Do I need to format my compact flash card after deleting images?..

Comments (9)

There is not a technical need to format card after deletion with CF cards. One reason for format se KOdak faq below is if you get a corrupt pic file. Corruption can happen "sometimes" if you delete pic(s) in middle of a shoot and keep on shooting. The format procedure varies with camera model and should be in your manual. Some cards also come unformatted.

Comment #1

Formatting the card is always a good idea, instead of file deletion, and is quicker too.

If you delete pictures instead of a format, you increases the "file corruption" possibilities, because the CF becomes more and more fragmented.

With formatting, you will always have a "fresh start", so no fragmentation, and subsequently you have a lower risk to picture corruption. Guillermo..

Comment #2

Why would the card be fragmented? He's deleting all the pics after downloading, not shooting then deleting some, then shooting then deleting some more, etc...

Comment #3

I delete some after taking the photo if I view it and then don't like it, but mostly just delete the whole lot in one go after downloading. I'm getting mixed advice here lads - am I reading this right? I should only need to format the card if I've been deleting odd ones here and there?..

Comment #4

Liz: GF is right in that format is a good idea. Like a pc drive, remnants of old files cause fragmenting since format actually cleans the drive of the left over bits. I work in a media group where what you do what as opposed to what you need to do sometimes vary. This is because CF cards are so reliable with incredible error correction routines built into the chip. Our problems have been with techs who have disabled cards by formatting them incorrectly. We shoot in file format where the file size is always the same so the effects of fragmenting are less.

You are right in your last point. If you are deleting and then adding the fragmenting will build up more quickly. A regular format routine properly done is the is better way to go...

Comment #5

I have a Fuji MX1200, How do I format the FC?.

I used the chip on a MP3 player and it reformatted it.

Now I want to use it on the camera again...

Comment #6

The ONLY way you end up with fragmentation is if there is at least one file remaining on the card. Otherwise, the FAT entries for each file get re-initialized as part of the deletion process. Even after formatting, the data area remains unaffected unless one uses a low-level format. Each camera model may use a different approach. Regardless, data remaining in the data area (sectors) have no meaning whatsoever as long as the corresponding FAT entry for a sector is initialized (0), indicating that the sector is free. Otherwise, during a write process, the entry points to the next (available) sector in the file...

How much of the last sector is used is determined by the size of a sector and the total file size. Normally, contiguous sectors are used to store a file's data. Existing data may preclude that. In that case, existing data is skipped and the file's next portion is then stored on the next available sector. You now have a fragmented file.

Any damaged pointer (FAT) is liable to get hit by whatever gremlin causes data to get corrupted, or any byte of any sector. And today's disks have at least 2 copies of the FAT area. If there is a problem with the first one, the OS uses the second. The ONLY problem with fragmented files is that the drive heads have to move from sector to sector, wherever they might reside on the disk, as opposed to flowing nicely from one sector to the one immediately next to it. It takes longer if the heads have to move back and forth.

There is "possibly" a SLIGHT risk of positioning errors. And all of this is a non-issue on a memory disk. There are no heads to move, just pointers whose values get changed at the speed of light. Next to the LCD, writing data to a memory stick is probably the most power-hungry activity. So if by chance your camera writes to, or initializes the entire disk during formatting, you're doing nothing else than wasting your batteries.


Comment #7

The Short Answer is no.

Mike's info is also incomplete but initself correct. find it is much simpler to use the format command if I forget to clear the card after I copy the files into the computer than to manually delete 90 images one at a time!!!..

Comment #8

Sorry. I assumed that all digital cameras had an "ERASE ALL" command. Mike..

Comment #9

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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