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Formatting the card

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MattGrayson
23 Nov 2007 - 10:26 AM

Here at the ePz castle, King Peter and his courtiers have been having a discussion and we decided to open this up to our public.
Lets say you have a 4Gb memory card and for the sake of argument, you have 200 image capacity. You fill the card, erase and format the card before starting again. You fill the card with another 200 images. You then realise the first 200 images weren't loaded onto your computer, so using a retrieval system, retrieve them from the memory card. Even though it has been formatted, the card still brings back all the images lost and formatted over.
-So where did the info come from?
-Where did it go to when formatted?
-If this can be done constantly, does that mean that memory cards have an infinite memory capacity?
-What the hell is going on?

Lets see if anyone gets to the end of this conundrum... Smile

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23 Nov 2007 - 10:26 AM

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andytvcams
andytvcams  1110396 forum posts United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 - 10:28 AM

Must be Friday Smile

IanA
IanA  103048 forum posts England12 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 10:29 AM

1st, I never format cards, only move the images to the PC.

2nd, if I deleted them, it's because they were rubbish in the first place! Wink

Ian


Quote: Must be Friday

yes, all day..... Wink

Last Modified By IanA at 23 Nov 2007 - 10:31 AM
justin c
justin c  104527 forum posts England36 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 10:31 AM


Quote: Lets say you have a 4Gb memory card and for the sake of argument, you have 200 image capacity. You fill the card, erase and format the card before starting again. You fill the card with another 200 images.

I could be wrong but I don't this is possible. You can format a card and still retrieve the images but if, as you suggest, you refill the card with images, then the previous ones would be unrecoverable because they've been over-written.

Last Modified By justin c at 23 Nov 2007 - 10:32 AM
lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014146 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 10:33 AM

Did this actually happen? Like Justin, I don't think its possible.

malum
malum e2 Member 10622 forum postsmalum vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 10:57 AM

I don't think it's possible with any of the standard recovery software.
After a format yes, after they've been overwritten no.
However data recovery specialists can retrieve data from hard drives that has been overwritten (which is why file shredders overwrite the information 7 times) so it may be possible with flash memory too if you have the right kit.

Formatting merely removes the reference to the files it does not remove the files. So to answer your question the files don't go anywhere when you format a card just the references get removed.

Last Modified By malum at 23 Nov 2007 - 10:59 AM
Pete
Pete Site Moderator 1318446 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 11:00 AM


Quote: I could be wrong but I don't this is possible. You can format a card and still retrieve the images but if, as you suggest, you refill the card with images, then the previous ones would be unrecoverable because they've been over-written.

Well that's what I thought, but I lost some pics on my PC hard drive. And went back to the card that they were on and realised I'd reformatted it and reused it. Admittedly there were only 6 new RAW files on the card, but all the originals could be recovered using PhotoRescue. Has anyone totally refilled a card and tried recovering anything?

IanA
IanA  103048 forum posts England12 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 11:05 AM

On the one occasion that I have wanted to recover a file there was plenty of unused space to hold the half dozen images that were taken later. IR did recover a whole card worth though, some that were taken a few weeks prior. As said above, I never re-format!

Doesn't help much though!

Ian

Last Modified By IanA at 23 Nov 2007 - 11:06 AM
malum
malum e2 Member 10622 forum postsmalum vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 11:06 AM


Quote: Well that's what I thought, but I lost some pics on my PC hard drive. And went back to the card that they were on and realised I'd reformatted it and reused it. Admittedly there were only 6 new RAW files on the card, but all the originals could be recovered using PhotoRescue. Has anyone totally refilled a card and tried recovering anything?

Then I'm guessing that you didn't overwrite any of the images you wanted to recover

lobsterboy
lobsterboy Site Moderator 1014146 forum postslobsterboy vcard United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 11:11 AM


Quote: Then I'm guessing that you didn't overwrite any of the images you wanted to recover

Me too.

Simon_Palmer
23 Nov 2007 - 11:14 AM

A format doesn't format, simple as that. In simple terms it alters the File Allocation Table (FAT) so that all files don't display the first letter. Due to the archaic way that files are written the chances are you will get files back if you have only written 6 new files to the card. Fill the card and you won't trust me.

Trust me they aren't inifinte, nowwhere near if anything they are under capacity. 1GB is not 1GB in memory card terms it the same as the old 17" monitor 15.4" viewable and the one that really gets my back up when people tout speakers has being 500 watts or something when really they are about 4.

I can give the real long lengthy explaination too if ya want, but this was boring enough Wink

justin c
justin c  104527 forum posts England36 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 11:18 AM


Quote: Me too

....and me Smile

digicammad
digicammad  1121988 forum posts United Kingdom37 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 11:25 AM

Simon beat me to it. Smile

MattGrayson
23 Nov 2007 - 12:00 PM

I knew there'd be a boffin on here who would know it. Smile


Quote: Formatting merely removes the reference to the files it does not remove the files. So to answer your question the files don't go anywhere when you format a card just the references get removed.

So the files are not erased, merely renamed? I see and the rewriting issue will explain why the same amount of images can be used. Capital!

malum
malum e2 Member 10622 forum postsmalum vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
23 Nov 2007 - 12:04 PM


Quote: I knew there'd be a boffin on here who would know it.

Quote:Formatting merely removes the reference to the files it does not remove the files. So to answer your question the files don't go anywhere when you format a card just the references get removed.So the files are not erased, merely renamed? I see and the rewriting issue will explain why the same amount of images can be used. Capital!

They aren't renamed. Just the file references are removed. Think of it like a warehouse full of files to which you have some kind list to tell you what is where. Formatting simply removes the list of what is where.

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