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View Full Version : HELP! Camera Problem or Smartmedia Problem?



Momto4boyz
02-23-2005, 08:13 AM
I have an almost 2 year old Olympus C4000z which I love but I am having problems with it lately and have no clue if the problem exists with the camera or the smartmedia cards.

When I put my cards in (does not matter which one I have 3) I am getting error message that I need to format the card(s). I have been using these cards for quite awhile and have not had this problem till about a month ago.

Because of this problem I have lost all my photos on one card. Last night in happened, I had photos of my day care kids on this card. No matter what I used (camera, card reader, floppy drive reader, or Picturemate) none of these would read the photos on the card. The camera just kept showing the message that the card needed to be formated. so I gave in and formated the card. It then allowed me to use it and take photos.

This morning I got up and turned on my camera and took some test photos and after taking the photos I wanted to view them, the camera showed the error message again that I needed to format the card. I put the card into the Picturemate to see if that would read the photos and the message came up on there "The insterted card cannot be used with this printer. See your printer manual for help"

Anyone have any idea what is wrong here?

gb_in_ga
02-23-2005, 08:20 AM
Sounds like a camera problem to me. The chance of all 3 cards going bad at the same time is pretty remote.

David Metsky
02-23-2005, 10:32 AM
Are you using XP? There is a problem with XP reformatting Smartmedia cards and making them unusable by the camera.

-dave-

Momto4boyz
02-23-2005, 11:13 AM
Are you using XP? There is a problem with XP reformatting Smartmedia cards and making them unusable by the camera>>>

Do you mean XP on the computer? Yes, I do have XP. Could my new card reader be causing the problem. Cripe, I hate to have to go and invest in new memory cards since the smartmedia are 1) hard to find 2) they are not cheap!!

Do I need to ditch the cards and get new ones? And then not use the card reader?

What about reading them from the camera will XP still mess up the cards?

Digideb
02-23-2005, 11:33 AM
I'm not an expert, by any means, but maybe I can provide some useful input, here. My 1st digicam is an Oly D-380, which uses Smart media cards. It worked fine with my Windows XP (Home Edition) & I only stopped using it this month, when I got my new Oly C-60, which uses different cards.
Because, it sounds like you've had this problem with other pic. viewing devices,etc. it doesn't seem like the cards or XP are at fault. I hate to say it, but common sense tells me it might be your camera acting up. :(

Momto4boyz
02-23-2005, 11:47 AM
Because, it sounds like you've had this problem with other pic. viewing devices,etc. it doesn't seem like the cards or XP are at fault. I hate to say it, but common sense tells me it might be your camera acting up. >>>>

I also recently purchased an Epson Picturemate when all this garbage started happening with the cards.

Do you think this is a problem that could be fixed (camera). Any ideas on how to find it is the camera and not anything else?

This only started happening recently and this is when I added ScanDisk card reader and also bought the Picturemate.

Before I bought these items I always viewed my photos or transferred them to the computer via a Floppy Flash path.

Digideb
02-23-2005, 01:06 PM
Well, as I said, I'm just a newbie, but glad to try & help. Let me ask you this; if you have Windows XP, I assume you have My Pictures, right? I may be missing something, but I'm wondering why you're using card readers,etc.?
Do you have a place to plug your USB cable into your computer? When I want to put my pix in the computer for viewing, printing,etc. I just plug my camera directly into my computer & use My Pictures & the Photo Wizard (that comes up automatically) to download my pix. I used this same method with my other Oly (with the smartmedia cards).
I've never used any other method to work with my pix. Early on in my experience, a thing called "RealPlayer" popped up & offered to be downloaded, so I did. The next time I tried to routinely put some pix in my computer, I couldn't! :eek: My "Photo Wizard" wouldn't come up & I was totally stumped. After almost 2 hrs. of frustration, I "retraced my last steps" & deducted that the RealPlayer was the only new change I'd made. Once I deleted the Real Player everything was fine & back to normal. (Whew!)
I don't know if any of this applies to your situation or if it'll be of help to you, but I hope so. :) Good luck!

Norm in Fujino
02-23-2005, 06:38 PM
Do you mean XP on the computer? Yes, I do have XP. Could my new card reader be causing the problem. . . .Do I need to ditch the cards and get new ones? And then not use the card reader?
What about reading them from the camera will XP still mess up the cards?

Before the problem occurred, did you ever erase or format the cards from the computer? In other words, using a command from the computer (Explorer, etc.) to "erase" the card or format it?
If so, that's probably the problem. There are well known problems with damaging cards (not just smart media, but others as well) in this way. As a general rule (there may be exceptions, but I never do it anyway), never manipulate (erase, format) your cards by using commands from your computer. Always download (copy) the photos from the card, then return the card to your camera and use the camera's native commands to erase/format the card. The other thing you could obviously do is find someone whose camera uses SmartMedia cards and try the cards in their camera (format inside camea, shoot pictures, download to computer).

