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Old January 7th, 2009, 06:48 PM   #1
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Problem Solved: Transcend CF Cards and Mac Leopard OS

Our experts at Convergent Design have been searching for a solution to the problem with CompactFlash cards and Mac Leopard Operating System.

To recap: It appeared that CompactFlash cards were being destroyed by the "Eject" process, but only under the “Leopard” Operating System and not “Tiger”.

We determined that the cards were not electrically destroyed, as our first checks indicated.

After the "Eject" process, the cards were not readable or responsive in any way, in any device.

While we could not communicate with the cards, we found that if we ran the Mac "Applications"|"Disk Utility"|"Erase" command, we could recover the card.

It appears that the "Eject" process is severely corrupting the card (or its contents), but not electrically destroying it!

After performing the "Erase" we thoroughly tested the card and it is now fully functional with no apparent damage.


Here is our recommended way to recover the cards:

Please see our note at the end of this post if you have important clips on your card!

Please read and understand all of the steps below, prior to starting this procedure.



1. Insert a damaged card into your CompactFlash card reader.
(We expect you to use your Mac with Leopard for this process.)

2. Open Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility.

3. In the Disk Utility on the left, you should see the CompactFlash card reader drive,
such as Lexar or OEI-USB, depending on what kind of reader you have.

4. Choose this CompactFlash card reader drive.
(Do not accidentally choose your Macintosh HD drive or some other important drive!)

5. With the CompactFlash card reader drive chosen, you should now have some tabs available:

First Aid
Erase
Etc.

6. Choose the "Erase" tab. (Please read the important note below before performing this step.)

7. Click the "Erase" button.

8. When the "Erase" is complete, your card should appear as a named volume, under your CompactFlash card reader volume, on the left hand side (indented under the CF reader).

It will be "NO NAME" or the name you previously named it.

9. Select the NO NAME card volume, and erase it as well.

10. Your card should now be usable again, though it will be formatted, so that all previous files will be erased.



Important Note:

If you need the old video off of the card, it is conceivable that you could try the "First Aid" tool in Disk Utility, instead of the "Erase" tool above, but we have not experimented with this at this time.
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Old January 7th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Since we now have an understanding of what is happening to the cards, we recommend that if your are using Leopard, that you not perform the normal "Eject" process.

After the cards contents have been transferred, then just remove the card by pulling it out of the CompactFlash card read. Do not use the "Eject" command.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 12:46 AM   #3
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Thanks for the update Dan. It has so far not happened to the 4 cards that I have got.

One solution for anyone who has lost any files is to run the card through PhotoRescue

PhotoRescue Home Page - PhotoRescue Wizard, PhotoRescue Expert, PhotoRescue Advanced

I use the Wizard version and it managed to recover all the XDR files when I had formatted the card after it was unreadable in the XDR. The software will however rename the files on its own so you should manually rename the files as to how the XDR names them. I threw the recovered files back onto the card and voila! the XDR read them!

P.S: I use PhotoRescue as my recovery software for my photography and never knew that it could work recovering video files so it was a pleasant surprise for me.

Cheers

Weehan
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Old January 8th, 2009, 03:36 AM   #4
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Dear Wee Han,

Thanks for posting.

I wonder if Photo Rescue Software would restore the non-functional card back to full operation, as does the "Erase" technique that we found?

At this time, if anyone has this problem with Leopard, that they run the procedure detailed above (Post #1 in this Thread), as we know it works.

If someone accidentally initializes (formats) a card, we recommend the "Photo Rescue Software" be performed immediately, prior to doing anything else to the card. If one writes any files to the card, the original files may be overwritten.

Some CompactFlash cards come with similar sofware already installed on the card. We recommend saving this card in a safe place, such as on your computer, in case you need it in the future.

We have not tried the specific "Photo Rescue Software" that Wee Han recommends, but are confident in his recommendation.

Thanks Wee Han!
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Old July 18th, 2009, 03:58 AM   #5
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No such luck with a corrupt card here: even in the 'disk utility' app, the card in the Lexar reader is not even recongnized! Ergo the 'erase' button is never highlighted and there's no way to access the card. What now?
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Old July 18th, 2009, 04:06 AM   #6
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Dear Luc,

Since originally posting in January, we have found that the above solution only works some of the time.

In other cases, the card is completely destroyed. In these cases, we were not able to recover any data from the card.

As we have stated, we do not recommend inserting any Transcend card in any card reader which uses the Apple Leopard operating system. The problem is intermittent, but the risk is too great.
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Old July 18th, 2009, 04:13 AM   #7
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Hi Dan,

I am using 4 Transcend 32 GB and would like to keep on using them. I just pull the cards after uploading instead of going through the eject procedure as you recommend.

