A common problem among digital cameras and camcorders is the infamous “file error” issue. This prevents saving photos, or ends filming prematurely. If the problem occurs while attempting to take pictures, yet you can still view the contents of the SD card, it should be an easy fix.
SD Card Format
Perhaps the most elusive issue is that the SD card was formatted “properly” with the operating system, but still doesn’t work properly with the camera. This was the problem that prompted the writing of this article. As it turns out, formatting an SD card with generic utilities and those provided by your OS may not give the card an optimal format. The solution I found was in this utility, which installed quickly and formatted my card very quickly.
As the website states, “It is strongly recommended to use the SD Formatter instead of formatting utilities provided with operating systems that format various types of storage media. Using generic formatting utilities may result in less than optimal performance for your memory cards.’
At first I did a Quick Format, which did not work for me. My camcorder would still shut off after 30-60 seconds with the dreaded “file error.” After a Full Format, I recorded a couple of 15-minute videos without issues. Remember that doing a format will erase data already on the card, so be sure to remove anything you don’t want to lose first.
SD cards have a small slider which “locks” the card. If yours somehow was moved into the “lock” position, it could also cause this issue. Give that a look and see if it applies.
If you’re receiving the “file error” when attempting to view photos already on the card, this could be a different issue. If this is the case, put the card in your card reader and see if you can get the files onto your computer. It could be a single file is corrupt.
There are some things you can do to prevent the file error from happening in the future.
- Avoid touching the contacts on the card.
- Some professionals do a full format of their SD card after transferring the contents to the computer, so that their next shoot will be saved onto a “fresh” card.
- Be sure your camera is off whenever you remove the card.
- Invest in a new card if your current one is more than a couple of years old.
Have you found other solutions? Leave us a comment below.
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