Agfa Ephoto 1280 camera cannot format Smartmedia card

Posted on 2006-07-23
Last Modified: 2010-04-27

I have purchased an old Agfa Ephoto 1280 digital camera, because it fits perfect in my idea for Infra-Red photography. This camera is mentioned on an infra-red photography website, and I could get it cheap.

Now I have the following problem. The camera cannot format the smartmedia-card. It is the standard 4 mbyte 3.3 Volts card delivered with the camera.
I can read the card on one of my laptop's, I can format it, (Fat12) use photo-recovery-software on it, but I cannot get it to format in the camera.
When I wipe the card,  and put it in the camera, it starts to format but stops within a second.

The vendor is on vacation, so I will have to wait to ask him about this till half of august.
I'm wondering about the following things.

Is it the card that is faulty?
Is it the camara's writing mechanism that is faulty?
Can I prepare the card on my laptop so it will function directly?

I can connect to the camera with the supplied serial-cable.

All tips are welcome, the sooner the better.
Question by:maduropa
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 17168257
I think it could be some setting on the camera thats not allowing you to format it.
Check all the settings and set the camera back to default if you can.

Author Comment

ID: 17168629
I've just taken out the batteries,  maybe that will drain it from its settings. I cannot find anything like a reset-button or similar.
I guess it will either take a couple of hours, or the settings will never be wiped by powerloss.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 17169432
Not even a software reset?

Author Comment

ID: 17169461
no,  the camera keeps starting with trying to format the card, and if I remove the card, it only gives the message to insert card.

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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

f-king earned 500 total points
ID: 17174332
The only way to know for sure if it´s a card problem is to buy a new one,rather get a cheap one for this test.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 17174412
I have read on the Internet that some smart media cards have to be formated in the camera and not by PC.
I think that the previous owner probably did a bad format along the way on his PC(probably used fat32 or other),and now has made the card unformattable by the camera getting a new card should fix this problem.

Good Luck

Author Comment

ID: 17208092
getting new cards wasn't after all not too hard. Í've purchased two old 8MB cards, and they were directly accepted by the device.

But the old card is still not usable.

the problem is with that particular card, formatting seems similar, I'm gonna dig into it a little deeper.
Still hope I can find the cause
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 17214083
So it looks like the old card has a problem

Author Comment

ID: 17214674

the old card is indeed the problem,

I've been able to find out the following up to now.

The old card can only be read by my armada-laptop, but not by my NC6201 laptop or the camera.
The new cards can be read by both laptops and the camera.
Both 'new' cards had no previous formatting especially for the agfa-cam, but it created the map agfadata without a problem. When I did a card-check it mentions several error-sectors, but I didn't dare to format it. The camera sees no problems.
Formatting seems to be simple Fat12, the same type of format I'm giving to it.

well, too bad the 4 MB card isn't working well, but luckily I now have two cards of 8 MB that both work perfectly.
I'm still curious why the 4 MB card won't cooperate, but I think it is allready halfway in data-heaven. The camera is from '97 or '98 I guess, so will the card be. I think it reached its end of life.

f-king, thanks for your support

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