Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fixed my Droid's Camera "SD Card Error"

There is a problem with some Android (Droid) smart phones and the camera, having to do with the SD card. I'll share how we fixed it, since a lot of misinformation is out there and people are saying that the staff at the phone stores are giving misinformation.

I downloaded an app to make the Droid photos I take look like they were taken with antique or vintage cameras. This edited photo is saved to the SD card by the app, automatically. While doing this I received an error message that said something about having to do a force close. The system shut down.

When I turned the phone back on and attempted to use the camera (with or without a camera app) I got an error message saying something like it can't read the SD card and to insert an SD card. Well the SD card was in there.

When trying to view old photos I'd taken in the "gallery" it said there were none. I was a bit freaked out at the idea of losing all the photos since I'd not backed them up or removed any from the phone in the few months I've owned it.

I shut the phone off, took the battery out, took the SD card out, reinserted them and powered up. Nothing was fixed.

Next I uninstalled all my photo-related apps. This did not resolve the problem. I still could not use the basic camera in the phone or view anything in my photo gallery. I shut the phone off, turned it back on and tried again, to no avail.

From what I read online Verizon store employees are telling people the first thing to do is to reformat the SD card. If you do this you will lose all your photos and other stored data.

Following directions on the Internet, at home, we did a factory reset. For technological dummies like me I'll state what should be obvious: this means the phone was wiped back to its original state. I lost all my contacts, all my apps, and all the custom settings I'd done. I had to reactivate the phone and reconnect to email. Although some people say this works, it did nothing for me. Now I have a fair amount of work ahead of me to set the phone back up so I can use it fully.

Some people are advising to reformat the SD card. If you do this you will lose all your photos. Even though the phone told me by a message on the screen, that there were no photos in the "gallery", I put the SD card in a card reader connected to my PC and all the old photos were there. Well, the photos not altered by photo apps were there.

We removed the photos from the SD card and saved them to my computer's hard drive. Then using the card reader, we reformatted the SD card, put it into the phone and it worked perfectly.

Some people are saying when they reformat the SD card it doesn't work. We wonder if the issue is reformatting it with the phone versus reformatting it with the card reader and PC.

Some people are complaining that the SD card that came with their Droid was garbage and cheap. Mine is a high quality SanDisk with a lot of memory and not cheap.

If you have this annoying problem I hope this works for you. Beware of advice to wipe you SD card memory clear by reformatting if if you don't want to lose all your photos! Take those photos off using a card reader and your PC first!

One more word of caution if you have to buy a card reader make sure it takes the size SD card that the Droid uses because the one we bought did not, and we didn't realize it until we got home, thus another errand to return it was added to the "to do" list.


Kysha said...

That sounds like an app problem. I would definitely delete that app. You can download "uninstaller" to quickly remove apps.

leeshipley said...

I think you were pointing in the wrong direction. Reading through your description it looks like you had a fault on the SD Card rather than something going wrong with the applications themselves. Android's use SD cards formatted as Microsoft Windows filing systems so, if you remove them, put them into the computer's card reader, you can work over faults like you would for any hard disk on a PC. These new smart phones are essentially small PCs and many of the problems can be addressed by applying the old fixes.
Recently, my wife had such a fault on a card, I took it, put it into my PC and by using simple disk checking and fixing utilities I was able to eliminate the bad jpg photos in the DCIM folder without harming the rest or upsetting any applications or settings. No reformatting was required just a "chkdsk /f" from the commandline that fixed all the files.