RANT! #@$!@%! Damn a6000 destroyed my Sony SDHC 32GB card!

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by WNG, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    I recall reading about someone complaining that the Sony cameras can damage SD cards, a few years ago. Well, I dismissed this as here say and/or user error.

    BUT, I just experienced it yesterday after shooting a short video, followed with a timed 3 shot burst. The high speed class 10 card is corrupted and no longer writes. I've had purchased this card along with the a6000 and they've worked flawlessly all this time. I've not experienced any issues with slower SD cards either.

    It all began by me reviewing the video settings and recording a 2 min. test MP4 for getting familiar with it for an upcoming trip. The video recorded and played back in camera fine.
    a6000 was in M mode, and took two follow up photos and those were fine. I then reviewed some of the shooting settings and tried 10 sec continuous 3 shot. After it completed, I tried to view them in camera. The camera was still writing to the SD card and I got the standard Unavailable while writing to storage message. No big deal I thought and hit the button to OK and return to shoot mode. But instead, I got a new message about write error, unable to read data, and asked if I wish to retrieve data. I selected yes, and hit OK. After that I would get a gray screen for the images and 'unable to display'. I took a few more shots and each new image would be the same, but the image count would increment. In camera reformatting also failed to complete.

    I tried to access the card in my Win 7 laptop's card reader. There were no image files on card related to the grayed out ones. I tried quick format.....Unable to format warning. Tried full format, that failed as well.
    Searching for a solution, I tried utilizing the DISKPART tool via command prompt.

    Followed all the steps, and that initially failed with accessing disk error I/O message. Placed the card in a USB reader and repeated, and got through most of the 'clean', format fs=fat32 commands. But it still didn't write to card. The primary partition 1 on the card seems inaccessible. I delete it, the clean all command doesn't remove it. Even tried to format it NTFS.
    Whether it's fat32 or ntfs, it would get to 100% and return operation parameter incorrect, unable to perform operation.

    The a6000 has firmware 2.0. It wasn't updated to 3.2 since I didn't care about new native lens updates or new codec for 100Mbs video.
    The SD card seems to be stuck inaccessible, non writable state. And no the card isn't 'locked'.

    Anyone out there have a solution, and IT experts whom have run into this situation? There isn't enough usage on this card to warrant flash memory failure. It was fine up to this point.
    I only shoot, copy off files from card, then reformat in camera for the next shoot. I don't format the card in the laptops.

    This really sucks if I must toss out my fastest write card before a trip.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
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  2. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Legend

    Oct 8, 2013
    Since you've tried so much, this is just a long-shot suggestion:
    Go through these steps to get to a point where you can see the visibility of the SD card.
    Then looking at the few options available, see if any of them might help.

    Control Panel
    Administrative Tools
    Computer Management
    Disk Management
  3. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Hey Bill,

    I've tried Window's GUI administrative utilities with no results.
    DISKPART is a more unrestricted tool that can do more but accessed at the command line.
    I'm really bummed out that I may have lost the card this way. Never seen this before. I'm about to see if I can recreate it with an older SD card. I believe the comment I read of a similar incident was with a newer faster 64 GB card.
  4. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    I have heard stories of SD cards failing like this, and whatever {device} was being used cited as the culprit. Like you, I have always dismissed these mainly because believe it or not I do not ever recall a card failing on me in any device. I think maybe I have just been blessed or fortunate or something.

    You've done all the reasonable things it seems, including trying to format it multiple ways. Since it is still failing, even if it magically started working I personally would not trust it especially for a trip. Whether the camera caused it or it was just a coincidental failure, who knows? I would spring for a new card. Be sure to stick with name brands from reputable sources (not saying this was not) as knockoffs are ridiculously common especially when bought on-line from unknown sellers.

    If you really want to dig into it, I would boot Linux and use some of the tools there but that is likely getting deeper than you care to go unless you really want to recover the files.

    There could be a warranty on it, but it might be tough trying to get it replaced by the maker before your trip.
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  5. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    Problems like those keep me from buying large size cards. Just too much to lose. Good luck. Try to enjoy your trip.
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  6. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Thanks Bob.
    I've only had one SD card fail on me...an old high speed ADATA card in a questionable quality dashcam. I blamed the dashcam for damaging that one.
    But never after all this time, did I suspect it to happen in the a6000. Just the usual chimping and wait, unavailable message. Hit the play button a few times quickly that is all.
    I don't have any Linux distros installed. Maybe I'll try a linux bootable USB drive. But I'm beginning to think it's toast. :(
    It was an authentic Sony card, from a reputable dealer when I bought the a6000 kit. It's been 3 years, so I think whatever warranty has expired.
    You may be right, can I trust this card for a trip even if it is restored? But that's assuming it's the card's fault and not the camera.
  7. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Given that you've gone 3 years, it may be some fluke with the A6000 or it could just be bad luck that the card failed when it did. I would try a new card, shoot off a bunch of pics or movies, and if all is well move on but unload often on your trip - just in case. Statistically, you may not see the problem recur for the rest of your time with your A6000.

