Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Practical Tip: Format Your Memory Card

As digital camera users, we live with possibility that our memory card may become corrupted or unreadable causing us to lose all of our precious images.  I don't think this is something to obsess over, but there are a couple of things you can do to protect your card and keep it performing well.

  • Do not delete images on your memory card from your computer.  Many computer programs ask you if you want to delete the images from your card after they are downloaded.  Say no.  Use your camera, not your computer to delete images.
  • Use your camera to format your memory card every time you download your images.  Once you've copied all your images from you memory card to your computer (and backed them up, hopefully) then use your camera to "format" the memory card.  This will delete all your images (even protected or locked images) and rebuild the file structure on the card.  This gives your card a clean start every time.  You'll have to look through your camera's menu system to find the format function. D40 users: Menu > Setup Menu (wrench) > format memory card.
I follow these two steps every time I transfer pictures from a memory card to my computer and I've never had any trouble with corrupted or unreadable cards.