Please let me know what is the max bit rate for these cards in Long GOP and I-frame only.

Thanks Dan,
Regards,

Ofer Levy Photography
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Old July 18th, 2009, 04:22 AM   #8
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Dear Ofer,

The maximium bit-rate is 140 Mbps. We offer this 140 Mbps mode in both I-Frame Only (Intraframe) and Long-GOP modes.

Yes, we believe that just avoiding the "Eject" process works well with these cards. This has been our experience also.

However, we have had a few reports that some users that have lost their Transcend cards who stated that they lost the cards before they transferred their data and did not use the "Eject" command.

While this has not been our experience, we have to be cautious, so we do not recommend the Transcend cards be put into any card reader that is directly attached to a Mac with Leopard.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 04:52 PM   #9
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Dreaded Transcend in Leopard problem

Well.... I think I have fallen foul with the Transcend in Mac problem.

I normally use and PC and have had not problems with the cards.

Today I was transferring rushes to my clients Mac after a shoot. I remembered not to use the "eject" command. We pulled the card out and got the "Device not stopped etc" warning message.

When I put the next card in the reader it would not show up on the desktop.
I then put the first card back in the reader. This wouldn't show up either.

I then tried them in my Windows laptop and neither card would be recognised.

I put them into the Flash XDR and I get the following notice
"SlotDpc:0003"

As always..... I really need to save the data on this card if at all possible, Whats the latest method I should be using?

Cheers,

Stuart
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Old August 10th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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Dear Stuart,

You could send the cards to us.

However, it is likely that you cards are physically damaged.

Just to be clear, we highly recommend that a Transcend card never be put into a Mac with Leopard.
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Old August 10th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #11
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Dear Friends,

Please understand that the title of this thread is misleading.

At one time, I thought we had the problem with Transcend cards and the Mac Leopard operating system solved.

This was based on the fact that we were able to recover some cards using a recovery tool.

Since then, we have been unsuccessful in recovering cards.

It should be clear: Do not put a Transcend card in any card reader that is attached to a Mac computer that has Leopard. You card will be in danger of being physically destroyed.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 02:55 PM   #12
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Dan:

What about using a Mac and running Boot Camp/Windows XP to offload files from Transcend Cards? Any experience with this method?

I guess I have been lucky (so far) with Transcend Cards and Mac/Leopard but am getting quite nervous reading these stories.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #13
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Dear John,

While we have not tested the Boot Camp solution, it sounds good on principle.

Yes, I would get nervous too. It appears, at least on the surface, when someone has a problem with a CompactFlash card, it is associated with Mac Leopard and never a PC.

Scientifically, this may be meaningless, but it certainly gives us reason to pause.


The proven solution is to use the Nexto Di device.

With this, one takes the CompactFlash card out of the Flash XDR or nanoFlash, puts it into the Nexto, quickly and easily copies the data, in the field, to the Nexto Di device. We recommend purchasing the Nexto DI for $129 and adding a good, study, 500 GB laptop drive, which is typically under $100.

With the data backed up in the Nexto, one can connect the Nexto Di to the Mac (after ejecting the CompactFlash card) and transfer the files to the Mac. Thus, the Mac never sees or has an opportunity to harm the CompactFlash cards.

Alternatively, one can transfer the CompactFlash cards to the Nexto DI device, and then hold the CompactFlash cards until the data is transferred to the Mac.

This second method is very nice in that it allows the data to be in two places, fairly soon after the footage is recorded. One just needs enough CompactFlash cards for the day's shoot.

There are many ways to do this, but we recommend not putting Transcend cards in the Mac, and wonder if this isn't the best advice for all brands of CompactFlash cards. We are still researching this.
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Old August 11th, 2009, 09:00 PM   #14
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I hadn't noticed this thread before. But I do have an experience to relate. I have a Sony Z7U with the supplied MRC1 CF recording unit. I do not use a Mac but I have done work for other production companies that do use Macs. From what I understand, both production companies are using the latest Mac OS (10.5 Leopard?). On a couple of different occasions I have given them footage on my Transcend 16G 300x CF cards. Both used my CF card reader ($15 cheapie from Best Buy) to download the footage. So far, I haven't experienced any fatal problems with my CF cards. Have I just been lucky or am I missing something here?
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Old August 12th, 2009, 05:40 AM   #15
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Hi Greg,

From what I understand the problem only relates to the 32Gb x133 cards.

But I'm sure Dan will confirm this
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