File error on digital camera

qdwagAugust 14, 2011

Somehow we lost all our recent vacation pictures,we had a person at the photo desk at resort able to retrieve the 'deleted' pictures ...though when we look at them on camera,the picture is there with 'file error' emblazoned across picture..also look sfuzzy..when we look at thumbnails, they look fine,but we can't seem to enlarge them from isa sony cybershot...have we lost all the pictures for good? Any ideas for a non-techie to try..thanks in advance

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I get the same message whenever I connect my DSLR to the computer via the USB cord, but if I take the card out of the camera and insert it into the card reader on the computer it works fine.

One exception to that is if I put my memory card in the reader slot on my Kodak Printer it reads the card and transfers the photos to the computer fine, but when I later try to read that same card through my computer card reader I get an error that says it is not compatible, yet if I put that same card back in the printer it works perfect.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 12:05AM
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Most likely, the format of the card has been corrupted. The images may or may not be recoverable. If you are lucky, extremely lucky, the only problem may that the last file written to the card is open (not properly closed) and the 'end of file' marker is missing. Depending on what the person at the resort photo desk did, the card may be unaltered, or permanently messed up.

Your best bet is to take the card out of the camera and insert into a card reader connected to your computer. If you can view some of the files, copy these to your hard drive or CD. [That's 'copy', not 'move'] Do not perform any operation that writes to the card including delete. This could compromise the format. Many camera makers use a properitery format not understood by conventional PC equipment. To insure the card does not get written to, set its slide switch to 'lock' or whatever verbage they use. With the switch moved to lock, the card can not be written to, only viewed or copied. Be sure to move the switch back before inserting into the camera.

After you have copied as many images as you can, clean up the card by formating in the camera. Make several shots and view these in the camera. Erase these shots and repeat. If the card performs well, it is probably ok. However, if it is the least bit flaky or you are not secure with it, discard it and go with a new card. Memory cards have come down in price.

Things that can corrupt a card:

1. Pull it out of the camera when it is busy.

2. Pull it out of the camera with the camera 'on'. Many cameras likely provide a safety feature and keep the card closed until needed, but we can not be sure how the operating system si written. To be safe, never insert or pull a memory card when the camera is on.

3. Do not touch the card contacts. Static charges can harm. Also, a fingerprint on a contact may interfere with it making an electrical circuit.

4. Never allow a 'write' operation to the card while in other equipment. Writing to the card may comprimize its format. You might get by with a 'delete', but we can not be sure about this.

5. Old card. These cards do go bad with age. Many of these cards have an internal "keep alive" battery, usually a lithium cell good for maybe 10 years. A tiny amount of charge is required for the memory junctions to retain their state. When the battery dies, the card does too. When you buy a card, look for its date of manufacture or warranty expiration date to get a clue of how old the card is.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 12:11AM
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I'll also add it's a good idea to reformat your card once in a while. At a minimum.

I reformat my cards prior to each shooting session.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 11:16PM
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