hate hate hate


So I bought a new CF card. It behaves differently badly.

The camera is happy with either card, of course, but after I rebooted (I think I confused matters with modprobe, so it seemed prudent) trying to mount either card takes more than a minute before mount times out and gives me an error message. And it's not interruptible while it's blocked, either. Same syslog as before.

But here's the weird part:

Before rebooting:

  • put old CF card (128M) in the port:
    green light comes on for half a second;
    blinks 3x/second for ~6 seconds;
    goes dark.

After rebooting:

  • put old CF card (128M) in the port:
    green light comes on for half a second;
    goes dark.
  • put new CF card (256M) in the port:
    no light comes on at all.

Have I mentioned that I hate computers?


I hate computers

Do Compact Flash cards go bad? I keep being unable to get my pictures off my camera (Nikon CoolPix 990.) This only started happening recently... Normally I just stick the card into my USB CF reader (SanDisk ImageMate SDDR-31) and mount it as a VFAT. But every now and then, Linux can't mount it:

     mount: No medium found
     kernel: sdb : READ CAPACITY failed.
     kernel: sdb : status = 0, message = 00, host = 7, driver = 00 
     kernel: sdb : sense not available. 
     kernel: sdb : block size assumed to be 512 bytes, disk size 1GB.  
     kernel:  sdb: I/O error: dev 08:10, sector 0
     kernel:  unable to read partition table

This might only happen when the camera's batteries have run out since last time, suggesting that the camera is corrupting the card in some way. But, this has only started happening within the last couple of months, and I've had the camera for almost two years.

The camera can still display the pictures, though, so it's not corrupted so badly that the camera can't read it. Reformatting the card (with the camera) fixes things, but wipes out the pictures, of course.

The last time this happened, I was able to get the pix off using GPhoto2, using the camera's USB interface instead of accessing the CF card directly, but it was a huge pain in the ass. After about a dozen tries, I was able to get it to work once on my home machine, but I was never able to get it to work on my office machine (where I really need it.) Gphoto is just horrid.

So either the card is going bad, the camera itself is broken, or some recent Linux kernel upgrade has gotten more picky about who-knows-what than it was before.

Oh, it just started working again: apparently all I have to do is try and mount the thing over and over, a dozen times in a row until it finally takes.

I hate computers.

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