Card management question?

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
644
255
Australia
Hi Guys,
I'm aware of good card management to avoid cards corrupting or having errors,
it was suggested on another Photography forum that cards should be formatted once a year on a computer, to do deep format tests and map out any bad sectors,
apparently, memory sectors can go bad over time, just like a "normal" SSD in the computer

Can this be done with an Apple?
As Apple have a different system than Windows

FWIW
Most problems that I have seen over the years that have corrupted cards have been the following,
1. Not safely removing or ejecting the card, (device)
2. Deleting images on the card to save space
3. Not formatting the card in the camera after images have been uploaded
4. using cheap cards

Regards,
Gary
 

themumu

macrumors 6502a
Feb 13, 2011
717
558
Sunnyvale
In my understanding, detection of bad sectors happens on modern storage media on the fly. For that reason I am doubtful that there are any detectable practical advantages to doing "deep formatting" once a year on a computer.

At any rate, "once a year" seems like a very arbitrary length of time. If used regularly, a card's built in error detection and wear levelling mechanism would kick in much sooner than that. But if you insist...

Deep formatting has a slightly different meaning for solid state media (SD cards, SSDs) than for spinning disks. For solid state media the action can also be referred to as "zero-filling". You can do that on a Mac by opening Disk Utility, selecting the card you want, navigating to the Erase tab, clicking on Security Options... and moving the slider one step to the right. It should at that point say that it will zero out data. Make sure to select the correct file system and hit Erase.

For what it's worth, I've had little luck using cards formatted with Disk Utility in my cameras. Usually I just do a quick format in camera before actually shooting. This does not negate the previous zero-out operation.
 

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
644
255
Australia
Thank you,

Much appreciated,
Maybe only required if we have dodgy card
Will certainly have a look at the disk utility
....Gary
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,603
405
Redondo Beach, California
....
Can this be done with an Apple?
As Apple have a different system than Windows

FWIW
Most problems that I have seen over the years that have corrupted cards have been the following,
1. Not safely removing or ejecting the card, (device)
2. Deleting images on the card to save space
3. Not formatting the card in the camera after images have been uploaded
4. using cheap cards

Regards,
Gary
Yes you CAN format an SD card using "Disk Utility". But I'd use the camera. Simply remember that cards use the "FAT" or "PC DOS" file system. This file system was used by very old version of MS Windows and MS-DOS but not by current versions of Windows.

The card itself may do wear leveling. The better cards do this. So sectors get swapped around at any time. Pulling a card out while it is doing this is not good. Need to eject it correctly.

Don't buy cheap no-brand cards.
 
Last edited:

MiniD3

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 9, 2013
644
255
Australia
Tks Chris,

Yes, I'll leave the external card formatting to the experts
Tks for the heads-up
 

mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,400
154
Americas
You should always format in camera because you will be shooting the camera and not the computer. If you use your computer, at some point you will loose your photos or won't be able to transfer them. Your camera doesn't use your computer's Disk Utility.

Cards - Buy the ones recommended by the manufacture. Cards are cheap now so you won't have a problem finding the ones that work best for your DSLR.

Formatting - I format my cards after every other shoot. Remember you might delete 20 or more photos before you connect the camera to your PC. Formatting is good file management.