Formatting a new SD card

Some may know from a recent problem that I had with a warning light in the car that it was accompanied by a beeping noise. This turned out to be nothing to do with the car’s prpblem., now solved, but a faulty SD card in the dashcam. Advised by the maker to buy a new card and to format it before use I set out to do so with what I was advised to download from the internet.

Last week, before finding out that the old card was knackered I attempted to format it in the computer and the process lasted 12 hours. :astonished:

Dutifully, more than an hour ago I put this new card in the slot and waited for the deep format to start. It still hasn’t. Do I ignore the advice and press ‘stop’ to initiate a quick format or simply put it in the dashcam and forget about the format altogether?

Edit: It has just started and says 3% done and an hour and 40 minutes to go, so that appears to be alright then. :roll_eyes:

Is it? And why is it advised to be done with a new card anyway?

It looks as if the formatting process has started. I have no idea why it’s so slow though. Is the card reader built into your computer or is it an external device? Formatting a 512GB card on my laptop takes less than a second.

The formatting is needed because your computer expects to see files arranged in a specific way. Formatting the card ensures that all will be correct. Usually, cards from a recognised manufacturer will work straight away - or perhaps I’ve just been lucky. It’s considered good practice to reformat your SD cards every few months as it helps in identifying and marking as faulty any memory locations that have failed.

Is it possible since the card is taking so long to format that it is buggered? Personally I’d bin it and replace it.

Well one and a half hours to go with this brand new 128 GB card is a distinct improvement of the the 12 hours of the old 64GB card which was definitely buggred as you put it @graham.

@_Brian The card reader is built into the computer, I have always used new cards straight away before as you suggest but this time am following the dashcam maker’s advice to format first. The model is a Viofo A119 V3 and I have had it for several years and always found it excellent and a useful backup of proof should it ever be needed.

The card is the exact one Viofo recommend, a Sandisk Extreme 128 GB.

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That time is ridiculous. In general, a quick format should be all you need on a new card. That will ensure that the card is empty, but won’t check for bad sectors the way a full format does.

Edited to add: The Sandisk website states that its cards are supplied pre-formatted, so you’d only need to format if your computer uses an unusual file system which is exceedingly unlikely.

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That’s right, usually the cards are pre-formatted, but if not then a quick format is all you should need.

That is pretty slow, even for a 128GB card, especially since those Sandisk Extremes have pretty high write speeds. Perhaps the age of the computer, or the operating system is the problem ? As @_Brian has pointed out, they are preformatted, so the dashcam should just see them (unless it requires some old disk file format like FAT16).

The computer is not old, less than a year, and the card is finished now and safely tiucked into the cam so I will try it in the car a little later. I formatted it because Viofo said I should and also said definitely not the quick way. As a confirmed non techie person I always do as I’m told. :innocent:


Good camera and yes the right card, Extreme as they are constantly being written over my new footage. The Ultra cards from another provider are also good in cameras. Should be able to format it in the dashcam.

They are usually formatted when you buy them.

Even so, the request to format inside the camera is quite common. I had to pay microsoft 0.75p to update the software to use a new codec only last night. So I could view the video footage.

@David_Spardo - Is your dashcam behaving itself now you have installed the new card?

Yes, as far as I know, I have been out twice to the shops today, a total time on the road of about half an hour and all seems well with it. When it was giving trouble with the old card it wouldn’t last 1 minute so I am quietly confident. :smiley:


Just for incidental info.

I opened up my washing machine today and took out a load of washing which had been through a long hot cycle of swashing around, and found an SD card. SanDisk SDHC 16GB. Must have come from the pocket of my jeans.

Found 2 days’ worth of video from my infrared garden camera there, looking pristine. Says something about its construction, I think.

It was already dry, and formatted OK in the computer.

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They are fairly indestructible. I suspect that you didn’t need to format it if it already had a filesystem on it.

I thought you were going to say that the washing machine had formatted it, and all you could now see was loads of undies going round and round. :roll_eyes: :rofl:

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I have heard of wiping a drive but not washing it!
Did you add any defrag liquid after the fabric softner?

Presumably it wasn’t that kind of wildlife video. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Yes I could have made it a little more witty, too late now, but I did notice that the videos looked to have a touch of 4K about them.

I’m a bit of a spartan where washing machines are concerned, too many settings. So everything gets washed at the one same setting, except wool/synthetics of course. I do know that. But what is fabric softener?

I thought electricity and water didn’t mix well, so was surprised the SD card didn’t suffer. Similarly with my smartphone, left on the garden table overnight when it poured with rain, but 3 days later it came back to life.

And I’ve learned it’s not necessary to format my SD cards to delete everything for reuse. Thank you Billy.

With this kind of storage, it’s more magnetism. Electric circuits are more of a problem with current running through, creating short circuits and damage.

Technically it’s not, but deleting images from SD cards used in digital cameras can cause problems. The camera maintains a memory of which images are where, and if it can’t find an image then it may fail to store more images or corrupt new ones being stored. It doesn’t always cause problems, but it happens frequently enough that one should ALWAYS reformat the card in camera, and not delete individual pictures, even in camera.

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