A Corrupt Compact Flash card

1196883687000 » Tagged as: photography

After returning from an overnight stay at the Club Palm Bay in Marawila I was extremely disappointed to find that the Compact Flash Card (Transcend 1GB) on my Nikon D70S was corrupt. I have lost about 25-30 photos because of this.

I had a sniff of trouble while taking some night photos close to the pool. All of a sudden the shutter could not be activated. In plain old terms, no matter how hard you press the button, it would't click. Of course if the subject is not in focus, the D70S will not click (unless you are in Manual Mode (I wasn't)). You can override that by holding down the AE-L button. Even with the AE-L button pressed, the shutter refused to activate itself.

Thinking that the CF card had become unsettled due to movements, I switched off the camera, took out the card and put it back in place. Now I could click. I went on my merry way taking many more photos and thought no more about it till I got home. That's when I found a lot of file names with wierd characters in them.

These filenames were plain old illegal (according to filenaming rules for FAT (the card has a FAT file system). Worse still of the 211 files with valid names, only about 200 could be copied. Then I decided to run fsck on it. In order to avoid further possible data loss, I first created a mirror of the flash card on my hard drive ( dd if=/dev/sdb1 of=flashcard ) then it recovered 220 files but out of those 220 nine could not be read by any image editor. So I am back to 211 images.

On closer inspection I found that the loss is even worse than it appeared at first. Looking at the original files list, all the images from DSC_0563.JPG to DSC_083.JPG are missing. And as usually happens in photography the missing ones are the best ones.

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