PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card

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PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« on: 22 / August / 2009, 11:07:46 »
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Sorry if this has been asked before; I searched the forum and the FAQ pages pretty carefully but I may have overlooked the answer.

I downloaded and installed CardTricks 1.44, then read over several times and carefully followed the directions on multiple pages (the video, the dummies page, and the non-dummies installation page), and successfully installed the CHDK software onto a genuine SanDisk 4gb card, and verified the files are there correctly. I verified that it is the correct file for my Powershot A540, a540-100b-0.9.8-792-full.zip, and that the correct firmware was already installed in the camera (vers. 1.00b). However, when I put the card in the camera, I get only a black screen with the message:
Memory card error
Card locked!
regardless of which position I try the lock in. Any help would be appreciated; I work with nonprofits and we often need to film presentations for archival purposes.

I am 100% sure that I formatted the card in FAT16 with the CardTricks software, AND that I have made it bootable, and that I did it on the correct disk. CardTricks verified the disk size correctly.

I'm at the point of thinking that maybe the firmware release in the zip file might not be the correct one, or that I'm reverting to blondeness. I would love to discover that both these thoughts are incorrect and that I've just overlooked something.

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Offline Anaglyphic

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Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #1 on: 22 / August / 2009, 14:27:43 »
Hi.

There's one instance where "being blonde" could come into play - after running CT, you didn't eject the SD card using the "Remove Hardware" thingie on your task bar, and kicked out the card before the partition table entry was updated. If you did eject it properly, well, it's possible that the utility "hiccuped" for lack of a better term. Regardless that CT said it did it already, just repeat the steps again. I know, it seems a waste of time. But try it.  ::)

There's also a utility in SDM's common_files.zip called sdminste.exe that does the same type of thing as CT. You can try that one too. There is essentially no difference in what they do to your card, but hey, it's Saturday, maybe that's it. I've used them both many (many, many, many) times, they both do work correctly.

FYI I will go on record and state the archive names are always, 100% of the time correct; the automated build process derives the zipfile name from the platform/sub it's currently processing and for this to fail requires a developer to intentionally change it. Except on Tuesdays...

Let us know when you get it working.
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything,
 we ought to know a little about everything.
-- Blaise Pascal

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Offline fe50

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Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #2 on: 22 / August / 2009, 16:07:53 »
Hello & welcome, classicalgeek !

Did you format the card after you made it bootable ?
  (formatting always remove the bootable flag)

What OS do you use ?
  (The "Make bootable" feature do not work with Windows 98 or Win ME, on newer Windows versions
  (Vista, 2003, 7) you should run CT with admin rights.

When you select your card with CT, does it say "BOOTABLE" ? - should look like this:


Just follow this pictured installation guide i wrote for Windows users step by step, this should work...

Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #3 on: 23 / August / 2009, 14:09:47 »
Thank you for the quick replies!

I ran CardTricks again, as suggested. I am using Windows XP for an OS. And I was careful, this time, to right-click the card and use "Eject." I followed the picture installation guide you suggested, exactly as written. Unfortunately, I received exactly the same error.

I'm really not clueless . . . I have been around computers since the 1970s.  :-[

Attached is the screenshot of CardTricks.


Update: I am able to get this to work on a 512 MB card properly. It still won't work with the 4gb card.
« Last Edit: 23 / August / 2009, 15:15:19 by classicalgeek »


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Offline whim

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Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #4 on: 23 / August / 2009, 15:14:19 »
@ClassicalGeek

Since you get a 'Card Locked' regardless of the write lock's state, does that mean that after a plain format in CardTricks (do not make bootable) which completely removes CHDK from the card,
you still get 'Card Locked' ?
In other words, can you use the card normally without CHDK, and, if yes, how does the cam react to setting the write lock in regular Canon mode ?

wim
« Last Edit: 23 / August / 2009, 15:20:09 by whim »

Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #5 on: 23 / August / 2009, 15:20:53 »
Quote
Since you get a 'Card Locked' regardless of the write lock's state, does that mean that after a plain format in CardTricks (do not make bootable) which completely removes CHDK from the card,
you still get 'Card Locked' ?

Yes. I think it's the card. CHDK works properly with a 512MB card.

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Offline whim

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Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #6 on: 23 / August / 2009, 15:56:40 »
Quote
Since you get a 'Card Locked' regardless of the write lock's state, does that mean that after a plain format in CardTricks (do not make bootable) which completely removes CHDK from the card,
you still get 'Card Locked' ?

Yes. I think it's the card. CHDK works properly with a 512MB card.

You might be able to revive it:
1) with Windows Disk Management
2) with a dedicated low level SD card formatter (googling -> http://www.sdcard.org/consumers/formatter/ or http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/sd/download/sd_formatter.html)

cheers,

wim

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Offline fe50

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Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #7 on: 23 / August / 2009, 16:35:21 »
@classicalgeek

Is it a standard SD card, or a mini SD with an adapter ?
There were some issues reported with mini SD cards in the past...

The odd thing is: although the card is bootable, CHDK do not load...
hmm - maybe a wrong partition type ?
Does it work when you remove the partition & create a new on (primary), with Windows XP ?
(it's unlikely, since low level formatting the card in the camera normally does exactly this...but maybe worth to try it.)


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Offline Anaglyphic

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Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #8 on: 24 / August / 2009, 12:46:53 »
Hmm. You're doing everything right, so it's something obvious. :D

OK one thing that's a red flag... On all my Canon cameras, if a card is locked, it just says "Card locked!" and not "Memory card error!" - it reserves that one for something actually messed up, like a partition table it doesn't like or the file system not being recognized...

Guys: could it be that since the A540 is a few years old, it's related to the non-standard sector size that is required to make a 4G FAT16? This is just a guess, classicalgeek, I have no idea if it's really the issue, but if you're up for it... you can try wiping the card, creating a 1.99G partition, format it and make it bootable, etc. See if CHDK autoboots. (if it does, and you want autobooting CHDK, you'll have to leave the rest of the SD unformatted and unused, as the A540 doesn't have multi-partition support.)
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything,
 we ought to know a little about everything.
-- Blaise Pascal

Re: PowerShot A540, Memory card locked error, SanDisk 4GB card
« Reply #9 on: 24 / August / 2009, 13:37:17 »
Thank you for all the replies and help!

I'm at work now, so I will try a few different things when I get off.

1)to Wim--I tried just formatting the card, then running both of those programs. They did not recognize the card, so the next step is to format the card with CardTricks and make it bootable, then try the other two programs to format the card. Windows XP did not recognize a disk to format if it was made not bootable so I can try that, too.

2) to fe50: It's a standard SD card, Sandisk brand.

3)  to Anaglyphic :lol I had considered using partitions, but honestly I can just go buy a 2GB SD card for like $8. I really wanted to be able to get an hour of video from one card, so that I can record our speakers without having to swap cards all the time, since I miss interesting parts, and nobody else has a camera that does video. I have messed around with the bitrate/quality in the CHDK menu, but haven't really figured out how that affects how much video you can store on a card yet.

In any case even if this 4GB SD card is trashed, it's not a big item because I got it for free (2 cards for $60 - a $60 rebate) last Christmas, and I still have three to play with  :D

 

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