except from the camera, I have also been told this from a Sandisk rep, in fact tit was Sandisk who said never erase a card, format it. Now to be fair they were both reps, and not engineers or rocket scientists, but I figure that it was good advice and has worked for me so far... Course now that I said that my sd card will fail tomorrow ;P
  12. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    I've had zero failures with SanDisk cards. And I give the cards a good workout because I shoot lots of video. I chose the format card choice occassionally when erasing images from the card

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Real Name:
    I started with the in camera method, but my cards go back n forth between my Oly, Panasonic, Canon Rebel, laptop, tablet, mac, and desktop PC at the office. Ive had the same issue with usb drives and this was the system I developed that seemed to fix that issue so it naturally transferred over to the SD cards. In my office Im shuffling between 10-20 sd cards and or usb drives on a daily basis and if one fails it can be costly. I believe the problem stems from when the card/usb is used in multiple devices without being properly disconnected or formatted between usage. Everything I have is permanently stored online and on an ext hd. Imho these cards should only be used for temporary storage. I learned the hard way :thumbup:

    I cant imagine there being too much risk for a card kept in a single body though.

    Just my experience, YMMV.
  14. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I also use smaller cards, never over 8 gig, and use multiple cards over the course of a day or event. That way, if I do have a problem I only lose part of my photos. I had a rep tell me that smaller cards are less prone to failure. Thus far, I haven't had a problem.
  15. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    ehow is hardly what I would call a reliable source. That article is so full of misinformation it's laughable. I've never had an SD card fail in any camera, over many years of use. I have had a couple of CF cards fail, but they were simply defective, and didn't fail because the battery was low, or any of the other bogus reasons in that "article."

    As for formatting, all modern cameras that I'm aware of format their cards using the FAT32 file structure. So do PCs for small "disks." From that standpoint, it shouldn't matter what machine formats the card. Different brands do use different directory structures. From what I've seen, if you insert a card formatted in a PC into a camera, the camera will write it's needed directory structure to the card. The camera should ignore any folders it doesn't use, so moving a card between different brands of cameras shouldn't matter. What might matter is if you somehow manage to create files with the same name on the same card, using two different cameras. Not sure how likely that is. OTOH, it's easy enough to avoid swapping an in-use card between cameras, so I don't do that.

    The most likely cause of file and directory corruption (which isn't really the same as "card" corruption) is probably removing a card while the camera, or a PC, is still writing to it.
  16. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    No, most SD card users are unreliable. If you format the card in the camera and never format or erase the card in your computer, and if you buy quality cards, you are unlikely to ever have any problems. So:

    1. Buy quality cards.
    2. Don't get greedy about size of cards
    3. Never, ever format the card in your computer
    4. Never, ever erase files using your computer
    5. Ideally, never erase individual files in the camera: wait until you format the whole card
  17. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I have about 20 memory cards, SD and CF, most 16 gb or larger and have probably put 250,000 images thru them on 10 dslrs, 3 m43 cameras, and the primary source of problems is physical handling. The more often you handle a card outside of the camera, the more likely it will be damaged, lost, mis-handled etc.

    So out of a quarter million images, I've never had a corrupt card in the last 10 years. - my last corrupt card was due to not formatting in-camera on old p&s. On the other hand I've lost plenty due to mishandling. I've had physical damage on a few SD's, one bent pin on a CF slot on a DSLR, reformatted a few by mistake (thank goodness my Hyperdrive has card recovery built in), and a couple of lost cards, mostly back in the days when I used smaller cards.
  18. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    Real Name:
    in simple terms, it is because format will only clear few pointers and delete will delete every single file pointer. SD cards lifetime are rated by the number of writes to each cell. the more writes, the shorter the life. a delete is a write operation, believe it or not :smile:

    of course, not all cards are created equal, too.
  19. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    I use quality cards and I format them EVERY time. I have never lost data. Not one file.

  20. ralfmouth

    ralfmouth Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    These are happy stories, thanks. My files get corrupted when transferring to PC about 50% of the time.
    It may actually be a PC problem. I will post back when i find out.
    But listen, if you take everything in that article literally, it's scary...

    These CAN corrupt a card:
    From this very thread. Thanks!!!
    I don't remember reading any of this on my expensive card package.
    Oh yea, one nobody you safely eject every time?