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"Windows was unable to complete the format"

Posted on 2003-11-27
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Last Modified: 2011-04-14
I have new card reader, and I just got a new SD card (about a week ago), now when I try to read the card I see a bunch of directors and files with starnge names (%@HFS&#$DS names like that). What is going on and how do I fix it?  When I try to reformat the card I get the error "Windows was unable to complete the format" or "The format failed to compleat succesfuly".
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Question by:Arrummzen
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24 Comments
 
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shivsa earned 500 total points
ID: 9833728
u have corrupted San Disk card.
call tech support guys from San disk and ask for the swap.
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9833733
u are not only the one having this problem.
check this forum too.
http://forums.projectmayo.com/viewtopic.php?topic=5703&forum=23
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9833740
The reader is SanDisk, but the card is not. Its of some European brand (the support email is *.fr, which leads me to belive that the card is of French make, I think the company is based in the UK however). Getting a swap, may be very hard. Is this the only way to fix it? What do they do to fix the card? Can I do the same thing?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9833754
i think they do not fix the card, they just give u new ones.

let me do more reseacrh if i could find something to fix this one, but i am very less hopeful.
what kind of reader u are using it is treo.
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9833758
I am using a SanDisk ImageMate 8 in 1 card Reader/Writer.

How can a solid-state memory card go bad? Does it have a limited number of read/writes or something?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9833783
could u try to format SD with quick format option.
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9833819
also format it with fat16 option.
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9833846
How do I format with the FAT16 optiion? (I am assuming im using FAT16, my options are: FAT, NTFS, or FAT32). Quick format did nothing for me. Well it gave me the same error message quicker.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9833963
use simple FAT.

also
use the “delete” or “erase” function of the storage device.
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9833968
What do you mean by

"use the “delete” or “erase” function of the storage device."

?

How do I use that?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9833980
i am not familier with Imagemate, but some card reader comes with these buttons.
did u install driver for this card or some application. if yes try to invoke that application and see of delete or erase funtions are there.
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9834075
also this is document for MMC reader.
please check out the things for format and all.

also did u install the reader software first and then put your reader into the computer. if not then it is not perfect installation.

so uninstall reader s/w.
remove reader from usb.
reboot.
install the reader s/w - > reboot.
then put your reader into the usb slot and then try to format and all.
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9834164
The software doesnt have any interface, its just a driver
http://www.sandisk.com/tech/sddr88.asp

I

"so uninstall reader s/w.
remove reader from usb.
reboot.
install the reader s/w - > reboot.
then put your reader into the usb slot and then try to format and all."

I went to computer management, and then so storage "Disk Management" and I saw Disk4 (thats the drive with the SD card). Windows 2000 had the disk labeled as I:, 241 mb Healthy. So I right clicked on it and it and hit format and named it sd1, set file system type to FAT, I wasnt sure what to put for Allocation unit size, so I put 1024. I clicked ok, and waited. After the format reached 100% I got the error "Cluster size is too small", so I assumed that allocation unit size == cluster size and tried agine with an alloc size of 2048, and got the error message "The format failed to compleat succesfuly". Im not sure, what this means, I wish Windows was more specific.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9834242
could u try any of 3 utility to erase the data. list on this link.
http://www.sandisk.com/tech/faq/65.html
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9834275
i suppose u have 256MB card to cluster size for FAT fs will be 4096.
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9834316
4096. gave me "The format failed to compleat succesfuly".

Do you have any idea on were I got those utilitys? They appear to be for other models, I couldnt find a download and they didnt come on the CD with my drivers.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9834346
in the imagemate faq it is listed.
i would say reinstall this whole things again.
also read this faq it has some more useful information about usb and all.
check all those.
also check that iu have all the up to date patches for windows.

http://www.sandisk.com/tech/im_faq.asp
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9834352
At the top of the page it has
" What is the ImageMate and what type of flash memory is it compatible with?
ImageMate is an external flash card reader. It is available in either a Parallel Port or USB configuration and is available in versions for CompactFlash™, MultiMediaCard and SmartMedia™. The model numbers are as follows:

SDDR-01 ImageMate CompactFlash Parallel
SDDR-05a: USB CompactFlash with eject button
SDDR-05b: USB CompactFlash (and type II) without eject button
SDDR-09 ImageMate SmartMedia USB
SDDR-11 ImageMate MultiMediaCard Parallel
SDDR-12 ImageMate MultiMediaCard USB
SDDR-19 ImageMate SmartMedia Parallel
SDDR-31 ImageMate CompactFlash USB "

I have SDDR-88.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9834368
this is driver page for this.
http://www.sandisk.com/tech/sddr88.asp

check to see if it different from u.

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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9834372
I downloaded that driver. The .zip file does not contain any of the utilitys talked about in that FAQ.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9834397
also it may sound silly but some card has some static built in, so u can try take out the card and rub it aginst some antistatic wipe or a spray, or just clean it with any thing(i am talking about the interfce part where it goes into the reader.).

also if u have digital camera, try to read card from there, and if u can format from your camera, try it from there too. and then check here on windows.
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Expert Comment

by:shivsa
ID: 9834561
http://panasonic.jp/support/audio/sd/download/ftp/sdfv1114b.exe

this is panasonic ds formatter, download and try this one.
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9834838
Will it work with my reader? Anyway, before I read your post, I got it to foramt using fdisk on a Linux desktop, heres what I did -
fdisk /dev/mmcda1
I created a partition
I used fdisk to look at the disk, and there was no partion, mkfs.msdos beacause /mnt/mmcda1 reported a size of 0.
Nothing changed (it didnt appear is if fdisk did anything), so I reset the system
When It came back up, agine used fdisk to look at my partition table and NOW I have a ext2 partion on my system. So I did mkfs.ext2 /dev/mmcda1, it worked. Then I mounted the card and cd /mnt/card. I saw that I had files. Now here are some irregularitys -
A: The old files, the partly corrupted file system is now visible. Im back were I started. Wouldnt all this foramting errase the file system?
B: The file system mounted as read only. Whats up with this? How do I mount as rw?
C: I can't mount /dev/mmcda1, only /dev/mmcda. Should I mount the partiton, not the whole disk?

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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Author Comment

by:Arrummzen
ID: 9863538
After a lot of work, and with your help, I have determined that the card is unrecoverable and needs to be replaced.

Thank you for your time,
Arrummzen
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