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Question on formatting CF cards D3/D300

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by Rich Gibson, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. A basic question for someone who's owned a DSLR for so long. Now that I'm using both the D3/D300 in varying situations I noticed that formatting a CF card in the camera will not necessarily format it completely with two cameras. I'm regularly frustrated when I run out of card and when I get home I notice it's because the D300 (for example) did not format the D3 folder's images. What am I doing wrong? When I format a card I am certain that I need nothing on the card and want to clear it away completely.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. That is correct, it doesn't clear the folders from the other camera. Format on the computer to fully clear, or delete via a card reader.
  3. LDB415


    Apr 26, 2008
    If you have enough cards the following might work. Once you load all your shots onto the computer then format the card on the computer. Have a "fresh card" location and put the computer formatted cards there. When you get ready to go out with the camera go to the fresh card supply and get however many you think you'll need. Put one in the camera and format it again in the camera. As you fill and swap them format them. Any unused go back to the fresh card spot to await usage.

    I believe by formatting them in the computer once they've been offloaded you'll have a blank slate to work with and the in camera format insures it's ready for that camera. Someone will correct this if I'm confused.
  4. Rich,

    You are not doing anything wrong. This is the way the electronics are set up. I use a computer and a card reader as Bill has suggested.

    Happy Fourth,
  5. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Agree with all that's been said. When a dslr formats a card, it doesn't erase anything that isn't in it's own file. If it doesn't yet have it's own file, it'll create one. If I had a CF card with say a Word doc, some other files, and a DCIM with sub-file ND2x, and went to format it in my d300, everything would still be there and a sub-file ND300 would be added to the DCIM. The only available room on the card would be what was there. To get rid of everything else, you need to erase it in the computer and/or format it with the computer.
  6. Thanks to all. I formatted the card in MS-DOS on the Mac and partitioned it to 1 partition. In the camera I format it and it generated the familiar folder names.
  7. Odd...I mix cards some times but I've never had an issue with it not formatting the other folders.
  8. Thanks for asking Rich......I've learnt something.
  9. I was curious after doing firmware upgrades on both my D3 and D300 this evening, but formatiing in camera after the upgrade does delete the firmware upgrade files on the CF cards.
  10. Gary Mayo

    Gary Mayo Guest

    On my D200 I see different results formatting the cards with the two red buttons than I do using the menu format. The menu format - formats deeper. I always use the menu format because of that on my D3 & D300 now.

    In my expirence using the two red buttons does not remove all files, but the menu format is a complete format.
  11. A couple years ago when on the phone a technician told me exactly the same thing; namely the menu format somehow is "better." "Uh-Huh! I said and forgot about it. I should have listened.
  12. KeithR


    Jun 21, 2008
    As a general rule, when I format, I do it in camera. But periodically I run the cards through Image Rescue and do a complete erase. A thorough cleaning, if you will. Before any event, I reformate in camera, starting fresh.
  13. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    i have my computer erase /formatt my cf card after every down load.
  14. When I am using both cameras (D3, D300) I format CF cards prior to going out, but also I again format them in-camera before beginning actual shooting so that I'll have just the images and folder from that particular camera.....and I don't swap out the cards and share them between the cameras. Whatever I shoot on the CF card in the D300 remains on the D300 until I take it out to upload to the the computer....and the same for the D3.
  15. Interesting. I've thought that the menu format and the two-button format were functionally identical.
  16. They USED to be :biggrin:, but maybe this has changed.

    One more little "gotcha" that scared the bee-jeebers out of me the first time it happened is when you roll over 10,000 shots. I was shooting a football game, shot a sequence and half the sequence disappeared :eek: :eek:  Then I noticed that the Image # was 0001. When the number rolls, a new folder is created and Image Review only looks at the latest one. All was fine, but it surprised me for sure.
  17. Only if you have the playback folder set to Current... if you set it to "all" or your camera's folder type (e.g. ND200, NC_D3) it will show all folders on the card, or in the latter case all folders created in that type of camera.
  18. That just happened to me with my D3. Was shooting a race and when I downloaded the CF card there were maybe half the shots I expected. When I looked at the card in Explorer, there were two folders and I thought the CF card had fritzed and I'd lost something lol. Then I noticed the old folder ended at MSM_9999 and the new one started at MSM_0001. Duh. :redface:
  19. MMarz


    Sep 15, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I don't often mix cards between bodies, so I have noticed this. Nice to know though. I have never formatted the cards in the computer...I am just not comfortable doing that, but maybe I'll have to get over it.

    I do format all cards before storing them, and then again once I insert them to be sure they reference the correct body.
  20. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
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