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tom williams

CF card corruption?

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Hi All,

Wondering if anybody has recurring problems with CF cards generated from Zaxcom recorders. It seems like I go through a period of time with no issues then , bam, a number of issues in a row.  I use new cards on all new shows but it never really seems that I can point my finger at any one problem.  Any other folks with a CF card issue or am I alone?

Thanks,

Tom

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I've had cards corrupted by the card reader. Maybe worth checking that out as a possible culprit.

I have incurred a bad read on a (manufacturer approved) SD card. Turned out to be be the card reader. I reseated the card and transferred again and all was fine. Luckily I quickly scrubbed through the first rip and noticed it (loud blasts of static noise across all ISO's) before I delivered to client. Gave me quite a scare.

Edited by JimKeaney

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No kidding. I was under the impression that a card reader is a pretty passive device. Can you tell me more?

Not sure what was happening, but i could reproduce it and was without a doubt the card reader. It was bad from the first time I used, so I had to transfer the files straight from the harddrive of the 788. Then went home and tested,  and every time I mounted a card onto this reader, it then corrupted the card.

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I haven't personally experienced it but I have heard about issues with USB 3 readers and macs - not sure if it's an issues with pcs because the incidents I've heard about were with macs.

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in case of corruption.

1. quick format - only erases the beginning and end of the card and not what is in the middle.

2. use a recovery software - I use Lsoft Active recovery

3. to safe time look for  *.wav only

Meta data and file names might be lost but the files will be there.

DO NOT WRITE OVER A CARD THAT YOU NEED TO RECOVER!

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I have had a problem with USB 3 and Mac running Mavericks , it was cured by using a USB 2 reader and at a later time with an upgrade on the Mac to Yosemite the USB 3 reader was also cured. The odd thing was the corrupted files were still playable but had bad random overloaded audio in them. If they where transferred again using the same card reader and the same Mac sometimes the problem file transferred OK other times with distortion in different places.

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On Delkin CF 700x and on Delkin SD 633x cards- 3 or 4 out of more than a dozen of each

 have produced "pops, thwaps" about .5 sec each and I also suspect it's the client's reader.

 For several months now I hand over production cards seated in my card reader

with usb attached instructing Data/DIT to leave them seated for the transfers.......no more "thwaps"

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Hi Tom, also remember to always use the same cards in the primary and mirror slot. Don't swop them around. Had a similar problem earlier this year and Zaxcom suggested this and it solved my problem..

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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why use new cards on new shows? If the cards you have are working fine, then stick with them? We wouldnt even begin to scratch at the number of read write cycles a CF card can take.

 

Kindest,

 

sb

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This is a worrying thread, some questions -

1. So card readers can corrupt CF cards, is this a permanent corruption that then shows up in ANY card reader the CF card is subsequently placed in?

I've never heard of this before, like Abe I thought card readers were passive devices and it introduces a whole new dimension if they can actively corrupt cards permanently.

Morantzsound, how did you retrieve the situation if the card reader had 'fried' 3 cards, was it to re-mirror to new cards?

Could the corrupted cards then be recovered by re-formatting them?

2. The card reader can partially corrupt individual files whilst not corrupting the card itself, this is probably the weirdest. How does a card reader, introduce a little bit of corruption whilst still maintaining the overall integrity of the file, with the correct header etc.

3. Gearhouse I've never heard the advice before to not swap cards between Primary and Mirror slots on a Zaxcom machine, I do this regularly and never had a problem, of course I have to re-format for the appropriate slot as the formats are different (Fusion / Nomad). Do you know why you were offered this advice?

4. Does anyone know of some kind of deeper format software that will recover and reformat a card that is corrupted in some way? Is there a means of testing and then marking some areas as bad in the FAT so they are not used by any recorder etc. I know this happens regularly with hard disks.

There is in fact a bit of a dearth of knowledge about this subject. In a Zaxcom machine as I understand it, the mirror cards are an actual FAT32 format but the Primary cards are MARF with a FAT32 wrapper so that any computer can see the MARF folders, for Zaxconvert to work.

Is a FAT32 format any different (more robust?) whether done by Mac, PC, or recording machine? I always format mirror cards in a Zaxcom machine kind of believing that the machine will prefer it's own format rather than FAT32 done by another machine, I've actually no idea whether this is true?

Edited by pindrop

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Macs write a bunch of stuff to any card that it sees so reading a card is never a passive operation.  I would stay away from USB 3.0 card readers and also I don't recommend Delkin, Kingston and Lexar cards. 

Any time you need to recover audio from a Nomad primary card that has been corrupted, first do a partial format using Nomad, then try re-mirroring with the Nomad or Zaxconvert, then if that fails you can use ZaxFile_505.exe which will recover any audio that is on the card no matter how corrupt the directory structure is.

 

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Just to save some Googling, here's the procedure for a partial format:

select the "format card" option. Instead of hitting the star key, hit the PFL key closest to the LCD screen. Hit it a second time instead of the star key and then a partial re-formatting will occur. As I understand it, this re-writes the "wrapper" data, but leaves any other information on the card alone.

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And is there anything at all in this idea suggested by Gearhouse (above), of not swapping cards (after re-formatting obviously) between the Primary (MARF with FAT32 wrapper) and Mirror (FAT32 only) purpose? Or is there no reason not to freely use cards in either slot?

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My experience: I recently bought 2 CF card adapters for the primary drive slot of a Deva V. I bought 2 Kingston 64GB 266x cards and test recorded with them over the course of a week without incident. 3 days into my show I had a failure of the CF primary card – would cut right after hitting record, gave an error message which I later learned meant audio data corruption. Everything up to that point had been mirrored so that was a great relief. Used a spinning hd while further testing the other Kingston card without incident, and am now using that one as the primary.

I tried recording on the failed card variously using the other main slot adapter, in a different Deva V, and on a different firmware version (was warned that 7.57 is flaky for some users so rolled back to 7.56). Tried recovering the files from the failed card using ZaxFile_505 which only recovered some of the files from each of the 3 folders, perhaps because I had continued to try to record on the card  – but still not an issue for me since I had mirrored. Tried reformatting the failed card in the Deva primary slot, and later in the mirror slot and finally in a card reader, but it fails to format. I can't tell if the card was faulty from the beginning or if the corruption has made it unusable.

Fwiw I’ve had 6 Kingston mirror cards (8GB 133x and 16GB 266x) for years; only 1 has stopped working.

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And is there anything at all in this idea suggested by Gearhouse (above), of not swapping cards (after re-formatting obviously) between the Primary (MARF with FAT32 wrapper) and Mirror (FAT32 only) purpose? Or is there no reason not to freely use cards in either slot?

Why?

Having a good supply of recommended cards, each properly prepared for its appointed task, carries an extremely small price tag compared to the devices we use them in.  

Why people try to scrimp and save on important, and job critical, media for professional use defys any sense of logic.

1). Buy only manufacturer approved media.

2). Buy a sufficient supply so that you will always have more than necessary for any given function and job.

3). Prepare each card for use according to the manufacturer's recommendation.

4). Properly label each card.

5). If a card exhibits issues, format it first on a computer, then format it on the machine.  If it still exhibits issues of any kind, never use that card again!

6). Rinse, repeat.

Follow the above common sense recommendations and you will miraculously have fewer card-related issues than some other users seem to.

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