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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2

    Exclamation SD Cards: WARNING

    Recently I lost over 130 irreplaceable photographs as the result of an SD card error. Since then I have learned that there is a widespread problem (going back at least 2 years) concerning the circulation of defective SD cards, a problem which seems to have been given astonishingly little publicity in forums such as this.

    It appears that the faulty SD cards are manufactured (predominantly, though not exclusively) by Sandisk, in China and Taiwan (though there may well be additional manufacturing bases producing faulty cards).

    The photos that I lost were taken on a 2 month old Pentax *istDS camera in which I was using the relevant card (a Sandisk 512Mb SD) for the very first time. Basically, everything on this SD card was destroyed either a) by taking the card out of the camera and then reinserting it, or b) by inserting the card into a card reader for the purposes of burning a CD.

    The corrupted card was manufactured in China and has serial number AX0406RH. I have another 512MB Sandisk SD card which has also been exhibiting errors, again manufactured in China and with serial number AX0411WV.

    So I am left with at least two (not inexpensive) 512Mb SD Cards neither of which I can be confident of using successfully. So far as I understand, my *istDS takes only SD cards, so in order to take more photos I am forced to take another ticket in the great SD card lottery/scam.

    Had I known about this SD card problem I would never have purchased the *istDS (or indeed any other digital camera relying on SD card technology) and as it is I will shortly be contacting Pentax to discuss the return of my camera.

    If any other visitors to this site have information concerning the issue of inherent SD Card defects, I should be most grateful if they would kindly post it.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    4,173
    While I'm sure your experience has been very frustrating, I haven't heard of any widespread problems with SD or any other type of memory cards. There are occasional bad cards, but nothing systemic. I would say that this isn't an SD card problem, it's a problem with your specific SD cards.

    Don't give up yet. There is software to help recover corrupt cards and services that will do it for you.

    I'm not sure where you read about a "widespread problem" with SD cards, but I've seen no evidence of it. I'm inclined not to put blame there just yet.

    -dave-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,225
    Quote Originally Posted by David Metsky
    While I'm sure your experience has been very frustrating, I haven't heard of any widespread problems with SD or any other type of memory cards. There are occasional bad cards, but nothing systemic. I would say that this isn't an SD card problem, it's a problem with your specific SD cards.

    Don't give up yet. There is software to help recover corrupt cards and services that will do it for you.

    I'm not sure where you read about a "widespread problem" with SD cards, but I've seen no evidence of it. I'm inclined not to put blame there just yet.

    -dave-
    A quick search of the web returned several sites on this problem. One full site is devoted to problems with SD cards, with those manufactured in Taiwan and China as the primary source of bad cards. Japanese card seem OK. Another site is more specific about problem cards from SanDisk > 256MB.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    I'm only just beginning to get problems with a Lead Data 64mb CF card that I've been using since mid 2002. I've run the card through Norton and found no problems yet it keeps giving me corrupted images. It's quite strange as it's not a card I normally use. I'm wondering whether its passes through x-rays might have caused some degradation as well. It has been through x-rays on 9 occasions - mostly in hand luggage.

    Interestingly, not every image is corrupted so I'd guess that there's the equivalent of a group of bad sectors on the card.

    Does anybody know of any analysis software I can use to examine the card?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,225
    I always use the camera to format my CF cards. Microsoft leaves other junk behind that is not used by the camera. I used to format on the computer, but I had a SanDisk card lose some photos. I was able to recover most of them, but since I started using the camera to format, the cards have performed flawlessly.

    Cheers,
    Eric

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Formerly South Wales. Now South Carolina.
    Posts
    7,147
    Quote Originally Posted by erichlund
    I always use the camera to format my CF cards. Microsoft leaves other junk behind that is not used by the camera. I used to format on the computer, but I had a SanDisk card lose some photos. I was able to recover most of them, but since I started using the camera to format, the cards have performed flawlessly.

    Cheers,
    Eric
    Oddly enough, this card has been camera-formatted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    884
    I no longer use SD cards manufactured by Sandisk, starting about two years ago (so youur timing seems right) I had two simply die on me and replaced under warranty... Fine that they replace them but twice in 6 months loosing all my data was a joke... They weren't all that surprised when I returned them either, I no longer buy Sandisk and have had no problems since...

    These cards BTW died within about 2 months of buying them...
    ------
    Joel - Canon 50d, EF16-35/2.8 Mk1, Σ 50/1.4, EF100/2.8 Macro, EF70-200/4 IS, 430EX II
    http://www.eisner.id.au

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    2,175
    You might want to give Lexar's pro series a shot. SanDisk's been having some QC issues lately with both its SD and CF cards. Unfortunately, you'll be paying about 20% more for the Lexar version, but that's pennies when you consider the consequences of losing the irreplaceable.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    884
    Exactly, 20% for security is nothing

    I have actually switched to Kingston Elite Pro, and so far no problems (touch wood) and great transfer speeds...
    ------
    Joel - Canon 50d, EF16-35/2.8 Mk1, Σ 50/1.4, EF100/2.8 Macro, EF70-200/4 IS, 430EX II
    http://www.eisner.id.au

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2
    Thanks very much for your replies. Great to know that there is software available to recover data from corrupted cards, as well as from cards which have just been accidentally erased (I was wondering if this was the case).
    If anyone has the name of such a software package I'd be grateful if they could pass it on (I'm travelling in India and will need to check out local availability).

    Yes, I'll certainly be keeping well away from SanDisk SDs. Thank you for the suggestions re: alternatives.

    Kind regards.

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