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SD card error... "need to format"

Ashish patel , Aug 06, 2006; 11:49 a.m.

Hi, I had shot some pics on my DiMage Z1 camera recently on a 512 mb card (which I have been using previously). Now, i get the message.."cannot read from the card. do u want to format it?". I am sure I have many pics on that card. So, I have not even formatted it.

How can I recover these pics..? I was reading on other thread about files recovery programs, would these work..? Or do I need to format it first and then run the program..?

Thanks in advance.


Rainer T , Aug 06, 2006; 02:29 p.m.


whatever you do, if you want to recover the pictures on the card, don't take any additional pictures and don't format it.

There are quite a few recovery tools (google for flash card recovery) some even offer a free trail version. If the card isn't physically damaged and it's just the filesystem that got corrupted, those tools will usually recover some/sometimes all images.

Good luck.


JC Uknz , Aug 06, 2006; 03:23 p.m.




Don't know anything about them as thankfully not had any problems as yet but definitely do not format.

Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Aug 07, 2006; 01:58 a.m.

It *probably* won't make any difference if you re-format or not. Most image/fule recovery programs will work just fine either way. Just don't re-format and then take more pictures with it before recovering your images.

You can also try one of the two free file recovery programs at www.convar.de. And if you do not have success with one recovery program, try another. They are not all the same. It is rare that you can't get your files back with one of the available recovery programs.

Rainer T , Aug 07, 2006; 07:20 a.m.

Jim -- "It *probably* won't make any difference if you re-format or not"

Yes, but ... some recovery programs might want to inspect the file allocation tables (especially useful, if the images where fragmented, because some images where erased in camera). After formatting at least the FATs are gone. Makes it very hard for recovery programs to reconnect fragmented images.


Tak Imura , Aug 10, 2006; 04:11 a.m.

I am sure I have many pics on that card. So, I have not even formatted it.

I believe this is the culprit of your problem. When you remove the images from your card do you format the card or erase the images? If you just erase the images the file folders where the images are stored will remain there. When the camera goes to access the images it sees multiple folders and it gets confused and lets you know that you have to get rid of thoses folders by telling you to format the card. Formatting the card will wipe the card clean of images and folders.

You can test this by using a card reader connected to your computer. If you don't have a card reader go out and get one. Insert your card into the reader and it should pop up as an additional drive. double click it and find the DCIM folder. Double click the DCIM folder and you should see multiple folders "MIN100" or something of the sort. If there are more than a few you have too many. These are the folders that your images are stored in. you can double click any of these folders to see which images reside in them. to down load them just click and drag them to the desktop or a folder of your liking on your hard drive or whatever you store your images to. Now to fix your original problem just delete the now copied folders or format your card. This should take care of the problem and prevent future ones as well if you follow the basics of formatting your card after you have successfully downloaded your images.

Louis Kam , Aug 24, 2006; 09:08 p.m.

A-Data SD card errors on TZ1

While testing my new SD card the last couple of days, I got these "Format error", "Write error", "Read error" messages and freezed the LCD screen once in a while. The camera worked again sometimes when I switched back and forth the Review & Normal modes. And doing the in-camera re-formatting and/or reinsert the card to my camera help. But these error messages still came back to haunt me every now and then. The still images and video clips I took were all loadable to my PC though. All these issues did not show up on my FX8 with the same card nor when use the Viking brand SD card to my TZ1. It just shows this A-Data card and this TZ1 doesn't shake-hand well. Any way to make them work confidently?

Wilfried Jahnke , Jun 26, 2009; 02:27 a.m.

If you have problems with your memory card in 80% of all cases the controller of your card is damaged and no software or card reader can help. You must separate the memory chip and dump the raw data to recover your data, look here: http://card-recovery.biz/us/service.php

Rarana Nana , Mar 25, 2010; 08:16 a.m.

If your memory card wants to be formatted or can't format in 80% of all cases the controller of your card is damaged and no software or card reader can help. You must separate the memory chip and dump the raw data to recover your data, look here:http://card-recovery.biz/us/service.php

Ed Simao , Apr 24, 2010; 12:01 p.m.

I just saved all my pics from an SD card that had a read error on it. I copied images from the SD card to my interal memory (one image at a time) on my camera, then copied them to my PC. Then formatted the card on my camera, now it seems to work again. GOOD LUCK!

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