What Causes Memory Card Corruption

All my images are gone !!!!! It’s the sad fact that people face when they look at the back of their camera and see that dreaded error message – your memory card has failed you.

The way that memory cards for your digital camera are handled, used and stored can greatly influence their lifespan and dependability. Observing a few simple precautions can make all the difference in the world and protect your images from being lost forever.

What Causes Memory Card Corruption and Failure?

  • Exposure to direct sunlight / temperature extremes.
  • Exposure to moisture / being stored in a humid environment.
  • Physical abuse from not being stored in a protective case.
  • Turning off the camera while photos are being written to the card.
  • Removing the card while the camera is turned on.
  • Editing photos directly from the card rather than copying them to your computer.
  • Inserting a card from another camera without formatting it in the new camera.
  • Removing the card from the reader while transferring images to the computer.
  • Removing the card from the reader without properly ejecting / unmounting the card.
  • Camera battery dies while writing photos to the card or transferring to the computer.
  • Using a memory card that has not been formatted in the camera.
  • Failing to regularly format the card in the camera.
  • Formatting your card using a computer. You need to do this in the camera.
  • Filling the memory card completely before transferring to the computer.
  • The card is simply old and worn out.

Preventing Memory Card Corruption

Protecting your memory cards from corruption is not that hard of a task. All you need to do is avoid exposing them to the situations that are listed above. Eventually, all memory cards will become worn out and fail. Even worse, memory cards rarely give you any warning before they fail.

If you shoot a lot of images on a regular basis, it might be best to replace your memory cards after prolonged use. My memory cards are exposed to a great deal of use on a professional level and they get replaced every 18 months on average. Naturally, other factors will come into play when determining the lifespan of your memory cards.

If your camera has dual card slots, use two cards and do not use the second card as overflow. Configure your Slot 2 to be a duplicate copy of Slot 1 in your cameras menu system. If one fails, the memory card corruption does not cause you to lose any of your images.