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Thread started 11 Jan 2011 (Tuesday) 17:17
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Does formatting CF cards frequently decrease lifespan?

 
CitizenMinistry
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Jan 11, 2011 17:17 |  #1

I was wondering if formatting should be done as little as possible and allow the card to simply fill up before formatting. Or is failure rate independent of formatting frequency?

Any other insight?




  
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LostInInaka
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Jan 11, 2011 17:26 |  #2

Good question, although i would say that if you are doing formatting in camera, it is a quick format of sorts that involves a simple rewrite of the mbr (or whatever) which is contained on a very small part of the disk (think about how when you format an 8GB disk, you don't get the full 8Gb....its because mbr/etc information is also stored on a small part of the drive)

Therefore only a small part is being changed and thus shouldn't have a huge impact on the drive

Now if you are doing a low-level format, that requires lots of writes and thus will impact the lifespan of your drive

I have my camera format my card after ever shoot, also helps keep any fragmentation (rarely a worry on flash memory anyway) down


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rklepper
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Jan 11, 2011 17:58 |  #3

I am pretty sure that you will outgrow a card long before you wear it out.


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ben_r_
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Jan 11, 2011 18:00 |  #4

rklepper wrote in post #11620449 (external link)
I am pretty sure that you will outgrow a card long before you wear it out.

Thats what I was thinking.

And, FWIW I only format my cards in my camera, and I do it after every download to my computer.


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Jan 11, 2011 18:18 as a reply to  @ ben_r_'s post |  #5

Just check your memory card "Minimum insertion/removal cycles".

Sample link: http://alltrands.com …8830-smartphone.htm/56671 (external link)

"Minimum 10000 insertion/removal cycles"...


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yogestee
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Jan 11, 2011 20:08 as a reply to  @ x_tan's post |  #6

Back to the original question,, no..


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r.morales
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Jan 11, 2011 20:25 |  #7

Yes , but you will never reach that point . Think of a demo camera in a store - how many shots has it taken ? Ever see a salesman say this is how easy it is to erase and just reformats the card ?
There is a better chance of corrupting a card by just deleting and not formating it .
Pictures just get to big for cards .
I have 4 mb cards that will never be used again because of size .
I delete the pictures after backing up to 2 drives and always format the card in camera


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kingdaddy
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Jan 11, 2011 20:25 |  #8

CitizenMinistry wrote in post #11620190 (external link)
I was wondering if formatting should be done as little as possible and allow the card to simply fill up before formatting. Or is failure rate independent of formatting frequency?

Any other insight?

No, format a million times, no damage what so ever, a complete myth that it does.


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Jan 11, 2011 20:55 |  #9

Even with removal and re-inserting the CF card 10000 times, you would have to do that every 10 photographs in order to match the shutter life MTBF (100000 actuations) ! CF memory supposedly handles 100000 write cycles (same bit written to 100000 times), IIRC.


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r.morales
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Jan 12, 2011 09:28 |  #10

There is a better chance of you getting dirt in pin scokets or bending pins .


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FeXL
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Jan 12, 2011 12:20 as a reply to  @ r.morales's post |  #11

We have 4 1GB SanDisk Extreme III's that we've used for 6 years. Nearly half a million images shot & downloaded between the 4 cards. Each time a card was downloaded, it was formatted in camera. A conservative estimate would be 500 formats each (more likely 600+).

We had one failure early on (two years old?) where we couldn't get a consistent read from the card, it was replaced under warranty, no issues since.

The cards still see light use & always get formatted in camera.

Recommended.




  
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sebr
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Jan 12, 2011 12:21 |  #12

rklepper wrote in post #11620449 (external link)
I am pretty sure that you will outgrow a card long before you wear it out.

Thats probably true... Unless you get one of those 128 GB card ;)


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CitizenMinistry
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Jan 12, 2011 14:27 as a reply to  @ sebr's post |  #13

thanks for the replies!




  
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hieu1004
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Jan 12, 2011 15:06 |  #14

NO... format all you want.


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solara
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Jan 12, 2011 22:12 |  #15

Wilt wrote in post #11621453 (external link)
Even with removal and re-inserting the CF card 10000 times, you would have to do that every 10 photographs in order to match the shutter life MTBF (100000 actuations) ! CF memory supposedly handles 100000 write cycles (same bit written to 100000 times), IIRC.

MTBF is NOT a measure of it's actual lifespan. It is the statistical "Mean Time Between Failures". Again, just statistics, not a true measure of actual lifespan.

And I'm sure most NAND these days don't even come close to write cycles of 100k!


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Does formatting CF cards frequently decrease lifespan?
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