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Formatting the card


MattGrayson e2
7 622 3 England
23 Nov 2007 10:26AM
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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andytvcams e2
12 10.4k United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 10:28AM
Must be Friday Smile
IanA e2
11 3.0k 12 England
23 Nov 2007 10:29AM
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
justin c 11 4.6k 36 England
23 Nov 2007 10:31AM

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.
lobsterboy e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 10:33AM
Did this actually happen? Like Justin, I don't think its possible.
malum e2
10 622 1 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 10:57AM
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.
Pete e2
13 18.7k 96 England
23 Nov 2007 11:00AM

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 e2
11 3.0k 12 England
23 Nov 2007 11:05AM
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
malum e2
10 622 1 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 11:06AM

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 e2
11 14.3k 13 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 11:11AM

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


Me too.
Simon_Palmer e2
8 759 11 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 11:14AM
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 11 4.6k 36 England
23 Nov 2007 11:18AM

Quote:Me too


....and me Smile
digicammad e2
11 22.0k 37 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 11:25AM
Simon beat me to it. Smile
MattGrayson e2
7 622 3 England
23 Nov 2007 12:00PM
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 e2
10 622 1 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2007 12:04PM

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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