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Format vs Low Level Format ( 1D mk IIn )

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Thread started 07 Nov 2005 (Monday) 13:40   
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Glenn.B
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Help,
first of all, sorry if this has been done before, i've used search & read manual but am unable to find the answer.

OK, i've taken my pictures and down loaded to the computer, cards are back in camera ready to Format, now:-

CF card, no problem just normal Format. ( i understand this, same as previous camera )

SD card i get option to do either a Format or a Low Level Format. WHY?

i believe i should be doing a Low Level Format but i don't know why.
Whats the differance between the two Formatting options ?

i feel i must be missing something and the answer is simple, Help!

I thank you in anticipation of your replies...............

Glenn

Post #1, Nov 07, 2005 13:40:09


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robertwgross
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Wow. Low level formats!

Back in the old days, when we purchased a new hard disk, we would have to low level format the sucker, and that is just sort of laying down the basic physical tracks. Then, we would high level format it, and that involved the operating system (like DOS), file directories, and all that good stuff. However, with most compact flash memory cards that I am familiar with, you cannot do any low level formatting. About all you can do is high level formatting.

Now, within the high level, you have two choices. You can do the format within the camera, and that is called a quick format. Or, you can do it within the computer, and that can be a quick format or a complete format. As a general rule, when you purchase the card, it already has been formatted. However, it is a good idea to do a complete format there once just to make sure that you are getting the complete capacity that you expect and to make sure that there is no old file debris or a virus hanging around. I would also do the complete format if you have any idea that the card has a performance problem (e.g. corrupted files). However, once the complete format is done, then you put it in the camera and do a quick format, since that writes some Canon files along with the directory structure.

---Bob Gross---

Post #2, Nov 07, 2005 14:57:02




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Glenn.B
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Hi Bob,

Don't know what camera you use but unfortunatly it hasn't really helped me in this instance. i've just re-read my manual (page134) and now i feel that i will just do a full Format on the SD card ( the option to Format or LowLevel Format is only applicable to the SD card ) Why the choice on SD and not on CF card.

thanks for replying anyway,

Glenn

PS, Any 1D mkIIn users out there that can comment?

Post #3, Nov 07, 2005 16:34:04


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CoolToolGuy
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Glenn.B wrote:
PS, Any 1D mkIIn users out there that can comment?

Only to say that I, too, am watching this thread with great interest.

Have Fun,

Post #4, Nov 07, 2005 18:56:13 as a reply to Glenn.B's post 2 hours earlier.


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Glenn.B
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Well what can i say, over a hundred views but only two replies.

either it was a particulary dumb question or no one knows the answer.

Rick, if you've formatted your SD card, which did you use Format or Low Level Format?

1D mkII or 1D mkIIn users let use know...........

I've still got a few pictures to take before i have to make a choice ( think i'll go with Format ) unfortunatly when not working the weather has not been good, not been able to get out. otherwise i'm well pleased with the camera.

Glenn

Post #5, Nov 08, 2005 03:36:26 as a reply to CoolToolGuy's post 8 hours earlier.


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Robert_Lay
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Glenn.B wrote:
Well what can i say, over a hundred views but only two replies.

either it was a particulary dumb question or no one knows the answer.

Rick, if you've formatted your SD card, which did you use Format or Low Level Format?

1D mkII or 1D mkIIn users let use know...........

I've still got a few pictures to take before i have to make a choice ( think i'll go with Format ) unfortunatly when not working the weather has not been good, not been able to get out. otherwise i'm well pleased with the camera.

Glenn

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=111586

Probablly not much help to you, but here's what I think.

Post #6, Nov 08, 2005 08:48:54 as a reply to Glenn.B's post 5 hours earlier.


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primoz
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Maybe I missunderstood your question, but if I didn't... On 1d and 1dmk2 I don't have option for low level format of card. At least not straight from menu. I have just option to format card (any of cards, that is cf or sd) and that's it.
Sorry if you meant something else.

Post #7, Nov 08, 2005 08:59:51 as a reply to Glenn.B's post 5 hours earlier.


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Jon
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It's possible Canon's engineers were thinking that most people wouldn't have SD readers, while they expected them to have CF readers. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but . . . Alternatively, they're getting on to the idea that low level formats are good. A low-level format will, as Bob said, write over everything that was previously on the card, thus assuring you that the card's fully usable. A "FORMAT" just zeroes the file allocation table and establishes a new directory structure. So a periodic low-level format is a good thing, although you don't need to do it every time.

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Glenn.B
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Bob,( lay )
I read your reply to another thread, sort of helped

Primoz,
It would appear that this formatting option is only availible on 1D mkIIn?

Jon,
I like your reply, i make much sense, so it would seem generally best to Format and the throw in a Low Level Format every now and then?

Thanks to all that replied, i think its time to crack on taking pictures ;) ;)

Glenn

Post #9, Nov 08, 2005 11:32:34


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Jim_T
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If you have the english user's manual for the 1D mk IIn, low level formatting is described on page 134..

It's to be used "If the SD writing speed is slower than normal, or if you want to completely erease the data in the SD card"

FWIW, "Normal" formatting only resets the data in the file allocation table.. The image data is not removed from the card and can be recovered with the appropriate software.. Low level formatting erases everything on the card... The images are GONE.

I have no idea why SD cards have low level formatting when the CF cards don't.. Perhaps it's because a SECURE digital card has this special ability as a security feature.... You can wipe the card and nobody can recover your images.

Post #10, Nov 08, 2005 11:58:25




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Pekka
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Low level formatting maps out bad sectors. The camera will honor those mappings (at least D30 did from microdrive).

Post #11, Nov 08, 2005 13:56:54


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Glenn.B
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Jim_t
I had read page 134 in the manual,i just didn't understand why i it's only availble on SD cards. and the reason behind the choice. but i have a much clearer idea now,thanks to this forum.

Thanks again to the people that responded, it's probley time to put this thread to bed now. thanks everyone!!

Glenn

Post #12, Nov 08, 2005 15:16:51 as a reply to Pekka's post 1 hour earlier.


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Joe ­ C.
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CF Cards have a controller in them that handles mapping the bad sectors, etc. and hides this from the device using the card. You can't really do a low level format on them without special software that knows how to talk to the particular controller in that card. (They are not all the same)

Post #13, Nov 08, 2005 17:59:22


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robertwgross
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Joe C. wrote:
CF Cards have a controller in them that handles mapping the bad sectors, etc. and hides this from the device using the card. You can't really do a low level format on them without special software that knows how to talk to the particular controller in that card. (They are not all the same)

Joe, can you summarize what this means with respect to the original poster?

---Bob Gross---

Post #14, Nov 08, 2005 20:21:30 as a reply to Joe C.'s post 2 hours earlier.




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Jim_T
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Glenn.B wrote:
Jim_t
I had read page 134 in the manual,i just didn't understand why i it's only availble on SD cards. and the reason behind the choice. but i have a much clearer idea now,thanks to this forum.

Thanks again to the people that responded, it's probley time to put this thread to bed now. thanks everyone!!

Glenn

Joe C seems to have nailed THE answer.... (Why didn't I see it :) )

The camera can't do low level formats on CF cards because of the way they're constructed...... (with the controller built in to the card)...

SD cards have no controller and the memory locations can all be accessed directly by the camera's firmware.

Post #15, Nov 08, 2005 20:46:07 as a reply to Glenn.B's post 5 hours earlier.




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