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Old March 19th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #1
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Keep Mac from writing hidden files on CF cards

I have never had a problem with this on my CF cards ( I always format my cards when iserting in the NanoFlash), but I remember discussions on this board about this causing problems in some cases.

I just read about this utility. It may be of interest to CD.

Dan have you tried this?

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Old March 19th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #2
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Mac File Writes

I passed this along a while back and if they could have the nano write a few "pre-emptive" files this would prevent the spotlight and other files from being written. I figured this would go into the firmware wish list basket. That being said I have not had problems with these files either. Maybe a problem with Spotlight and these other system utilities would cause some of the card R/W issues.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:52 AM   #3
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Olof,

Good that you posted this up. It would be good to hear in an official way from Convergent Design, if we should be worried about the invisible files put there by the Mac OS.

It never occurred to me that this could be an issue but it should be known that once you mount a memory card or a hard drive for that matter on a Mac and then peruse via the Finder the folders (directories) on said card or drive, invisible files are created.

So a real world scenario where a problem might arise would be where a shoot takes place, the cards from the nanoFlash are mounted by the Mac, the operator copies the files from the card to the Mac, dismounts the card and places it back into the nanoFlash continuing to use the card without reformatting the card but with the Mac OS's cruft (the invisible files) now on the card.

Should we always be reformatting the Compact Flash cards with the nanoFlash once they are mounted by a Mac?
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Old March 19th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew
Should we always be reformatting the Compact Flash cards with the nanoFlash once they are mounted by a Mac?
You should always be reformatting the CF cards with the nanoFlash before using them no matter what computer you mount them in.

Billy
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Old March 19th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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Dear Friends,

We have not been able to implement this suggestion, so far.

Also, I agree with Billy, one should always format the CompactFlash card, in the nanoFlash, after the files were transferred to a PC or a Mac. And one must format a card, in the nanoFlash prior to using the card for the first time.

The reason for this is to ensure that the card is not fragmented, which would interfere with our ability to write to the card.


And one must format a card, in the nanoFlash prior to using the card for the first time.

The reason for this is to ensure that the card's parameters are setup properly.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:18 PM   #6
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Unnecessary post.

Last edited by Andrew Stone; March 19th, 2010 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Dan's response covered off my thoughts
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Old June 14th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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Had a problem with this today, in fact...

I copied files to my external drive via Mac and USB reader. Mac put some hidden files on card and I could not read card when reinserted to NanoFlash. Called Conv. Des. and talked with Tommy. He suggested taking card to PC, removing "hidden" files (which are hidden on a Mac and not on PC) and go from there.

I did not have success with that route. I could not just reformat the card due to needing the files to remain so I could use the Nano as a playback device.

I did, however, use the BlueHarvest program (free 30 day trial: DS_Store, ._Resource Forks, .Folders. Keep it clean. | zeroonetwenty ) and it successfully removed all the crap from the card that the mac put on it. It then played out fine on the Nano. What a pain in the arse, though.

one other thing: cards are Delkin 64gb
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Old June 14th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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Hi Scott,
I am surprised I use a Mac and I have never had this problem with my CF cards. Out of interest was the card safely ejected using the Mac eject key or menu option?
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Old June 16th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #9
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My only guess is that the card did not eject properly from the mac... It is quite possible that I pulled it too quickly or something. I did eject it, and usually that is a fast two or three second process, but maybe the computer was slow to let it go.

At any rate, it was the first time I have noticed the problem. It was a real problem, though! I was in a jam after it happened, and it took me a while to get the workaround going.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #10
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Scott,

We have had a recent problem with a Mac corrupting a card. I would suggest that the eject procedure should not be used on a Mac. Further we would suggest that copying the files to a backup location like a Nexto would be the first step for any card under any circumstances. We are not aware of anyone who has had similar problem with the Windows platform incidentally.

Jeff
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Old June 16th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #11
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Scott,
If I understand what you're saying, this has nothing to do with your eject procedure. The mac will put those files on the CF card irregardless.
I'm gathering that C-D indicates that the addition of those files by the Mac makes the card unreadable by the naoflash.
QED -- if you need to play back files from a card, don't put it in a mac (or be prepared to go through the removal procedure you did.)
Instead, just do a copy to a Nexto (or PC) and then if you need to copy to a mac, do so from this copy, not from your card.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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that is a way to do it, sure

Yes, these problems exist for Mac users... however, given the large use of Mac computers in the field (90% of the producers I work with use Mac instead of PC) these workarounds are impractical.

