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Formatting my 4GB SD Card that is currently RAW

Posted on 2012-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a camera with a 4GB SD card.

My Windows 7 64Bit computer can not read the card in it's current state. In disk manager it offers me only the options to format it.

My Windows XP 32Bit Laptop reads it no problem!

Why is this?

What should I format it to?
NTFS
FAT
FAT32
exFAT
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Question by:Sam654
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15 Comments
 
LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 37731874
>>  Why is this?

Quite possibly the card is incompatible with the reader with the Windows 7 64 bit computer.

If it is being read by the XP system and you can write/read data on it there with no problems then that system is OK.

Now some readers have problems with large capacity SD cards.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital#Storage_capacity_and_incompatibilities for examples.  You may well have a reader with this problem.
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Shani Basha
ID: 37731999
Back up the data and try formatting with NTFS in the windows 7 computer and see the status
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Sam654
ID: 37732094
Why NTFS over the others?
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 37732109
Check how your camera uses the SD card IF you are going to format it.

Most likely it is FAT32.

Use Windows Explorer to look at the card.  Right click on Properties and see what it says the file format is.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Sam654
ID: 37732508
In Disk Manager it says the it's of type RAW.
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LVL 92

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 600 total points
ID: 37732595
look at what the CAMERA model needs - read the manual, or post the model here for more info
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:shahzoor
ID: 37732956
check on camera website
it will be clearly mentioned what format is compatible
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37733176
shahzoor - why repeat what was posted?  not very friendly - and it does not add to the answers
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 37733211
>>  In Disk Manager it says the it's of type RAW.

That is on your Windows 7 box.  And using Disk Manager.  Disk Manager will report RAW if it doesn't know what it is or understand what it is.

Use your XP box and Windows Explorer.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Sam654
ID: 37733501
Nobus - The Camera is a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10.

dbrunton - Yes you're right, in Windows 7 it says RAW. Just checked in Windows XP it says FAT32. I'm a bit more confused now as to why the Windows 7 computer can't read it if it's FAT32 already.

I really need it to work in both computers. I would have been tempted to format it using FAT32 on the XP PC as I would have thought the W7 PC would be backwards compatible.

File format and SD Card info here not too helpful.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2010/1/26/panazs7

This quote from Photography Blog is confusing
"Sadly there's no support for the RAW file format, which would really have been the icing on the cake for serious photographers looking for a backup-pocket camera to their DSLR."
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LVL 49

Accepted Solution

by:
dbrunton earned 1400 total points
ID: 37733528
I've posted above earlier a link that says that high capacity SD cards may not be compatible with some readers.  This may be the case with your Windows 7 machine.  It has a reader that can't handle your 4 Gb card.

An easy way to test is to buy a small capacity SD card of 1 Gb size and try that out in both machines.  Format it in the Windows XP machine.  If that is readable in both machines then you know your reader in the Windows 7 machine can't handle large cards.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Sam654
ID: 37733557
I formatted a spare 2GB SD Card in the XP PC using FAT32. It worked in both computers.
I then formatted a spare 16GB SD Card in the XP PC using FAT32. It worked in both computers.
They also both read the correct SD Card size 1.xGB formatted and 14.8GB formatted.

These two spare SD Cards are Class 2.
The problem 4GB SD Card is Class 10. Could this be a problem?
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LVL 7

Author Closing Comment

by:Sam654
ID: 37733570
Didn't make sense in the end, so I just formatted the card as FAT32 using the XP PC and for some strange reason it works in everything now! Maybe just a soft fault on the card that was fixed by formatting.
Thanks for your help.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 37733573
Interesting.  The Class rating refers to speed transfer.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secure_Digital#Speed_Class_Rating

Anyway glad it is working now.
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 37734210
in many cases, you can format the card in the Camera
if you want to know - put it in a pc to see what type it formatted in
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