Digital Camera Media: Q & P

About 8 months ago I bought a digital camera that uses those tiny little wafers to store pictures on (SmartMedia). When choosing a camera I looked briefly at the options: skinny wafer, slightly thicker wafer, stick, etc. Six of one half dozen of the other I thought. I chose the camera for different reasons.

The Problem

Now my 64MB Verbatim SmartMedia memory card is error ridden, causing me to lose some nice Xmas pics. Erased the card and gently cleaned the surface but it still won’t take pics properly.

My Questions are:

  1. Any hope for reformatting or salvaging the card?

  2. Is it likely that the card just got over-used (filled it maybe 15 times)? Do they have a life expectancy?

  3. Next time should I choose a camera with a more reliable storage system or is this just a freak occurrance?

for some reason this thread appeared twice. please ignore/delete this one

Did you store the camera near a large powerful magnet like a stereo speaker per chance? Guess what happens?

Anyway, you can often use it as a HD in Windows XP & transfer files to it & test it that way instead of using the camera card functions.

1: Sure just try and re-format it via Windows Explorer as if it was a floppy. (select drive - right mouse click - format) If it won’t take the card is likely shot.

2: Not likely. Maximum Write-Rewrite cycles for digital media are typically in the tens of thousands.

3: I have had this same thing happen with Compaq Flash cards and SM cards and both had to be returned to the manuf for replacement, so I doubt one form of digital media is inherently more stable than the other. Most cards have a fairly long warranty up to lifetime in some cases so I would guess your card is probably still under manuf’s warranty and could be replaced for a shipping cost. Having said this, however, digital media cards are pretty cheap now it might be simpler to just get a newer card. Some cameras using SM cards have built in BIOS limitations on how big a card they can handle, so check your manual for max memory card size before buying a new one.

Umm…handy, digital data storage cards are not a magnetically based storage media. Even strong magnets will have little or not effect on them. They’re essentially solid state IC chips. (see below)

Airport x-rays effect on SmartMedia cards

astro, that’s news. So is there any machine he could have put it by that would effect it?

If the gold part was scratched that could damage the card, but I have smart media cards that have some visible scratches, not deep mind you, that work perfectly fine.

Other than hardware component failure a sufficiently powerful static shock or voltage surge would probably give the chip a bellyache.

Airport x-rays and compact flash cards

Thanks for the advice folks. I reformatted the disc and it seems to be okay for now though I lost my Xmas pics. Also called the place I bought it and they said they’d replace it.

I guess at this point I’d like to know why it happened (rhetorical question).