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Why do SC cards have write protect slider which malfunctions?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Drdave944, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    696
    Feb 2, 2012
    SC cards have caused me several problems due to the slider on the side which activates the write protect feature. Usually one or more of your cards will develop the habit of sliding to write protect mode when you insert them into the camera. When this happens I can correct the problem filing it down a little. The cards will usually work if you completely remove the offending useless slider. Now I have a San Disc card,which I have been told is the best brand available in which the lever has disappeared but the card now shows a permanent message: "write protected " when inserted into any camera. I will have to discard this card.
    I have two questions.
    1.) why do SC cards have a "write protected slider? Any camera I have ever owned will warn you that the card is full and will not take a pictures on a full card. I would prefer cards without this slider which has caused me frequent problems,though I have never had one completely disappear. I am mostly using an OLY M-5 Mkll,which has always felt a little rough when inserting a card. I am not the only one who has observed this roughness.
    2.) Has anyone else had a similar problem or has a solution?
    Based on some past comments on the subject of cards and card slots, yes I put the cards in carefully and no I don't put them in backwards. untitled (2 of 4). untitled (3 of 4). untitled (4 of 4).
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I can honestly say that in the many years I have been shooting digital, I have never accidentally activated the SD cards write protect switch.
     
  3. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    696
    Feb 2, 2012
    What about on purpose?
     
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I've done it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Just put a piece of scotch (cellophane) tape from back to front, over the slot. Make sure that you do not cover the connectors on the back of the card!
     
  6. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    As indicated above, you can cover the slot with tape. We used to do the same thing with floppy disks back in the olden days.
     
  7. Mmsean

    Mmsean Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Aug 6, 2015
    Austin, TX
    Sean
    Floppy disks? What about cassette tapes!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Never done it but I could do it when the card is full to make sure not to loose everything by mistake when you have 2 or 3 cards around.
     
  9. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 Top Veteran

    641
    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    That won't work for a missing/broken switch! It is an electrical switch inside the card.
    (Floppy disks and cassettes used a switch in the player.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  10. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus Mu-43 Regular

    94
    Sep 28, 2015
    It looks like the card was incorrectly assembled, without the switch. I haven't come across that before.

    I use the write protect switch when I need it. I've never had a problem with this feature.
     
  11. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Adding another "I've never had a problem with it" to the pile.

    I sometimes use the switch if I'm changing cards during events and don't want to accidentally format it at a later date.
     
  12. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    Another 'no problem' post.

    As for cameras telling you the card is full, well, really, that's not the problem, the problem is you (or more importantly, someone else!) accidentally formatting the wrong card (or erasing files) that you specifically wanted to keep.

    I've used the write-protect on several occasions over the years, especially when I've been shooting for paying clients or with other shooters.

    As conscientious as we all are, with 20+ SD cards (yes, all numbered) one day something bad could happen, like someone I'm shooting with formatting the wrong card or just shooting more shots to a card that I don't want anything adding to!

    Can't say I've ever had one break. Send it back. Assuming it's not counterfeit they'll generally replace them FOC.
     
  13. They used to make MMC cards which were SD cards without a write-protect tab, but I haven't seen one for a while.

    A couple of years ago I had the write-protect tab on a Sandisk card break off inside my GH1 which ultimately damaged the card slot. The camera still works but cards are difficult to insert and remove so I leave one in there permanently and transfer images with the cable instead. I'd say that the tab is an unnecessary complication.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. D MATIC

    D MATIC Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 18, 2012
    I've had my switch pop out one time and my card stop working. I was able to carefully pop back the switch on. There was no electrical contacts on the switch nor was there any contacts on the rail it slid on. I believe it is not an electrical switch and the real switch is evaluated by the reader.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Never had one fail or be accidentally locked; used lock only a couple of times on purpose.

    How old is your card that has failed Drdave? It looks ancient, and/or very well worn. I know SD cards can take a beating, but maybe the solution is to take them out of service before they start to show the miles that are on them.
     
  16. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    621
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    I've had issues with two of my mircoSD>SD adapters which seem to slide rather easily, but never with any of my SD cards.

    The "switch" is not an electrical switch, but is instead a sliding mask. The card reader senses the opening of the front half of the notch optically, just like the old floppy disks. Covering the front half or all of the notch with opaque tape will allow you to write to the card.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  17. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    696
    Feb 2, 2012
    I do have some old cards. But the SanDisk cards in question is only a year or two old. I take them out and put them in very frequently to download a few pictures onto my computer via the card slot. Perhaps I should download from the camera via cable. Also I believe the EM-5 ll which is my main camera has a rough cardholder mechanism. I still have a lot of old CF cards which are immortal.
     
  18. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    696
    Feb 2, 2012
    Thanks for the help. This tape did work ,but now I don't want the tape to come off in the card slot. I may caulk or paint over it.
     
  19. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    562
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    To keep that slider from moving, prior to putting a SD card into use, I move that slider down a bit then using the tip of a toothpick I place a very small dab of ACC glue onto the area and slide that lock up into place. It does not take much glue at all. I let the ACC dry overnight before use.

    One person on another forum used tape over that slot then after a few uses he pulled the card but a portion of the tape remained in the slot. It coast him a repair bill to get it cleared out. I would NOT recommend using tape.

    I have never had a need to use the lock and since it can easily be accidently moved I never considered it as a “lock”. Personally I never leave images on the card but transfer them immediately to a computer which is one of the reasons I travel with e Acer Netbook computer. (That subject has been discussed in another thread.) While I have had two friends who had SD cards get corrupted during their vacations, many photographers claim they have “never had a problem.” In civil engineering we used SD cards in some of our survey equipment and they were notorious for getting corrupted and loosing data which may have been contributed to the extreme conditions under which they were being used but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    I should mention that the card will NOT work with that slider removed. You can glue a small piece of plastic in place if the slider is missing though be careful not to make it too long.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  20. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    696
    Feb 2, 2012
    One card did get corrupted but would download on lightroom. It had to be destroyed. I will glue the sliders shut from now on. It is still appalling that the consumer is forced to buy useless "innovations" such as this even in a free market with ridiculous overchoice, without resorting to Elmer's glue , a hacksaw or a hammer.