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Thread: Formatting CF Cards

  1. #1
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    Default Formatting CF Cards

    I purchased two 512 MB CF Cards

    Ridata 20X and Transcend 30x

    I have a Minolta D7 and both card will not work in camera if I format with Windows XP Fat 32. They work, but slow if formatted in FAT. which I understand is FAT 16.
    Would someone please advise the DOS command for formatting in FAT 32. Is FAT 32 faster than Fat 16

    I would say the Transend 30X is a slow card for Minolta as a TIFF 2560 file takes 30 second, red light on to red light off. The Ridata 20X is also slow at 18 second. Others say 10 second.

    Thanks

    John

  2. #2

    Default Re: Formatting CF Cards

    Originally posted by Shebalso
    I purchased two 512 MB CF Cards

    Ridata 20X and Transcend 30x

    I would say the Transend 30X is a slow card for Minolta as a TIFF 2560 file takes 30 second, red light on to red light off. The Ridata 20X is also slow at 18 second. Others say 10 second.

    Thanks

    John
    If both Transcend and Ridata are slow to you, what is fast? Lexar 40xWA?

  3. #3
    newuser
    Guests

    Default Re: Formatting CF Cards

    Originally posted by Shebalso
    I purchased two 512 MB CF Cards

    Ridata 20X and Transcend 30x

    I have a Minolta D7 and both card will not work in camera if I format with Windows XP Fat 32. They work, but slow if formatted in FAT. which I understand is FAT 16.
    Would someone please advise the DOS command for formatting in FAT 32. Is FAT 32 faster than Fat 16

    I would say the Transend 30X is a slow card for Minolta as a TIFF 2560 file takes 30 second, red light on to red light off. The Ridata 20X is also slow at 18 second. Others say 10 second.

    Thanks

    John
    A CF formatted by XP to FAT32 is the same as a CF formatted by DOS to FAT32.
    It's not the OS that determines if your camera will work with the formatted FAT32 CF. It's the file system that determines if your camera can recognise the CF or not.


    If your camera does not work with CF cards formatted at FAT32. it means your camera's hardware does not support the FAT32 format.

    So even if you use a DOS or Win98 instead of your XP to format, it will still be unable to read.

    Any way, For your info, the DOS command is:

    C:\> format/fs:FAT32 <drive letter>:

    E.g. format/fs:FAT32 E: (the /fs stands for file system )


    FAT or FAT 16 is the 16bit version of the File Allocation Table. It is more inefficient than FAT32 or 32bit File Allocation Table.

    It is because it's smallest block size is 32bytes while the FAT32's smallest block size is only 4 byte. This results in files that are saved in FAT32 to be of a smaller size than FAT16, as there are less "wastage" due to a smaller block size.

    It's kind of technical to go on about the advantages of FAT vs FAT32. Since this is not a place to discuss this...

    Let's just say.
    FAT or FAT16's maximum support size is 2GB.
    FAT32 maximum support size is 64GB?? (I forgotten the number. )

    So if your camera does not support FAT32, it cannot use Compact Flash cards above 2GB in size.

    The new Canon 10D has a DiGiC processor inside, while the D60 does not.
    The DiGiC processor allows the camera to support FAT32 and hence 10D users can use Compact Flash cards above 2GB, like the 3GB or 4GB CFs.
    Last edited by newuser; 30th April 2003 at 07:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Cluster Size for FAT

    Thanks for your response. That is the way I understand, but another response goes this way, see below. Would you please advise the difference in formatting in FAT and asking for a Cluster Size.
    ****************
    I was playing with my CF cards and measuring the
    speeds and then I found a very nice way how to speed
    up a card quite a bit (up to 10 seconds per RAW).
    The trick is very easy and it is used very often
    for handheld devices. The point is that the Dimage
    formats the card with normal FAT file system but
    chooses the lowest possible cluster size (normally
    2 kb per cluster) (I guess to conserve the space on card).
    But if you reformat the card to use the largest possible
    cluster size (16k or 32k per cluster) than you will
    loose some space on card (definitelly not much) but
    you get huge speed increase. For example with Memorex 64
    from 29.4 sec to 19.9 sec and with PQI 128 (H type with
    Hitachi chipset) from 16.9 to 12.5 sec.
    One problem is that it is not easy to reformat the card
    with user defined cluster size. I know only two ways how
    to do it but maybe someone will figure out other. One
    way is to format it in PC running Win2000 or WinXP
    (using PCMCIA slot or flash reader) using command:
    format disk: /a:clustersize /q
    format f: /a:32k /q
    The second wat is in Psion 5mx with the software SmartFormat
    from Essential Disk Utilities suite. I have heard that
    there is some "smart" format for Windows CE machines too.

    I am not sure if everyting is clearly explained and I know
    that my english is far from perfect. But if you are interested
    just ask me and I'll try to explain it better.
    ************

    Thanks
    John

  5. #5
    newuser
    Guests

    Default Re: Cluster Size for FAT

    Originally posted by Shebalso
    Thanks for your response. That is the way I understand, but another response goes this way, see below. Would you please advise the difference in formatting in FAT and asking for a Cluster Size.
    ****************
    I was playing with my CF cards and measuring the
    speeds and then I found a very nice way how to speed
    up a card quite a bit (up to 10 seconds per RAW).
    The trick is very easy and it is used very often
    for handheld devices. The point is that the Dimage
    formats the card with normal FAT file system but
    chooses the lowest possible cluster size (normally
    2 kb per cluster) (I guess to conserve the space on card).
    But if you reformat the card to use the largest possible
    cluster size (16k or 32k per cluster) than you will
    loose some space on card (definitelly not much) but
    you get huge speed increase. For example with Memorex 64
    from 29.4 sec to 19.9 sec and with PQI 128 (H type with
    Hitachi chipset) from 16.9 to 12.5 sec.
    One problem is that it is not easy to reformat the card
    with user defined cluster size. I know only two ways how
    to do it but maybe someone will figure out other. One
    way is to format it in PC running Win2000 or WinXP
    (using PCMCIA slot or flash reader) using command:
    format disk: /a:clustersize /q
    format f: /a:32k /q
    The second wat is in Psion 5mx with the software SmartFormat
    from Essential Disk Utilities suite. I have heard that
    there is some "smart" format for Windows CE machines too.

    I am not sure if everyting is clearly explained and I know
    that my english is far from perfect. But if you are interested
    just ask me and I'll try to explain it better.
    ************

    Thanks
    John
    Interesting find. I have not gotten to fiddling with the cluster sizes to find out if it improves write timing.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Australia
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    Default Formatting with 32 Clusters is much quicker

    To advise exact speed is different with each photo.

    A darker photo can be 500k bigger than a good light photo. In 2560 JPG I have had files from 800k to 3.8mb. Bright light photos are much smaller, thus quicker to write.
    Today in experiments with TIFF and RAW files were up to 600K difference in size. Meant timings were 1 to 2 seconds quicker with smaller files.
    That is is with Ridata 20X now 32k cluster.

    I have a number of CF cards, 8mb to 512mb. With 32k clusters, I have found some cards 12 seconds faster, while Transcend 30x was same speed. The Ridata has dropped in some cases from 15 seconds RAW to 12 Seconds RAW.

    A friend does 64k cluster and his timings are better again.

    Makes you want to use RAW as much as possible if write is fast.

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