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CF card data transfer failure and how it was fixed: THANK YOU HOWIE

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  • CF card data transfer failure and how it was fixed: THANK YOU HOWIE

    Okay, yesterday at lunch time I tried to do my normal data transfer from the CF card (Transcend CF 32gig 133x) to my MAC Powerbook. As I have done hundreds of times before. Except THIS time when I went to convert files using Zaxconvert, the horrid rainbow wheel appeared and the program froze. I had to force quit the application. I had to re-start the computer. The card was still in the card reader.

    When the computer came back on, THEN it would not recognize my CF card. YIKES! My MAC was asking if I wanted to format the card! NO!!! So I pulled the card and tried again. Same problem. So I took the producer aside and explained the situation in a "time to eat some crow" moment. Fortunately the producer was oddly understanding which certainly made the rest of the 14 hour shoot go well enough.

    The card was tried on another MAC with the same results.

    Today I took the card to Trew Audio/ Nashville in the outside chance that collectively as solution could be found. A couple folks tried this and that on various machines and we all got nowhere. Not good. But I was not surprised. (Insert Unhappy face).

    On the way out the door I bumped into Glen Trew, we talked for a minute and I told him about my card dilemma and he offered to take me back in the shop and get on the line with Howie from Zaxcom and see if there was another solution to the problem. We did, Howie answered, and after digesting the problem, how it occurred and so forth Howie suggested the following:

    Try a "partial re-format" of the card. Neither Glen nor I had heard of a partial re-format, so this sounded hopeful. The process is this:

    select the "format card" option. Instead of hitting the star key, hit the PFL key closest to the LCD screen. Hit it a second time instead of the star key and then a partial re-formatting will occur. As I understand it, this re-writes the "wrapper" data, but leaves any other information on the card alone.

    Well in my case, the "partial re-formatting" worked brilliantly. All the data was retrieved and in tact. Awesome. So at the end of the day I have one happy audio engineer and one happy producer who now thinks I can pull a rabbit out of my hat.

    So again, Howie: Thank you.

    Glen Trew: Thank you.

    And as a side note… try to get that sort of service out of B & H !

  • #2
    Originally posted by Puffer Fish View Post
    And as a side note… try to get that sort of service out of B & H !
    And then B&H says, "Who is Howy? What's a Zaxcom?"

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    • #3
      A bit worrying since others have had this problem us it card specific?..richard

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      • #4
        Yes, it's great that you recovered from this error but did Howy have any idea what caused it?

        What Maxx firmware? Did he advise you to retire the card?

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        • #5
          I am using firmware version 2.04b. I am not sure how Howy knew what to do here. I was grasping at straws, really. I think this was just an idea Howy had that he thought was worth trying. And I was NOT advised to retire the card. I plan on writing and reading to it a bunch of times from my computer before I use it on another recording session.

          Yes, there are problems through this: I do not know what caused the problem and therefore I do not know what to do to make it not happen again. Glen Trew and I were talking for a little while about CF cards, their limitations, how we are all using them now and so forth. The thing is, I have been using CF cards for quite some time doing still photo work and have NEVER had a card failure. I realize this is streaming of audio, but my camera files are quite large and when the buffer on the camera is filling up, there are extended write times. And when I pull image files from the cards onto my computers, THEN there is constant reading times going on.

          This whole situation is very perplexing. I do sort of wish I had a Nomad with its dual CF slots so I could have redundant file writing. But I do not. That will be a big purchase for another year.

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          • #6
            Sounds like the crash in zaxconvert corrupted the wrapper files, or the fat32 file system, which is easy to corrupt. Doesn't seem like it's related to the maxx. It's too bad fat32 is the only file system reliably read and written by all OS's because it's not a very robust file system.

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            • #7
              I agree with your assessment that it appears the Zaxconvert crash is where/ when the wrapper files were corrupted. It seems to make sense. But I am not IT guy or code writer, so what do I know! But if the Zaxconvert crash is indeed the culprit here, then there is likely nothing at all wrong with my CF card. But I will still be doing some reading/ writing tests before I rely on it for a job again.

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              • #8
                Hi were you going directly from.cf card to zaxconvert..its more work and hard drive space but i copy cf card Marf folder to hard drive then.convert that hard drive copy of marf via zaxconvert to a wav folder i only use the cf card to copy marf to hard drive or desktop never cf card straight to zaxconvert seems safer that way..but wonder if this would avoid the above issue...richard
                Last edited by r.paterson; 04-24-2014, 04:32 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by r.paterson View Post
                  Hi were you going directly from.cf card to zaxconvert..its more work and hard drive space but i copy cf card Marf folder to hard drive then.convert that hard drive copy of marf via zaxconvert to a wav folder i only use the cf card to copy marf to hard drive or desktop never cf card straight to zaxconvert seems safer that way..but wonder if this would avoid the above issue...richard
                  I had been using the same method, but the data transfer time was killing me. Maybe I will go back to this method. I did get a new card reader since I changed up my Zaxconvert workflow, so maybe now the data transfer will not be quite as tedious.

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                  • #10
                    Puffer, great to see your (unfortunately quite tedious) problems could be resolved successfully.
                    You mentioned you're using your Powerbook, this was last manufactured 2006; if you do need faster and more reliable data transfer and conversion on location, I would recommend upgrading your machine to something that can do USB3 (even via thunderbolt if not avail), preferably with SSD storage. I am personally just using a thin Windows 8.1 tablet for that reason, happy dayz.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by grafpez View Post
                      Puffer, great to see your (unfortunately quite tedious) problems could be resolved successfully.
                      You mentioned you're using your Powerbook, this was last manufactured 2006; if you do need faster and more reliable data transfer and conversion on location, I would recommend upgrading your machine to something that can do USB3 (even via thunderbolt if not avail), preferably with SSD storage. I am personally just using a thin Windows 8.1 tablet for that reason, happy dayz.
                      My MAC Powerbook was purchased new last August. Maybe it has a different product name now that escapes me. Sorry if I mislead any of this discussion. The problem is certainly not the computer or throughput via USB3 or Thunderbolt or Firewire 800 or any such thing. I have that covered just fine. Thanks for the suggestion.

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                      • #12
                        I'm Having the same problem with one of my MAIN cards in my Deva Fusion 10.
                        When extracting the files i have an error message saying:
                        ReadSectors() could not find LBA in available wrapper files

                        Can I partial-reformat a MAIN card on FUSION 10?

                        Cheers

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                        • #13
                          Manel, good question. I am not the person to answer it. If I were you, I would call or email Zaxcom and ask for Howy. I suspect he could set you straight on this issue right away.

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