I don't think it is an acceptable solution to have to buy more gear (PC or a Nexto) to get one piece of gear (Nano) to work in the field. It is a bandaid solution. K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid!) is something I try and live by! Adding more software, gear, whatever is sometimes necessary but not always a good idea.

That said, I don't know if this problem is that much of an issue for me. I had a random situation where I needed to play back out of the Nano. It is rare for me to need that to happen. But, Mac compatibility is an obvious issue which should be fixed on Convergent's end, otherwise people will still have issues.

By the way, I think there are two separate issues at play here. One is that there are certain number of limited brands of cards which are fried when ejected from a Mac desktop. The other issue is (that I have experienced) is that the Mac writes hidden indexing files when you eject a disk. These files aren't bad or wrong, per se, the Nano just isn't playing nice with them. Both of these eject issues have the same recommendation from Convergent, which is just don't eject the card. But, that is a Mac workflow to eject drives and cards... and I even do it on a PC. So, it is a bit impractical to say this is the only fix, in my opinion. The root problem needs to be addressed...

Last edited by Scott Stoneback; June 20th, 2010 at 11:16 AM. Reason: added more to post
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Old June 20th, 2010, 01:45 PM   #13
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Dear Scott,

We do not know why some are affected this problem, unwanted files on the cards, and others are not.

We will have to investigate this, and then resolve the problem.

Our recommended workflow is to copy the files, then reformat the CompactFlash card in the nanoFlash.
This insures that the file system, on the card, is not fragmented, which is very important to being able to record to the card at very high throughput, If one is writing small files to the card, it does not really matter if the card is fragmented or not.

The reason we recommebnd just pulling the card from the card reader on a Mac is to protect the card from damage, electrical damage. The potential to damage the card started with Leopard and conincided with Apple stating that they changed their electrical interface to card readers.

Some cards are more vurnable to damage, but exceeding proper voltages on any card is not advised.

Just as soon as Apple acknowleges that it has fixed the problem, and what release of the Mac Operating System has the fix, then we can recommend to those who have the proper OS to revert to their normal procedures.

However, Apple has not released this information.

As far as I know, no one with Snow Leopard has reported this problem, so it may be fixed, but we do not actually know.
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Old June 20th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #14
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Dan is glossing over this new problem.

The current problem is not thought to be electrical. We have 2 separate, unrelated instances in the past week and a half if a card being corrupted just by putting it in a Mac and not even ejecting it. One situation used one of my Nanos (.249), no remote control, a Sandisk card and a Mac and the other used someone else's Nano, an unknown card and a Mac. In both cases the format being written was a variant of 1080. Both times the card was corrupted. In the first case the card was sent to CD. The second situation only happened yesterday and a e-mail was sent to CD.

I consulted with CD directly, not through Dan, and they were familiar with this problem which they called very rare... except it is has happened twice in the past week and a half to my knowledge.

Jeff
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Old June 20th, 2010, 08:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
Dan is glossing over this new problem.

The current problem is not thought to be electrical. We have 2 separate, unrelated instances in the past week and a half if a card being corrupted just by putting it in a Mac and not even ejecting it. One situation used one of my Nanos (.249), no remote control, a Sandisk card and a Mac and the other used someone else's Nano, an unknown card and a Mac. In both cases the format being written was a variant of 1080. Both times the card was corrupted. In the first case the card was sent to CD. The second situation only happened yesterday and a e-mail was sent to CD.

I consulted with CD directly, not through Dan, and they were familiar with this problem which they called very rare... except it is has happened twice in the past week and a half to my knowledge.

Jeff
Hi Jeff-
We have two brand new MacBook Pro laptops that will be used this week in extensive testing to evaluate this problem. We did find and fix a problem with the firmware that could cause corrupt files. We have a pool of 20 nanos that are exclusively set aside for long term reliability tests. Using this pool of units we were able to identify and fix the 720p intermittent source issue and implement a fix for QT and MXF file header problems that, while rare, did occur in our testing.

Oftentimes these sorts of problems can be difficult to replicate and even more difficult to fix. I am happy to report that we now have an excellent methodology for resolving these issues. We expect to post new firmware early this week after concluding the remainder of our tests. We'll take a look at the MAC - CF card issue next.

Best-
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