Good luck.

kgosden
02-24-2005, 12:34 AM
My first thought on this is that you might just need to clean the card slot on the camera. I have had a few Olympus SM based cameras that needed an occassional blast of canned air to blow dust or cat haris out of the card slot. I have also seen a few kits for cleaning the contacts. These use a small cleaning card that is lightly abrasive to clean up the contacts in the slot.

I would also follow the no power for 24 hours camera reset. If your camera has always had batteries in it since day one then it is not much different from a computer that has been on for months. Leaving the batteries out at least overnight will effectively resset the camera to defaults and force a cold reboot. This would eliminate any software problems as likely causes.

Momto4boyz
02-24-2005, 05:35 AM
Before the problem occurred, did you ever erase or format the cards from the computer? In other words, using a command from the computer (Explorer, etc.) to "erase" the card or format it?
If so, that's probably the problem. There are well known problems with damaging cards (not just smart media, but others as well) in this way. As a general rule (there may be exceptions, but I never do it anyway), never manipulate (erase, format) your cards by using commands from your computer. Always download (copy) the photos from the card, then return the card to your camera and use the camera's native commands to erase/format the card. The other thing you could obviously do is find someone whose camera uses SmartMedia cards and try the cards in their camera (format inside camea, shoot pictures, download to computer). >>>>>>>>>>

YES!!!! NOw that you mention it I remember that one time I was using the card reader to "copy" photos and it erased the photos from the card!!!!!!!! I just can't remember which card I did this with (most likely it was my 64MB one because I had not gotten the new 128MB card yet). would this problem have affected the other cards too?

OK I am ditching the card reader. I thought this was a good option to not running down the batteries in my camera, should have just stuck with the floppy flash path (never had a problem with that).

Do you think I should ditch these cards and just go buy one larger card?

Momto4boyz
02-24-2005, 05:37 AM
I would also follow the no power for 24 hours camera reset. If your camera has always had batteries in it since day one then it is not much different from a computer that has been on for months. Leaving the batteries out at least overnight will effectively resset the camera to defaults and force a cold reboot. This would eliminate any software problems as likely causes.>>>>>>>


YES! I will give that a try too. Thank you! If I do this I am wondering if I should just go and buy a brand new memory card too and ditch the others.

Norm in Fujino
02-24-2005, 07:17 AM
OK I am ditching the card reader. I thought this was a good option to not running down the batteries in my camera, should have just stuck with the floppy flash path (never had a problem with that). Do you think I should ditch these cards and just go buy one larger card?

First off, I don't know, but I doubt that the card reader was responsible. If anything, it was the fact that you erased/formatted the card from the computer (can you could do that with either card reader or flashpath). The card may be damaged, but you might try formatting it in another camera. --and yes, buy a new card and try it to be sure the camera isn't at fault. Whatever you do, don't manipulate (erase or format) the card from the computer. After downloading the photos from the camera or card reader, return the card to the camera and use its controls to erase the photos and/or reformat the card.

Good luck--and let us know how it turns out.

gb_in_ga
02-24-2005, 09:50 AM
Personally, I've never had any problems erasing individual files from a SmartMedia card or a xD card when using a card reader -- but then again, I'm not using XP, either -- I'm running Windows 2000 on my laptop. But my wife does use XP -- both Home and Professional, and she hasn't had any problems with card readers, either. Oh, and I never ever format a card except in the camera, and when using a reader I never erase anything on the card except files, never any directories. I am also careful to completely shut down the reader device before physically removing it. I often just use "Mark/Cut/Paste" to move entire directory contents to the laptop hard drive en-masse, I've never had any problems doing so.

BTW -- I have been using a Lexar Media SmartMedia USB card reader, no problems. I've also been using a SanDisk SmartMedia/xD USB card reader, and I've had no problems with it, either.

Todds
03-01-2005, 02:17 PM
Don't format the smartmedia cards in the computer.
It should be OK to delete the pictures with the computer, but you should not format them in the computer it will probably render them useless in your Olympus camera.

Try getting a new card or borrowing one from somebody and see if the problem persists. If it does than it is probably your camera.

Note: I think many smartmedia cards have a lifetime warranty.

spdsl
07-14-2006, 04:33 AM
I tried to load the drivers into my windows xp machine but no success. If all else fails try this website.
http://www.smartmediarepair.com
I gave this company a shot and they delivered as promised. They were able to reformat and add the panorama feature to my card.
Sherri