Why does my camera say "Card Locked" or "Write Protected"?
the same way that the recordings on audio cassettes and VHS tapes
could be protected by breaking off the little tab on the back corner,
the material on a memory card can be protected against being
overwritten. Instead of a tab to break off, write protection is done by
a tiny slider on the edge of the card (opposite the cut corner). Before
the camera will take pictures, it's necessary that this slider on
the card operates a microswitch in the camera, which it will only do if
it's NOT in
the 'lock' position.
The slider actually does nothing inside the card, which is why I don't
call it a 'switch' even though it seems like one. Its only purpose is
to be detected by the microswitch in the camera's slot, and it's the
camera that takes care of the write protection, not the card.
If the camera is giving you this error, it means that the slider has
failed to operate the microswitch, or that the microswitch itself is
The slider is really tiny, so I suspect that the number of people
reporting this error is caused by lack of precision in manufacturing
sizes. It must be hard to make a microswitch that can feel such a small
thing. Obviously the first thing to do is to check that the slider is
NOT in the lock position. After that I would try a different
card (of a different brand) to see if small differences in
thickness are the problem. Does a better brand of card work?
As a remedy of last resort, you could try wrapping a small strip of
sticky tape over the slider to increase its thickness, but I would only
do this if no cards work properly (implying that it's the camera at
fault). If some cards work and some don't, it would be better to simply
limit yourself to the good cards, as there's a risk that the tape will
come off in the slot and cause even more problems.
on Jan 21, 2011