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Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
Sony HXR-NX100, HXR-NX70, NX30, NX5, NX3/1, HXR-MC2500, HDR-AX2000, etc.


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Old April 26th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #1
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Serious error encountered writing to External Memory

Well just when I was feeling confident that the Buffer Overflow problem will be fixed I've now encountered another problem equally as disturbing.

I had just begun filming an out-of-town wedding Saturday and had the NX5 set to record 1080 60i to ONLY the FMU (due to the buffer overflow problems that can occur when writing to both the cards and the FMU simultaneously). After recording a few clips the REC indicator started flashing and would not stop even when the record button was repeatedly pressed. I had to remove the battery to stop it. Two more times during filming I got a message that said (and things were too hectic to remember exactly) ERROR WRITING TO EXTERNAL MEMORY UNIT.....Trying to recover data.

That is one scary message in the middle of an event!!!

Both times I had to remove the battery after waiting several minutes. Fortunately no data was lost.

All this happened in my first hour of filming and after that I recorded ONLY to the Memory Stick card and had no further problems.

The FMU had been freshly formated in the camera.

I can not recreate the problem again.

Has anyone else had this problem? I have a call in to Sony.

So now I have two major problems with this camera. I would send them back to B&H in a minute if I could.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #2
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Hey, Jeff. I only skimmed your post as of writing this, but am on the phone right now talking to one of the developers....will contact / post as soon as I can.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Marshall! I'm very anxious to hear if this is a known problem.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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Did this problem occur when you hit the record button, or did it happen after you had been successfully recording for at least a few seconds? If you had been recording for more that a few seconds are you saying that the video was recovered?

I had something very similar happen when I hit the record button. I did not lose any footage because the camera didn't begin recording. Removing battery was only way to recover from the error, and everything was fine once battery was reconnected.

Interesting that this happened to you while recording only to FMU. I believe this is the first time someone has reported the problem while not simultaneous recording.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 06:24 PM   #5
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I believe each of the three times it happened was right when I hit the record button so there was no clip to recover. My big concern was the previous clips. Good question though. Since it was such a run and gun situation Saturday I didn't have much time to assess exactly what was happening.

So it sounds like at least one other person has had the same problem. It might be a good idea to let Sony know of all these problems because if they aren't recorded they won't be working to fix them.
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Old April 26th, 2010, 10:10 PM   #6
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I'll mention this to Sony on Tuesday, but keep in mind that similar to any flash-based media, if the issue is caused by quick stop-start recording, it's a given 'normal' condition based on the read/write throughput for the media than an actual problem; think of the reasoning behind this similar to the Class4-Class6-Class10/133x/266x/300x cards, even though it doesn't relate to the FMU unit's recordation process). This is very similar to the syncing between card and tape on the Z7U from a few years ago.

As previously mentioned, though, if this is happening almost instantly when starting/stopping recording, the above will make more sense. However, if this is occuring once you're recording for any amount of time (as in 1-second or more in that respect), than it could be the FMU unit.

Using 5 cameras and 5 units for the last month+, and the extensive testing I've been doing concerning the buffer issue, this has not come up as of now.

I'll post as applicable.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 07:38 AM   #7
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In my case it was definitely NOT quick stop-start recording - the camera had been off for about 5 minutes and the error occurred when I tried to resume recording.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #8
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It seems possible this is the same problem as the buffer overflow and that writing or not writing to the card slot has nothing to do with it; it's simply the FMU. When writing only to the FMU a different error message is generated.

I haven't had this problem yet and really have no idea, but since no one has reported any problems with the card slots alone, it seems a possibility.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #9
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When I encountered the problem it was during simultaneous HD recording to SDHC/FMU and I got the same error message as Jeff - ERROR WRITING TO EXTERNAL MEMORY UNIT. Removing battery was the only way to solve the problem. I now believe this has something to do with the FMU - don't think this has happened to anyone with an AX2000 yet, and that is basically the same camera without FMU option. Also I'm pretty sure that problems with the NX5 have only occurred with FMU in use.
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Old April 27th, 2010, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Grant View Post
When I encountered the problem it was during simultaneous HD recording to SDHC/FMU and I got the same error message as Jeff - ERROR WRITING TO EXTERNAL MEMORY UNIT. Removing battery was the only way to solve the problem. I now believe this has something to do with the FMU - don't think this has happened to anyone with an AX2000 yet, and that is basically the same camera without FMU option. Also I'm pretty sure that problems with the NX5 have only occurred with FMU in use.
That's right Brian, unless I've missed something, the one element that has been common for all Writing Errors has been the FMU. And of course that's why most of us have bought this cam.
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Old May 1st, 2010, 10:22 PM   #11
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Well it finally happened to me this evening. I shot Act 1 of the play just fine( 1 hour and 4 mins). Then starting Act 2 after maybe 15 secs got the buffer overflow message.
Recording to FMU and 32G Patriot class 10 card. Selected no to all screen requests to recover files and was back up and running in less than a minute. Luckily I also had my SR11 and XR500 running so used the XR500 for a while until the NX5u was back on line. I use a Manfrotto LANC controller ( 521) and had powered down using this and powered up also using the button on the controller just like I always do. I had recorded the play also on Wednesday and had just deleted the files from the Patriot card and had not reformatted.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 12:02 AM   #12
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Hello Ron,

What format were you recoding on the Patriot and on the FMU?

This is really unfortunate.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 06:21 AM   #13
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I was recording FX HD to both FMU and Patriot card. Has anyone yet had an issue recording HD to FMU and SD to card or a problem with just using the FMU? Or a problem at FH data rate.

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Old May 2nd, 2010, 02:08 PM   #14
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Last weekend I was recording HD FX 1080 60i to the FMU and SD 480i 4:3 to a 32GB Sony MS Pro HG Duo. It recorded the first hour long segment just fine, but about 30 minutes into the next recording the memory stick icon started flashing and the REC symbol went away for the MS, but the FMU kept recording. When I stopped the recording it went into recovering clip and was able to recover what was captured on the MS up until it started flashing and stopped recording. Luckily everything was recorded on the FMU and I was able to use that.

Called Sony about this last Monday and was told they would check into it and get back to me that afternoon. Still waiting for that call though.
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Old May 2nd, 2010, 08:40 PM   #15
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Joe, your are the second one reporting having an error while recording SD on SDHC card. Many months ago I had myself a Data Error since then everything has been OK.

Can you give us more information ? In preparing for your event did you perform a "Media Empty" onto the SDHC card before using it? Have you been using this card and only kept deleting files, or been reformatting the card?

For example, in preparation for an event I always perform a media empty on both the SDHC card and the FMU. Once the contract as started, at the end of each day, I copy all files onto my computer and perform a media empty on all SDHC cards I will be using the next day. I always record HD on the FMU and SD on the SDHC card.
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Last edited by Daniel Paquin; May 3rd, 2010 at 02:21 AM.
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