SD Card wiping

Sandisk 4gb sdhc memory card
July 4, 2009 at 19:23:57
Specs: Windows XP
I have two devices, a Canon digital camera (that has a "format" function) that formats a virgin SD card to the FAT32 file system and a Moultrie "trail camera" that only formats virgin cards to (according to "properties" when checked in a card reader) the "FAT" file system. I assume this is "FAT16"? I can't be sure. It will not reformat formatted SD cards.

I want to be able to use an SD card that has been formatted in the Moultrie trail camera in the Canon digital camera but I also need to be able to get it back into the trail camera when I'm done.

So the question is, how do I make a "disk image" of the SD card that is in the trail camera before I format it in the Canon digital camera and how do I restore that image when I want to return it to the trail camera? Simply finding a way to completely wipe the SD card to a virgin state should be viable for restoring it to the trail camera but I'd still only feel safe doing this if I had a backup of its file system before doing so.

Any ideas on software or something to allow me to do this?

Thanks,
Jeff

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#1
July 4, 2009 at 23:58:29
Here in the UK, in the cheapo 99p or £1 stores a usb sd card holder can be purchased.

Then on ones pc the card can be treated much the same as a memory stick.

Suspect you may need to rethink what you are trying to do with both cameras and your intended method. e.g. I do not understand why you wish to wipe or reformat the Trail sd card before and possibly after using in the Canon.

Here in the UK sd cards are very inexpensive now.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#2
July 5, 2009 at 04:52:08
I'm not sure how a "usb sd card holder" would be of any help unless you mean something different than this? I already have a USB memory card reader that I can use to treat the SD card as a removable drive if that's what you mean.

The reason the card will need to be either:
a) restored to the original format it was in before using it in the digital camera
or
b) wiped to a virgin state after using it in the digital camera
is that the trail camera cannot do either of these for me (don't ask me why, Moultrie has no answer for me) and therefor any SD card is going to be "locked into" use for only the Moultrie trail camera unless I find a way to get around this issue.

Sure, a 4GB SD card is only about $10 USD but I see no reason why I need to throw away $10 if I can figure out a way to avoid it. I have a 512MB card for the digital camera and 2 4GB SD cards that I use for the trail camera and I will be taking a 2 week vacation to the moutains where I won't have access to any CD burner or internet access and I intend to take quite a few videos and pictures. Having 4GB +4GB + 512MB total of memory for the camera would be so much better than just the 512MB.

I hope this clarifies things and thanks for the suggestions,
Jeff

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#3
July 5, 2009 at 15:32:30
I can't see any reason you can't reformat in the camera you want to use if needed, sd cards I've purchased came preformatted and ready to use.
Have you actually tried swapping cards to see if they work after deleting all data on them, I would use the 512mg card to experiment with.
If the worst happens, buy another larger card to replace the 512mg one.

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Related Solutions

#4
July 5, 2009 at 15:41:45
Read the help files for the camera to determine what FAT file format the camera can use. There could be more than one, I think.

Once you know that you should be able to format them in the card reader.

Is you card reader an internal model?


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#5
July 5, 2009 at 17:11:31
Sorry, I think I confused myself and didn't give the correct details on what was happening...

If I have a virgin SDHC card and I first format it in the digital camera then yes, it seems to be able to be transfered to and from and to work with both the trail camera and the digital camera in which it was formatted.

If I have a virgin SDHC card and I first format it in the TRAIL camera then the digital camera asks me to format it. Doing so only repeatedly asks me to format it again. I was also unable to format it in the USB SD card reader on the computer saying that access is denied. And yes I checked to make sure the switch on it was not locked.

I could have used them just fine if I had known that I had to format the cards in the digital camera first but now that I know I need to restore it or wipe it or reformat it to the format used by the digital camera.

I've tried formatting them using a Panasonic and an HP SD Card Formatting utility and while these somehow let me format them to FAT32, neither changed the fact that they need to be formatted for use in the digital camera still and the camera still tells me that it could not read the card.

At this point I'm planning on caving in and spending the $10 USD for a new 4GB SD card. Stuff like this just gets my goat though! :-)

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#6
July 5, 2009 at 17:48:25
FYI, SD cards will only accept a finite number of reads and writes. Constantly formatting the cards will shorten the life.

Do you cameras have USB or Firewire ports? If so, it is easier IMO to just connect the camera and download the files. I don't recommend reformatting at all. No need to if you use the card in the same camera. Just delete the old files after verifying they can be read on the computer.


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#7
July 5, 2009 at 18:00:39
Yes, the camera has a plug to go to a USB port. I forgot to mention that the card reader is an external one.

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#8
July 5, 2009 at 18:02:57
So, why are you using the reader at all?

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#9
July 5, 2009 at 19:37:40
The reader is solely to get the pics off the trail camera. I've been mounting the camera on the trail and rather than removing it each time I want to see the pics on it, I just take the tractor up there and pop out the CD card and put in a second 4GB one that I have. Since the digital camera at home can't read these trail camera formatted CD cards I had to get one to move the pictures to the computer. Like I said, if I could get the cards to work with the digital camera then I wouldn't need the reader at all but since I haven't been able to so far and since the reader was so cheap, I invested in one.

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