CF card needs to be formatted each time

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New Member
Jan 10, 2007
opp. East Coast Park
After I have deleted the files from my CF card, it does not take effect in my camera (Canon 400D). I need to format it each time to have an empty card.
For example, let's say the capacity of an empty card is 100 photos.
I take 80 photos so I have free space for 20 photos more.
I transfer the 80 photos to com, then delete them from the card.
When I insert the card into my camera, it shows that I can take 20 more photos instead of 100.
It is not only showing it but it really is true. When I take 20 more photos, it will tell me the card is full, although I have deleted those other photos.
It's really strange and I don't understand.
So each time I delete the photos from my card, I need to format the card, then it will show an empty card with full capacity.

I think this problem has to do with the camera because using another camera on the same computer, I don't have this problem.
Also, I have 3 CF cards and all 3 display this problem.
Can't be that all 3 cards have the same strange problem, right?
So I think it is the camera messing up.
Any idea what's causing and how to fix?


Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
Perth Australia
You should format the CF card in your camera each time you want to erase the images.

Jul 5, 2007
People did encounter similar problem with Apple computer with SD card. Files deleted on the computer is not reclaimed but on Windows it is fine.

The problem is not with the card or camera but caused by the Apple computer.


Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
Pasir Ris
Check the Recycle Bin settings. Could be that the files are not deleted but rather marked and pushed into the Recycle Bin. This is a hidden folder per volume - and your CF card is a volume. But this way the files can be recovered but the available total capacity on the volume is lower as space needs to be reserved. Make sure the Recycle Bin settings for removable drives is "Delete immediately, don't use Recycle Bin".
The camera doesn't do anything wrong. It deletes immediately without using any Recycle Bin. Easy to verify: Take shots, delete in camera. For every deleted file you get one more picture in the counter for available space. Formatting the card (regardless whether in camera or in computer) will delete all possible remainders of Recycle Bin and reserved space - the card is completely empty again.

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