    Or buy an A9 and use two cards. I mean, that is one solution, am I right? ;)
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  8. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    I hear ya! But annoyingly, in order to use the higher quality video bit rates, they demand the latest SDXC and only 64GB or greater. :-\
    Not much of a video guy, so none of this was a priority.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Feb 17, 2015
    If the card really is toast like you think, what would it hurt to wave it in front of a big a$$ magnet?
    I've always wanted to try that. I've got a pair of horseshoe magnets my dad had, that are from a radar unit.
    He said they used to set 'em up next to a wall that had a hallway on the other side of it. Power 'em up and pull guys keys out of their pockets as they walked by. It was always a mystery as to how he could get them apart. My brother and I would try to pull 'em apart and never got far.
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  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    I'm hoping there is some low-level method to reset the card. :-\ But it's probably futile.
    As for the magnets...heheh! Unlike magnetic HDD storage, flash memory isn't magnetic, so the magnets won't do anything to it. Flash is based on electrostatics. 1 and 0's utitlizing charge state.
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur Subscribing Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ad Dieleman
    And if you'd succeed, would you trust the card for future use? I know I wouldn't. I consider SD cards kind of disposable, I throw them away once they have caused a problem. My Panasonic G1 used to wreck the locking slider of cards so that cost me a few ones and I've had one where the two plastic halves separated. And mind you, I always use well-reputed brands like Samsung Sandisk or Lexar.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
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  12. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Years ago I lost half of a vacation when my SD card failed. Up to then, I used large-ish SD that had the capacity to store my entire vacation. After that sad incident, I switched to using only small capacity SD cards and switching them out one per day. Also, my wife began taking more pictures with her camera.

    So now I juggle a lot of SD cards and we come home with way more images than we need. The good news is that memory card prices tend to decline, so this strategy is not financially burdensome.
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  13. newst

    newst TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 20, 2014
    Troy, MI
    Steve New
    I don't believe that your A6000 had anything to do with it. Electronics will fail, some sooner, some later, but it will happen. Manufacturing quality control in the best of companies is an 85% solution. The cost of moving up that additional 15% gets astronomical, far more expensive than just replacing the failed component. In mission critical or life endangering components maybe, but not consumer goods.
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  14. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Lame. I have not had an SD Card broken by my camera, but I had one go bad in my phone.
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  15. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Yes, I agree that storage media will fail on occasion due to luck of the draw. These aren't made to be compliant to the highest ISO manufacturing specs.
    But storage media has shown to get corrupted from time to time from even the best efforts of design. Spec compliance, quality of firmware coding, hardware design to anticipate concurrence and high-Z state behavior, low voltage/low amperage conditions, and toss in user error. (from my days of HW design verification engineering)
    How many times have data been corrupted on a HDD due to the OS? A surface test and check of its parameters, and reformat usually puts it back into service.
    If you search on this topic, it's common enough to experience in a range of reputable devices. And the 'fix' I tried usually is the course of action to take when this occurs.

    Could the card happen to fail just that moment? Perhaps. My only saving grace to dampen my frustration is that it didn't happen when it was filled with vacation pics like Bert.
    And that the cost of SDXC cards have come down.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2017
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  16. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    I guess I'm with newst on the cause and addieleman on the next step.

    It's hard to imagine that an in-camera software glitch could so affect a card that it can't be re-formatted.

    I think it's time to retire the card. (BTW Lexar has always worked for me.)
  17. Nino Xerri

    Nino Xerri TalkEmount Veteran

    Jun 13, 2016
    Nino Xerri
    I do not use any card larger that 8GB, particularly when on holidays or a long weekend's shoot.
    Ritual : Day's shoot when home download and view images : Format Card : Reload another 8GB card in Camera for next day's shoot. "Retire" first card for at least two days.
    Might seem overkill, but by doing this rotation every three days, I am not using the same card over and over again. Works for me anyway.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. johnson4096

    johnson4096 TalkEmount Veteran

    Dec 23, 2016
    Dan Johnson
    I won't use a card larger than 16gb and most of my cards are 8gb. I used to work in a camera shop and there is nothing like seeing a customer with a 64gb card who has just returned from a bucket list trip to Europe and has no photos to show for it because all his images were on the now corrupted SD card. I was able to retrieve some photos for him but his fav place was Amsterdam and most of those images were kaputski.
  19. Nino Xerri

    Nino Xerri TalkEmount Veteran

    Jun 13, 2016
    Nino Xerri
    Dan the reason for my comments. I travel to Malta every year and take a separate European Tour whilst over there. So there is no way that I would want a whole lot of my images lost due to a corrupt card.
  20. mattia

    mattia TalkEmount Regular

    Dec 13, 2013
    I shoot big cards (32 or 64 GB), simply because I like shooting RAW+JPG (the former because it's what I use, the latter for on-the-road quick edits and sharing with family), which fills up fast with an A7r. I back up each card daily (portable WD Elements with built-in card reader, automatic incrimental backups), don't delete items from the card, and do a complete transfer once I'm back home. I don't 'rest' any cards - what's the point? They're not mechanical. They work or they don't, the fail or they don't.
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