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Thread: Flash Card Question

  1. #1
    shreds's Avatar
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    Flash Card Question

    Having recently had a flash card damage a card reader, by bending the pins in the reader, due to incorrect insertion, (not my doing), the card no longer reads in my main D3 camera slot 1, but works perfectly in slot 2 and in other cameras. Been fully reformatted in computer and cameras, separately.

    Card is a genuine Sandisk 16Gb Extreme Pro 90Mb/s UDMA 6 card. Hence I am reluctant to ditch it, but feel I cannot trust it any longer. Can relegate it to slot 2 backup/overflow though.

    The question is, why is it that only this slot 1 will not accept it? All other cards work perfectly in slot 1 so it has to be the card. How come the camera slot 1 knows that this is the card that was involved, but other cameras dont!

    NB the camera slot and pins are not damaged and were not involved in the card reader becoming damaged. All images have been recovered.

    Any electronics wizards out there care to comment?

  2. #2
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Hi Ian, look carefully at the card's contacts. Using a magnifying glass, are there any scratches, dents or discolouration? The pins in the sockets don't all hit the card at exactly the same place with the same force and voltage so a marginal card may work in one socket but not another. You can try cleaning the contacts with a Pink Pearl eraser but if the card remains marginal in any socket, you have to decide which pictures to take with it that you might not be able to recover.

    Update: You did say CF card. I doubt you will be able to clean the contacts then. That can work on an SD card but not likely on a CF card.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 29th January 2012 at 02:20 PM.

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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Hi Frank,

    Yep it is a flash card so the contacts are concealed.

    Its not a case of not being able to recover pictures as I have proven that these can be 'recovered' / transfered in the normal manner, I have just never come across a case of slot 1 and slot 2 giving different results. Yet the slots are not damaged or were involved in any of the problem, just the card in an external reader. Just seems that slot 1 is more sensitive?

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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    Hi Frank,

    Yep it is a flash card so the contacts are concealed.

    Its not a case of not being able to recover pictures as I have proven that these can be 'recovered' / transfered in the normal manner, I have just never come across a case of slot 1 and slot 2 giving different results. Yet the slots are not damaged or were involved in any of the problem, just the card in an external reader. Just seems that slot 1 is more sensitive?
    Ian, if you are certain that only this card doesn't work on slot 1 and since this is a Sandisk "Extreme" card, I would contact Sandisk and get it replaced. I would not trust this card again.

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    Hi Frank,

    Yep it is a flash card so the contacts are concealed.

    Its not a case of not being able to recover pictures as I have proven that these can be 'recovered' / transfered in the normal manner, I have just never come across a case of slot 1 and slot 2 giving different results. Yet the slots are not damaged or were involved in any of the problem, just the card in an external reader. Just seems that slot 1 is more sensitive?
    All devices, such as the card slots in your camera, work within a range of acceptable limits. If you have a marginal card it may be outside of those limits for one slot but not the other. For example, let's say that the acceptable limits (voltage, contact pressure, current, temperature, etc.) is an arbitrary 10-14. Card slot 1 works from 8-17 and card slot 2 works from 6-15. Both are within the acceptable 10-14 range. This means that all cards that function between 10-14 will work within the acceptable limits. Now let's say that a marginal card is a 7. It will fail in slot 1 (minimum of 8) but work in slot 2 (minimum of 6). We usually think in terms of digital devices as having "work or fail" absolutes but in reality, everything has operational tolerances. Does this help?

    As Chris suggests, get the card replaced as it isn't worth it to trust the card.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 1st February 2012 at 11:26 AM.

  6. #6
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Dont worry, I have a couple of Extreme 32GB cards and another 16Gb plus a boxful of smaller capacity ones, so I won't be using it. I just was trying to get to the bottom of the differences between the two slots in the same camera.

    The upcoming D4 only has one CF card slot anyway, with some new fangled card in the other slot, which is also a pain. Having two identical slots has been a boon, but life (and Nikon) moves on.

  7. #7
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    The upcoming D4 only has one CF card slot anyway, with some new fangled card in the other slot, which is also a pain. Having two identical slots has been a boon, but life (and Nikon) moves on.
    You're right that outwardly the use of the new XQD card is a pain and will mean all that investment all over again. But in a few years all the top quality cameras will be using them and CF cards will be relegated to 'back-up'. Such is the price of progress. In 10 years time we'll be chucking out our 'old' XQD cards to make way for the new XXX card, or whatever.

  8. #8
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    I entirely agree Chris.

    I have just enjoyed the dual functionality of two CF card slots on both my D3 and D3X, together with the swap ability of other items such as batteries and peripherals.

    So when the D5 comes out with dual XQD slots, I will once again be happy, but the bank balance will take a slight hit!

    I am a little surprised at the slow take up of XQD with other manufacturers and models. Still that is good for my CF cards to earn their keep for the moment.

  9. #9
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Quote Originally Posted by shreds View Post
    The question is, why is it that only this slot 1 will not accept it? All other cards work perfectly in slot 1 so it has to be the card. How come the camera slot 1 knows that this is the card that was involved, but other cameras dont! Any electronics wizards out there care to comment?
    I am not an electronic wizard, but I will comment on the logic of the conclusion: NO it is not conclusive that it is the card which is "the problem".

    We can conclude from the experiment, that there exists a problem when THAT card is placed in THAT slot: so therefore there COULD be slight damage/misalignment etc of the pins (camera) AND / OR the holes (card).

    ("AND / OR" is the important bit.)

    Therefore (the main point I want to make is), the camera's pins MIGHT have been damaged by the action of inserting THAT card into it. And it is just that the damaged pins have not shown as a problem with the other cards that you have inserted.

    Slim chance I expect that the camera is damaged - but worthwhile mentioning and being alert to.


    WW

  10. #10
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    Bill,

    This is actually a reinvigorated old thread from over two years ago.

    I can now tell you and the others who might be interested, that it is the card that is at fault. Why? Under a microscope there is a hairline fracture in the plastic. The camera pins are confirmed as not damaged (and it was not in the camera that the damage occurred to the card anyway) Why this doesn't affect slot 2 operation I don't know.

    Since the original post, I now also have a D3X and the issue is identical.

    I have tried the card in a number of other Nikons belonging to friends and colleagues…..D800E/D200/D8800 and in single slot cameras, it will not perform at all.

    My thanks to all of those of you who have taken the trouble to read and come up with solutions to the problem. I actually am a lot more comfortable with it as a pure slot 2 card now as it actually has not let me down during the last two years and has seen a lot of images pass through!

  11. #11
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: Flash Card Question

    ha!
    I didn't read the date on the OP, just picked up the thread from your recent response as it appeared in the latest threads.

    Glad you got it sorted.

    WW

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