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Old December 20th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #1
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Memory card errors after GH1 use..

After 2 weeks of playing around with the camera, I finally take it to my kids birthday party - power it up - and get a memory card error. The night before I was recording with no problems as I have over the course of 2 weeks.

So here I am pretty pissed and frustrated. My wife remembers the Canon Elph we have also uses an SDHC memory card so I stick that card into the GH1 - luckily she carries the Elph in her bag.

I only had room for 30 min of video instead of the 2 hrs I planned for.. ok, I'll take it..

So I record and snap photos for the next few hours. Come home that eve and stick the card into my reader ... all looks well so far. I start a drag and drop and let it go.

I come back 10 min later to some errors on screen. I look at the HD and see nothing copied - I look at the SD card and it cant read it properly.

2 Different cards - both with memory card errors and so far I'm 0 for 5 with recovery software luck. Nothing can be found from either card and I am (prob not as much as the wife) pretty ticked.

Never lost digital photos out of the thousands I've shot over the years and this really frustrates me.

Any ideas? Anyone have this happen to them? Would you think the camera is making them corrupt somehow? I'm lost at this point... Thought it was the mem card first, but it happened on 2 diff cards - one new (adata), one older (transcend). Now I'm geared towards shipping the cam back for exchange.. I dunno.

Thanks..
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Old December 21st, 2009, 11:07 AM   #2
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Corrupt files

The only adverse experience I had was occasionally I got memory card error when powering on. This occured 3 times in 2200 photos shot over two weeks in cold weather. Happened one each of the 3 different 16 gb class 6 cards. (Sandisk, Adata Micro and Patriot). I power off, pop the card out, put it back in and all was ok. I was able to get all the data ok once I got home.

What you may have occuring is a bad/incompatible controller on the SD memory cards, especially if the card is older. SD flash memory has a built in memory controller. Certain revs on the on-chip controller may not be fully compliant with the SDHC specification and will cause problems. I recommend you contact the manufacturer of the cards and see abut a replacement. Finally, be sure you have the latest firmware on the camera body.

If you want to try a rescue, my Sandisk card inculded free RescuePro software from lc-tech.com. Happily I've not needed it so I can't comment on it.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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Albert:

We need a lot more info in order to let you know possibly what happened.

But even just for starters, 3 memory card errors before the final birthday error was a huge red, smoking, burning flag that you have a problem.

There are about 25 important SDHC/AVCHD tips I don't have time to type. A search will turn them up.

A few basic questions:
1. Did you format the card in the camera before the first use?
2. Did you EVER take the card out of the camera before the birthday error?
3. Are you using a MAC?
4. Was the card completely full?

Failing to properly format a new card in camera always leads to trouble. Using the Canon cameras card in a Panasonic camera was guaranteed failure.

MACs & sometimes a PC will try to catalog the SDHC cards contents back to the card during the copy. If the card is completely full, the card structure may corrupt when the information write is unable to complete.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Kellam View Post
We need a lot more info in order to let you know possibly what happened.

But even just for starters, 3 memory card errors before the final birthday error was a huge red, smoking, burning flag that you have a problem.

There are about 25 important SDHC/AVCHD tips I don't have time to type. A search will turn them up.

A few basic questions:
1. Did you format the card in the camera before the first use?
2. Did you EVER take the card out of the camera before the birthday error?
3. Are you using a MAC?
4. Was the card completely full?

Failing to properly format a new card in camera always leads to trouble. Using the Canon cameras card in a Panasonic camera was guaranteed failure.

MACs & sometimes a PC will try to catalog the SDHC cards contents back to the card during the copy. If the card is completely full, the card structure may corrupt when the information write is unable to complete.
Jeff,

First of all I didn't receive any errors at all before the final birthday. It was at the actual party where the error first appeared upon power up. If I'd of seen any errors at all anytime beforehand, the red flag would've been up.

1- Yes, the card was formatted in cam
2- The card was not out of the cam prior to the birthday. In fact, I recorded the night before without issue.
3- Not using a mac.
4- Card was not even close to full. It was a 32gb card with over 20-22gb free.

