Olympus xD Picture Card Problems

Written by jack stone
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Olympus xD Picture Card Problems
The xD card is one of many memory cards for digital cameras.

Olympus released its first xD Picture Card years ago, soon after the xD card was released for general use. While the xD card is reliable and powerful in Olympus digital cameras, the same types of problems can occur for all types of xD cards: there is a card format error or a disk error, and the pictures on the xD card cannot be viewed. Utilising a few simple steps, you can recover lost photos and begin using your xD card again.

Olympus xD Picture Card Problems
The xD card is one of many memory cards for digital cameras.


The xD card, abbreviating "extreme Digital" to suggest the excellence of this memory card format, is significant in the world of memory cards for several reasons. When it was first released, it occupied the prized position of "smallest memory card on the market." The miniature format allowed for new production of smaller digital cameras. Also, since Fujifilm and Olympus use the memory card, the hope was for a versatile and compatible memory card for use in several types of cameras. Expanded memory options played a key role in development, though the process has been slow in reaching the 8 GB storage goal.

Types of xD Cards

The three main types of xD cards are: M cards, H cards and M+ cards. The most common of the cards, the M card, stores data at a rapid rate. Olympus M Cards are available in 512 MB, 1 GB and 2GB models. The H card uses the latest technology to store photos in high quality, and it is 2 to 3 times faster at processing and writing photos than the M card. However, it does not work with all models. The M+ card is the latest release from Olympus, and it is available in 1 GB and 2 GB models. It writes at 1.5 times the speed of the M card.

Recovering Photos

If your photos do not appear and your card prompts "Card Error" or "Power Off or Format Card," try recovering your photos with photo recovery software. While some software is available for purchase, other software, such as Photorec, is free and works well. Download the software and perform a photo recovery.

Fixing the Problem

After you have recovered photos, try reformatting the drive. A full drive reformat will erase information on the drive and allow you to use the camera again. However, only format the card on the camera; a reformat when connected to a computer might not create the desired results.

Other Fixes

If your Olympus xD card still shows signs of problems, find a Fujifilm digital camera and put the xD card in that camera. On the camera, select to reformat the xD card: in some cards, this has provided a successful reformat without future problems. Another option is to send the xD card to Olympus for repair; visit Olympus.com for more information and support.

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