Troubleshooting SD Memory Cards


Even though the internal memory is available in a great number of digital cameras nowadays, memory cards are still often used by almost all photographers for the image storage. Normally, the size of a memory card is slightly larger than that of a postage stamp and a memory card can help you store up to many hundreds or thousands of images. Therefore, any problem with the memory card can blow up all of your image and movie data. You don’t want to encounter the situations that all of your images disappear from the memory card, right? The following tips may be useful to help you solve common problems of SD or SDHC card.

  • The memory card cannot be read on computers. Check carefully to ensure that the size as well type of the card is compatible with the computer. For instance, with several computers of the previous generations, you can only have the SD memory card work if its size is smaller than 2 GB. In order to make the computer able to work with SDHC memory cards, you may need an upgrade of a firmware; please ask the manufacturer of your computer.
  • You find the “write protected” message. There is often a “lock” switch with SD as well as SDHC cards which is located in the card left side (when you view it from the camera front). If you find the switch located lower or at the bottom position, the memory card has been locked and write-protected, which means that the card cannot write any additional data. To have the card unlocked, you just need to slide the “lock” switch upward.
  • The running speed of one card is slower than that of other cards. The speed and class rating of different memory cards may not be the same. The speed rating is involving to the highest data transmitting speed, while the class rating involves the lowest transmitting speed. Find out the ratings of your memory cards and perhaps you will find the differences in their speed or class ratings.
  • A slower and older card is not as good as a new one? For the majority of the time, a slower and older card does not matter in general shooting. But if you are recording a HD movie in which a continuously-shooting mode is selected, the data may not be recorded fast enough with this kind of memory card. The consequent result is that the movie may be cut off or you may lose images. For recording HD movies, a fast memory card is needed.
  • How to recover deleted or missing files? In case that the operation of a memory card is OK, but it is impossible to see or open some images files, it is recommended that you recover the images by using commercial software or another way is to put the SD card into a computer or camera repair center, by which you can have the images recovered. If the memory card does not work in the camera or the computer, the only way is to refer to a repair center.
  • Should the SD memory card be formatted if asked? You should take little time to think about this. If your memory card is containing images, you may not want to have the card formatted as all the data will be deleted. In case that you notice a message on the memory card that have been previously used and your photos has been stored in this card, the thing here is that your card or camera could be malfunctioning. One case that possibly occurs is that your camera cannot read the SD memory card as it might have been formatted in a different camera. If the card is new and there is no photo in it, you can format it without any worries.

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