The second card from the canon, was thrown in as an emergency attempt to find media. It did work without issue and I saw the directories and files.. but upon copying the card then became corrupt.

I've never had anything like this occur in either my Canon dslr or wifes Elph in over 10000+ photos over the years.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:10 AM   #5
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Thats a shame if cards we trust with an SDHC class 6 stamp on them dont function as expected. I was not able to get the data back from the cards using 6-7 recovery programs. I'm thinking of sending the cards off to a recovery service. I dont know what they can do differently but for a reasonable fee I'd give it a shot.

Anyone know of any or have experience with recovery services?


Quote:
Originally Posted by James Harring View Post
The only adverse experience I had was occasionally I got memory card error when powering on. This occured 3 times in 2200 photos shot over two weeks in cold weather. Happened one each of the 3 different 16 gb class 6 cards. (Sandisk, Adata Micro and Patriot). I power off, pop the card out, put it back in and all was ok. I was able to get all the data ok once I got home.

What you may have occuring is a bad/incompatible controller on the SD memory cards, especially if the card is older. SD flash memory has a built in memory controller. Certain revs on the on-chip controller may not be fully compliant with the SDHC specification and will cause problems. I recommend you contact the manufacturer of the cards and see abut a replacement. Finally, be sure you have the latest firmware on the camera body.

If you want to try a rescue, my Sandisk card inculded free RescuePro software from lc-tech.com. Happily I've not needed it so I can't comment on it.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:36 AM   #6
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Albert:

What a bummer losing your files.

Here is what I know:

1. Digital still cameras seem to rarely, if ever have memory card issues.

2. AVCHD video/still cameras like yours, are having reports of file corruption based on what I have seen. The Panasonic HMC-150 video camera is somewhat related to your camera, and a few users are having fits because of data loss. Panasonic is studying the problem, but no word yet.

3. There does not seem to be any user consensus or hard data yet on whether there are bad cards, bad cameras, bad card readers or some kind of general workflow problem causing the issues. It seems to be confined to SDHC cards as far as I can tell, but it may not specifically be the card causing the failure. We tend to think of the cards being at fault, but the reports of many different card brands failing on the HMC-150 forums tends to make you think it's not because of the card itself, but some other factor.

As you found out, there are not really any card recovery programs designed to specifically find AVCHD video files. And in most cases the card is corrupted in a manner that the software cant see the card in the first place.

IMO, the SD specification or design itself is flawed or there wouldn't be so many failures. The failures never happened before AVCHD became popular, but now it is.

As far as recovery, there are several companies that can get back your data. They have a lot of capabilities including disassembling the card and installing a new memory controller if necessary. It's free if there is no recovery, but about $1,000USD for a worst case full card recovery.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:58 AM   #7
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If money is no option, you might as well get a Sandisk class 6 card for best security although I haven't had any issues at all using a Sandisk class 4 and a PNY class 4.

With a Sandisk class 2 card, I can record in MJPEG perfectly well but for AVCHD which is half the bit rate, it doesn't like it.

Anyway, maybe the camera doesn't like certain cards even though the are class 6.

I know Sandisk cards are usually more expansive especially for class 6 but I really do think they are much more reliable than cards that are much cheaper.
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Old December 27th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #8
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Jeff,

Thanks for the in depth information on the (potential) issues with avchd and sdhc cards and the hardware involved.. This has me quite concerned and almost to the point where I am willing to give up on the v-dslr units until perhaps something there matures a bit.

DSLRs have never let me down from a photo standpoint. I wonder if it has something to do with FAT32.. the file size limits.. how avchd writes to files, splits them, etc..

