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Old 06-09-2008, 09:22 AM   #1
mark844
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Question Corruption of SM card

Hi there, was wondering if anyone else has experienced a "corruption" of the SmartMedia card.

I've got 7 of these devices ranging in age from 1 month to 18 months. Recently (in the last 2 weeks) two of the newest, both with v 4.2f17 software, stopped recognizing the SM card. Removing/inserting or placing the card in another device had no effect - the card was unreadable. I as forced to erase the card after which all was fine. I was not the user of the device when this happened so I can't comment on any condition that may have caused this except that in both cases the user claimed they just powered the device on and saw the book list was different.

So, the question would be, has anyone else ever experienced this kind of behaviour and if so, was it an indication of some kind of failure of the card/device or as a result of user action?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:31 PM   #2
DaleDe
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I did corrupt a card and ended up having to reformat it on the device. I suspect I wasn't as careful as I should have been about removing the card. Be sure the unit is off both when removing and inserting the card, double check.

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Old 06-13-2008, 04:20 PM   #3
nrapallo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
I did corrupt a card and ended up having to reformat it on the device. I suspect I wasn't as careful as I should have been about removing the card. Be sure the unit is off both when removing and inserting the card, double check.

Dale
Dale,

I never have had an issue with the SM on the EBW 1150, though I'm just scare **itless when removing one!

On the REB 1100, the changing of SM cards while the unit was on would surely lead to firmware corruption i.e. "grid of death". While the REB 1100 and EBW 1150 are similar hardware, both using SM cards, the 1150 seems more forgiving when removing the SM card.

New users are cautioned to check the IMP entry about this or just review this "cycle on-off" procedure:
Code:
IMPORTANT NOTICE ESPECIALLY FOR THE eBookwise-1150:
   TURN OFF YOUR EBOOK DEVICE before you remove the memory card from your eBook reader/device.
   Then for the 1150 it's recommended to cycle your reader 'on-off' without the memory card
       i.e. TURN ON YOUR EBOOK DEVICE, then TURN OFF YOUR EBOOK DEVICE.
   After copying to the memory card, ensure YOUR EBOOK DEVICE IS TURNED OFF,
   then insert the memory card into your eBook reader.
   Then TURN ON YOUR EBOOK DEVICE.
       Never insert or remove memory cards when the eBook reading device is turned on.
       Doing so may destroy the memory card and/or your eBook reading device!
A similar notice is posted on the www.ebookwise.com site (near the bottom of the page)!

Last edited by nrapallo; 06-13-2008 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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Yea, I know all of that stuff but I still managed to corrupt a card. As I said I probably wasn't as careful as I should have been. However, it was only a card, not the firmware of the device. I recovered it by reformatting the card and reloading the eBooks.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
Yea, I know all of that stuff but I still managed to corrupt a card. As I said I probably wasn't as careful as I should have been. However, it was only a card, not the firmware of the device. I recovered it by reformatting the card and reloading the eBooks.
One tool I recommend for everyone who uses cards is a USB card reader.

Expansion cards are formatted with the MS-DOS FAT filesystem, and are subject to the same sort of errors that can corrupt FAT formatted disks. In particular, they can develop "lost clusters". The cluster is the smallest physical area of the disk readable and writable in one operation. (The size of a cluster varies depending on the size of the FAT formatted drive.) In a FAT file system, each cluster has a unique address. The File Allocation Table maintained by the OS maps what clusters are used by what files. It's possible for clusters to be marked as allocated in the FAT table, but not actually owned by any files. These are known as "lost" clusters, and they mightily confuse the OS and your programs.

The Windows Scandisk (Win 9X) and CHKDSK (WinNT/2K/XP/Vista) utilities can be used to check the status of disks and repair errors. Lost clusters are allocated to files with names like FILE0000.CHK, which can be examined and (likely) deleted. Once the lost clusters are cleaned up, the drive is often usable again.

Expansion cards can develop lost clusters, if a program writing to the card crashes, or the OS crashes. The FAT table isn't properly updated, and errors result. With a USB card reader, teh card is seen by Windows as a removable media drive by windows, and you can use Scandisk or CHKDSK from a command line in a DOS box, or right-click on on the drive in My Computer, select Properties, click the Tools tab, and click Check Now. Check the "Automatically fix file system errors" box.

If disk checking finds and fixes lost clusters, you'll see a directory on the card called FOUND.000, with FILEXXXX.CHK files in it that contain the contents of the located clusters CHKDSK located. (I usually just delete the folder. There is seldom anything worth preserving in it.)

I've had to do this on occasion with cards, and it made the cards usable without having to reformat and lose the contents.
______
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:23 PM   #6
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I did confirm that the card had not been removed from either device before the incident. I was just suspicious that this has only happened on the new devices that have the new firmware. I don't want to upgrade the firmware on the others if there was a "known" issue of this happening with 4.2f17. But it sounds like it isn't related so I'll have to put it down to luck of the draw.
Although I don't like it I do understand and accept that bit's of data can be lost (and that digital devices generally get upset when this happens) but it should be a rare occurance.

Anyway, thanks for the response.
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