: SD Card File Transfer Question


FLACer
2008-08-01, 03:31 PM
I've been trying to transfer some digital pictures from my XP Home SP2 machine to a 1 GB SD memory card. The total amount of the transfer is 672 pictures totaling approximately 395 MB.

Should be no problem right? Nope.

For some reason I can only transfer a total of 510 pictures with a total size of 295MB to the 1 GB card.

Huh? :confused: What is going on here?

I have tried this with two brand new separate 1 GB SD cards which both have a usable memory size of 969 MB. I tried formatting them in the same camera the pictures I want to copy are currently stored on as well as through the format command in Windows and I still get the same result. How can the original 1 GB card in the camera have all the pictures stored on it, yet I cannot make an exact duplicate copy of those pictures to another 1 GB SD card? What is making the other 674 MB on the SD cards inaccessible?

As always, thanks in advance for any insight.

recneps77
2008-08-01, 07:49 PM
What file system is the card using?
FAT has a limit of 255 files (or somewhere around there)
in the root directory.
If you make multiple folders, it should be fine.
:)

edit:
Ok my number's off, but its probably the issue you're experiencing. ;)

Walter Dnes
2008-08-01, 08:11 PM
I've been trying to transfer some digital pictures from my XP Home SP2 machine to a 1 GB SD memory card. The total amount of the transfer is 672 pictures totaling approximately 395 MB.

Should be no problem right? Nope.

For some reason I can only transfer a total of 510 pictures with a total size of 295MB to the 1 GB card.

Huh? :confused: What is going on here?
Recneps77 had the right idea. Your SD card is probably formatted FAT16. According to Microsoft at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/120138 THE ROOT DIRECTORY has a limit of 512 ENTRIES. This can be any combination of files and directories at the root level.

This limit applies ONLY AT THE ROOT DIRECTORY LEVEL, not to deeper directories. The solution is to create a directory (e.g. MY_PHOTOS, the exact name doesn't matter) and copy all your photos to that directory.

FLACer
2008-08-02, 10:23 AM
Gentlemen, you once have come up with the solution. :D

Using Win XP, I re-formatted the card as FAT32 and all 672 pictures were transferred without a hitch. The only thing that surprised me though was that it took approximately 10 minutes to complete the transfer. :o

I guess this means that all digital cameras use the FAT16 file system and that explains why when you hook the camera up to a computer via USB it has two sub-directories under the drive name. (I've always wondered why that was.)

The next time I try this, I'm going to drag both sub-directories over to the card instead of just the files themselves. :rolleyes:

Thanks again guys!

recneps77
2008-08-02, 03:27 PM
Gentlemen, you once have come up with the solution. :D

Using Win XP, I re-formatted the card as FAT32 and all 672 pictures were transferred without a hitch. The only thing that surprised me though was that it took approximately 10 minutes to complete the transfer. :o

I guess this means that all digital cameras use the FAT16 file system and that explains why when you hook the camera up to a computer via USB it has two sub-directories under the drive name. (I've always wondered why that was.)

The next time I try this, I'm going to drag both sub-directories over to the card instead of just the files themselves. :rolleyes:

Thanks again guys!
10 mins to transfer 400mb? ouch...
How old is this card..? ;)

Anyways, more info on the file systems for you:
FAT16 (or just FAT, sometimes) is used be default in most flash memory items because it is most compatible across all operating systems/devices. Most new digital cameras should handle FAT32 just fine, but they use FAT16 to ensure out of the box operation.
I have one older camera here and it would only work with FAT16.

FLACer
2008-08-02, 06:35 PM
10 mins to transfer 400mb? ouch...
How old is this card..? ;)

Actually it's brand new and it's a Kingston brand. I just bought four of them for $4.99 each at XS Cargo on Thursday. I did the file transfer using a USB 2.0 Verbatim 15-in-1 Universal Card Reader/Writer. However, now you've got me thinking that maybe this transfer was done at USB 1.1 speed. :o Is there any way I can check the speed of the card writer to make sure it's running at USB 2.0 speed?

Anyways, more info on the file systems for you:
FAT16 (or just FAT, sometimes) is used be default in most flash memory items because it is most compatible across all operating systems/devices. Most new digital cameras should handle FAT32 just fine, but they use FAT16 to ensure out of the box operation.
I have one older camera here and it would only work with FAT16.

Thanks for the additional info. This makes perfect sense, but wouldn't you think that it would also make sense for the file number limit of FAT16 to be pointed out somewhere in the memory card's documentation somewhere too? Seems to me this would save the potential of a lot of unnecessary confusion and frustration. Oh well, I rack it up to yet another invaluable learning experience. :D

recneps77
2008-08-02, 07:01 PM
They probably leave that info out, so you return it, and they can sell you the bigger memory card which is formatted in fat32.. who knows :p

Anyways, for speed testing, plug in the reader and card and try the following programs:
HDtach (Simpli Software)
Diskbench (Nodesoft)

HDtach is the easiest, just pick the drive and click test - but it only gives read speed.
For write speed, you can use diskbench and it will copy a file (and delete it after, if you wish) and report the time/average write speed.

USB 1.1 is limited at 12mbit/s or 1.5MB/s
If that's the most speed you're seeing, its probably USB 1.1 limitation.
Anything higher, and its probably the card that's limiting.

FLACer
2008-08-02, 07:23 PM
They probably leave that info out, so you return it, and they can sell you the bigger memory card which is formatted in fat32.. who knows :p

Wait now, I said XS Cargo, not Future Shop. ;)

Again, thanks for the tips, specs and software recommendations recneps77. The only other problem now is all the cards were sent out in the mail earlier today so I won't be able to test those puppies. FWIW, when I was transferring the files to the root directory when the card was formatted as FAT16, it took less than three minutes to move 295 MB before I hit the brick wall and everything came to a screeching halt. :eek:

recneps77
2008-08-02, 08:27 PM
Strange.. formatting shouldn't have changed the transfer rate like that..
It may have just been a fluke - when i was testing my new super stick (usb drive) I had a few tests say 0.01 mb/s or something, yet it worked fine for repeated tests/file writing was fast.

classicsat
2008-08-03, 09:15 AM
You can use USBView to see if it is plugged into a USB2.0 port.

Yes you can time the transfer. I do that manually though, with a known file size and stopwatch.

FLACer
2008-08-11, 04:59 PM
You can use USBView to see if it is plugged into a USB2.0 port.

Thanks for the tip on USBView classicsat.

Is this the line that tells me if the device connected to the USB port is functioning at USB 2.0 speed:

Device Bus Speed: High

classicsat
2008-08-12, 10:38 AM
I believe it should say Device Bus Speed:Full, if it is a USB2.0 reacer connected to a proper USB 2.0 port.

I am going to explain what I see on mine. I am by no means a USB expert. I have a Gigabyte GA7-VAX motherboard, with two on board US port, four on headers, two to the fron panel (home made I'll add, but the USB part is a back plate modified (extended really) to become a front panel jack set.

Anyhow, what I see is:
My Computer, expanded four times, the first three times as a VIA USB Universal host controller, each expanded to "Root Hub", with 2 ports each. The fourth time is expanded once to 6 ports, called "VIA USB Enhanced Host Controller"

Whenever I connect a USB2.0 hub or flash/hard drive/card reader, it shows up in the "Enhanced Host Controller" as a Full Speed device. Unfortunately, so do my USB1.1 readers, when connected through a USB2.0 hub.