CF card reader problem

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phrasikleia, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #1
    I have a three-month-old USB 2 CF card reader that lights up its LED whenever I insert a CF card, but then I get an error message that the "disk" is unreadable. I've tried two different CF cards from two different cameras. I can transfer photos off of either card via a direct camera connection, but not via the card reader. Everything worked fine yesterday.

    Is it safe to assume that my new CF card reader has suddenly croaked? Is there anything I should try to get it to work?
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #2
    It's the "Everything worked fine yesterday" part that caught my attention. I assume that you have formatted the card in the camera, but still get the error. If the card mounts, see if you can reformat it in the computer and then again in the camera. Maybe Disk Utility will do this. There could be some corrupted file somewhere. Run Disk Utilities and have it rebuild your Permissions. Did you install any new software when you got your 5D? Do you have an SD card with photos from you XSi? That might help to isolate the problem. Try a full shut down and restart first.

    I will be out for the day.

    Dale
     
  3. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #3
    Haven't tried a shut down. That's not a bad idea.

    As for formatting, yes I formatted both cards, each in a different camera. I also tried formatting one of them with the computer, but that returned an error message.

    No, I didn't install any new software for the 5D, and I was able to use this card reader to transfer files shot with it yesterday. However, the last transfer was painfully slow, leaving me scratching my head as to why (since the 5D Mark II files aren't that much larger than the ones from the 7D). Now I'm suspecting it was because the reader was dying.

    As for the XSi, it and its SD cards are currently 6,000 miles away from me.

    I'll shut down the computer and try again, as you suggested. That's a good idea.

    UPDATE: Restarting didn't help. I think the reader is a goner. :(
     
  4. JohnMC macrumors 6502

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    #4
    If you can read the cards in the camera, but not in the reader, it is very possible that the reader is dead. You could however transfer the files off using the camera and then repair permissions on the card using disk utility, then try mounting the cards again in the reader. If that fails, the reader in dead.
     
  5. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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  6. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #6
  7. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #7
    What's the brand?

    My card reader survived nine hours in the rain while sitting in my backpack last month, which was soaked by the end of my day (which was spent running around Disneyland). I had to take my leatherman and scrape out stuff from it, but it survived and still works fine.
     
  8. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

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    #8
    Are all the pins in the CF slot ok? Nothing bent?
     
  9. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #9
    Dale, thanks for the links. That's exactly what I started shopping for last night: a FW reader. I'm leaning towards the SanDisk one, but if anyone has any recommendations/cautions, I'm all ears (or eyes, so to speak ;)).

    luminosity, it's some piece of junk I got on Amazon for about 10 bucks. It doesn't even have a brand name printed on it.

    gnd, nope, no bent pins.
     
  10. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #10
    Asking the question that has yet to be asked: Did you try a different USB cord?

    I have the SanDisk FW800 CF card reader. It's a terminating FW device which means it has to be at the end of a FW daisy chain if you have more than one FW device. (That has zero effect on performance, BTW). It's extremely portable and the CF cards stick out enough that it doesn't need an eject button.

    I looked long and hard at the Lexar FW CF card reader, but the eject button seemed too fragile in my mind, and the card goes in far enough that it might take a pair of pliers to pull one out if the plastic eject button ever broke. Probably just me being paranoid; a side effect of what I do for a living. Also, although it appears you can daisy chain into a series of FireWire devices, the only thing that actually works is another Lexar card reader and they all have to be at the end -- strange... Ironically, all my CF cards are Lexar 300x UDMA. :shrug:

    I have not seen that Hoodman device, but I'm tempted to pick up one of these off-brand USB-based CF card readers as a backup for traveling or for emergencies. The amazon reviews aren't terribly positive.
     
  11. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #11
    Well, I tried detaching the extension cord and plugging it in directly. It doesn't have a cord of its own. It's one of those that looks like a USB key.

    Many thanks for the info! That's exactly the one I had in mind, and you answered the one question I had about it. So I could plug it into my external FW hard drive and all would work. Great.

    Daisy chain has to be all Lexar card readers??!! LOL. Serious deal-breaker.

    That's the one I have that just died! Stay away!
     
  12. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #12
    Yes. Mac FW port -> External FW drive -> CF card reader.

    This works: Mac FW port -> External FW drive -> CF card reader -> CF card reader.
    This doesn't work: Mac FW port -> CF card reader -> Other FW device.

    It has two FW800 ports but the CF reader(s) still have to be at the end of the daisy chain. Weird, not at all how I expect a FW device to work.

    Either way, the downside is that putting a FW400 drive between your Mac and the CF card reader will slow the card reader to FW400 speeds. (I used that as an excuse for a new, faster external FW800 hard drive!)

    Thanks for the heads up!
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #13
    That's still going to beat USB2 for speed, so long as all the cards are fast enough.
     
  14. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #14
    My external FW drive is already FW800, so no worries there. :)
     
  15. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #15
    Absolutely.

    Though I'm not sure how fast the card reader is in relationship to the rest of the FW chain, even with 300x CF cards and FW800. Some day I should probably just measure the throughput, but I have bigger fish to fry today.
     
  16. sonor macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I use the SanDisk FW800 reader and I'd certainly recommend it.
     
  17. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #17
    The benchmarks I've seen have USB2 at ~2/3rds of max throughput, FW400 easily bests that.
     
  18. wheelhot macrumors 68020

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    #18
    hmm, anyone can confirm on me with this. I read somewhere on the net that between Lexar FW CF Reader and SanDisk FW CF Reader, if you are using Sandisk Extreme series, the FW reader is the fastest, but if you use other cards (non Extreme series) the SanDisk FW CF Reader performs just like other card reader and this is where Lexar FW CF Reader performs better.

    Long story short:
    Extreme Series CFs use SanDisk FW CF Reader
    non-Extreme Series CFs (other brands CFs) use Lexar FW CF Reader
     
  19. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Hmm. Dunno, but mine are all SanDisk Extreme cards, so I guess I'll be fine. :)
     

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