Problems reformatting the memory card in a Nikon D70 camera

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Nikon D70
Last week, I experienced a photographic crisis… five minutes before leaving home to visit my wife and newborn son, Ben, in hospital (on the day that my two children would meet one another for the first time – a significant family event worth photographing) I had a problem with the Lexar Pro 512MB 80x CF memory card that I use in my Nikon D70 camera (and I couldn’t find a spare card).

Normally, after making copies of my photos (to an external hard disk, backed up to another disk, with occasional DVD backup), I delete all but the most recent file from the card using the computer and the camera recognises the free space, picking up with the file numbering where it left off previously; however this time I deleted all of the photos using the computer and then copied back the most recent one (I also used a Mac instead of a Windows PC but am not sure that is relevant), after which the camera refused to recognise the free space.

With time at a premium, reformatting the memory card seemed like the easiest option so I tried to do this in-camera; however despite appearing to do the job, the camera still reported itself as full and old pictures were still visible. Luckily, some frantic googling turned up a Tom’s hardware guide forum post on the subject – it seems that using the camera’s menu to reformat the card instead of the format buttons works as intended – this method certainly did the trick for me (Nikon D70 firmware revision A and B2.00).

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