I'd imagine there would be potentially less problems if the cards/cams supported ntfs, ext4, or ufs.. anything with a file size limit of > 4gb and a more robust file system.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #9
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What happens when you put the cards back in the camera? Does it recognize them or want to reformat? Maybe the camera can read them better than a computer? Of course by now you may be out of luck.
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Old December 28th, 2009, 09:43 PM   #10
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The camera says memory card read error and thats pretty much it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
What happens when you put the cards back in the camera? Does it recognize them or want to reformat? Maybe the camera can read them better than a computer? Of course by now you may be out of luck.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 07:37 AM   #11
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Well if the camera can't read the card then you might try a computer disk utility program to see if it can fix an error to let the card mount so you can try and retrieve the data. Of course this could end up as complete failure so be prepared to lose Data. If you were on a Mac you can try the disk utility program which comes with OSX to see if the card can be repaired. Not sure what Windows programs you have at your disposal.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #12
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I've run around 6 or 7 recovery tools/utilities on those cards. The cards are corrupt to the point where nothing is found and I cant even format them or see them properly on some occasions with camera or pc. oh well, as unfortunate as it is - nothing more i can do here but accept the loss.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 12:20 PM   #13
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I haven't seen anyone else mention it, but at this point, I suspect physical damage or dirty contacts.

Check the reader on your computer to make sure it's not scratching or damaging the cards in some way. If the cards were okay in the camera and are now un-useable, it might be the reader instead.

Try also cleaning the contacts on the SD cards, they are quite exposed compared to CF cards.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #14
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I agree with those suggestions .. however the camera and cards and reader were new. One of the failed cards never hit the reader from the evening of shooting to the next day of shooting. I've since used the reader on other cards without issue.

One thing i noticed recently - the (supposed) faulty camera was running firmware 1.2.
The new cam is using 1.1.

Wondering if that has any significance as I've seen instances where companies released an update only to screw up something else.
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Old January 7th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #15
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Albert:

When you read between the lines of the Panasonic product announcement below, it's an acknowledgement there are issues with SDHC IMO. If Panasonic releases a SDXC firmware for your camera, SDXC will actually be good news. If there is no way to update the firmware for SDXC compatability, Panasonic should be ashamed.

Panasonic Introduces New 64 GB* and 48 GB* SDXC Memory Cards, Available Globally in February 2010

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6 -- Panasonic today announced the availability of the company's first 64 GB** and 48 GB* SDXC Memory Cards. The new SDXC Memory Cards, the RP-SDW64GE1K (64 GB) and RP-SDW48GE1K (48 GB) are Panasonic's largest-sized GOLD cards with Class 10 speed specification. Featuring new advanced Super Intelligent Controller helps to improve the reliability of the card and extend its lifetime. The new 64 GB and 48 GB SDXC Memory Cards will be globally introduced in February 2010 with suggested retail prices of $599.95 and $449.95, respectively.

SDXC is the next generation SD Memory Card, a new standard for storing data more than 32 GB and up to 2 terabytes. The Panasonic 64 GB SDXC Memory Card features a massive 64 GB of capacity, making it ideal for recording AVCHD High Definition video, high-resolution, or even RAW still photos. When used with Panasonic's newly-released camcorders, such as the Panasonic HDC-TM55, the 64 GB SDXC Memory Card can record up to 8 hours and 30 minutes of video, while recording in the highest video quality in HA mode. Or when recording in 1920 x 1080i in HE mode, the SDXC Memory Card can hold approximately 27 hours and 30 minutes of video. The 48 GB SDXC Memory Card will have nearly the same capacity as a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc, and can hold 6 hours and 20 minutes of HD video content recorded in HA mode and 20 hours and 20 minutes when recorded in HE mode.

With the Class 10 speed specification and maximum data transfer speed of up to 22MB/s, the new Panasonic SDXC Memory Cards allows users to enjoy superb performance when using with an HD camcorder or a digital interchangeable lens camera, such as the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF1, for high-speed burst shooting when taking still photos.

The 64 GB and 48 GB SDXC Memory Cards, along with other Panasonic GOLD line Memory Cards, provide longer lifetime, thanks to the adoption of Panasonic's newly-developed Super Intelligent Controller, which evolves the current Super Intelligent Controller used in the Silver line Memory Cards. With the new Super Intelligent Controller, flash memories are automatically refreshed with error corrections, thus preventing data damages and providing longer lifetime.

The new SDXC Memory Cards include a new technology designed to minimize accidental corruption caused by a power interruption, such as the Memory Card being removed while data is being transferred. Panasonic's SDXC Memory Card robustness is reliable even under severe temperature condition from -13F to 185F**.
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