My camera cards keep getting corrupted. Can I prevent this?

I’ve had cheapo cards that I dropped, kicked, trod on, used a squillion times, paid the proverbial tuppence ha’penny for and they are still going. Others, even the expensive ones have failed or become flaky within a few months – or worse, clapped out just outside the warranty. Similarly hard disks can fail in the first five minutes or go the full five years. Media failure is pretty random and can happen at the most embarrassing time.

My strategy…

  • Get your data downloaded onto your PC and backed up asap.
  • As soon as any data recording medium, mechanical or solid-state, shows the slightest hint of flakiness, replace it immediately.
  • Always unmount the device cleanly (using “Safely Remove” in Windows or “Umount” in Linux). If you disconnect a drive whilst data is being written to it, then it can corrupt the file allocation table. Worse, this corruption may not be noticeable at first. It may only appear later when further data is written to volume.
  • If you have accidentally done a “dirty” unmount then either reformat the disk before using it or run chkdsk (Windows) or fsck (Linux) to repair any possible damage to the file system before continuing to write any further data to the disk.

Happy shooting!

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