Tip & How-To about Cameras

How to Format A Memory Card Using A Computer

If you are having problems where your camera or other device will not format or recognise your memory card, this is often because the card has become corrupted or the device is an older type and does not recognise the file system of the card.

You should always format your card with your camera or device (not your computer) every time you need to do this. This prevents the possibility of data errors and corruption.

However, if your device is refusing to format or will not recognise the card you can often resolve this by getting your computer to format it for you.

This often helps the camera or device recognise the card and make it functional again. If a format on your PC fails and the card is still not recognised then the card is either faulty or in the case of a camera exceeds your cameras max capability. In this case you will have to use a new card or one with a lower memory capacity.

If you have a card reader on your PC this is the easiest way to access the card with the computer. If not, a multi card reader is a cheap and useful device to have.

Be aware that formatting the card erases all information and or photos stored on it.

To format the card with your PC do the following:

1) Insert the card into the card reader.

2) Go to 'Start' - 'My Computer' and then find the card icon which will show as 'SD Card Drive' or 'Compact Flash Drive' or whatever card type you are using.

3) Right click on the relevant card icon. you will be presented with a list of options. Go down to Format and select this option.Now select a File system type.

PLEASE NOTE: Select FAT32 for 4GB or higher capacities. FAT for 2GB or lower capacities

4) Click start to begin the format process.

5) When the process is complete, take the memory card out and insert it into your device. If the procedure was successful the device should recognise it and it should work.

Note: Old cameras
Many previous old cameras and portable devices do not work if the card is formatted as FAT32 or NTFS file system. One of the following errors may occur if your device does not support FAT32 or NTFS:
- Error message asking to re-format the flash card.
- Error message that the flash card is not formatted.

To resolve the above error, backup your data and reformat your memory card in FAT file system

Hope this Tip has helped. If so please take a moment to indicate this using the Yes/No buttons below.

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1 Answer

why would photos disappear from memory card on fuji camera and can they be retreived?

there is a problem with digital cameras and using the usb ports on windows 7. win 7 has been reporting "no files found" or it wants to format the memory card!! this is wrong in both cases because the files are stil there it's just that win 7 refuses to recognise the the formatting of the devices. the work around for this issue is to use a memory card reader. i had this problem myself. just do not reformat your memory card or you will loose your pictures!!!

Aug 25, 2011 | Cameras

1 Answer

when i turn my camera on it says "card erro" what does that mean?

This may mean that the camera does not recognise the card because it is of too high a capacity (SDHC cards are not the same as SD cards) or it may mean the card needs formatting (because it is new or has become corrupted). There is a function in the camera menus to format or initialise a memory card.

Oct 25, 2010 | Fuji FinePix 2600 Zoom Digital Camera

1 Answer

what is format

Formatting loads a filing system which prepares any memory device, card, Hard disk drive, disk, flash drive etc for data.

There are many types of filing systems, each one slightly different.

With your camera, you can format both the card and the internal memory. This prepares both to receive pictures and movies.

Sometimes, if there are problems with the card and the filing system becomes corrupt, re-formatting can sort the problem out.

Beware though, formatting removes all the data stored on the device.

Apr 30, 2010 | Sanyo VPC-S880 Digital Camera

2 Answers

My c902 has suddenly stopped recognising the m2 card

This may have something to do with how the m2 card is formated. PC systems such as FAT32 and NTFS do not work with cameras or telephones as the data cards in these devices are formatted to FAT16 or lower. In order to read the card when you placed it in your PC FAT32 would have been used.

If you are prepared to loose the data on the card I suggest you use a PC to re-format it to FAT16, your phone should then recognise it again!

Jul 06, 2009 | SanDisk 1GB Memory Stick M2 Memory Card

1 Answer

I have a new kingston 4 gb memory card and my camera will not use it , it says it needs to be formated ,how do you format the memory card Kodak,easysharecx7300 camera

If your computer has a memory card reader, insert the card into the reader. Or else, you can purchase a card reader quite cheaply. Now in your PC, using windows explorer (Right click 'start' button and select 'explore' from menu), locate the card. It will usually be recognised as a USB mass storage device, and will be assigned the last drive letter. Right click over the drive letter and select 'format' from the menu.

I think you should be able to just plug the camera in to the PC with the card in the camera and the PC would be able to recognise it..

Jun 23, 2009 | Cameras

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