My dash camera (a119v2) is killing my microSD cards... help...

erkme73

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I have four of the a119 V2 cameras. But, since this is more of a storage card problem, I figured I'd post my issue here.

One of my cameras was displaying "card full" and "memory error". I was unable to format the card in the camera or view any files on the camera. I swapped with another card (both 64GB that I'd been using for the last year+). Same issue. Assuming it was the camera's card reader, I moved the card to the other camera - the odd card behavior moved with the card.

Without going into too much detail, I've isolated the problem to the specific camera (I swapped locations to eliminate the power supply as a problem). When new card is inserted, it works fine until the card is full - then the error occurs. At that point, the cards all behave the same way:

1) A PC can see and read the files on the card but cannot delete/modify them or add new files.
2) Formatting the card fails both on cameras or PC. I've tried low-level formats, cmd formats, quick formats, none work - they all fail.

So, it would appear this two-year old camera is frying cards. They were good, genuine cards, that I've used for the last year, and they contain 115 files, 59GB of viewable 3min segments that were recorded by that suspect camera.

I don't want to burn up any more microSD cards, so I think I have no other option than to trash the camera - which appears problem free in all other aspects.

At the recommendation of the seller on Amazon, I did try to resolve this by flashing the latest Viofo firmware (obtained from their website) - which I was able to get onto the camera by using a virgin card. It still cooked the next card attempt.

Very frustrating to know just "testing" the camera is costing money by killing cards. Anyone heard of this before? Anyone have suggestions on how to rehabilitate fried cards or maybe get the camera to play nice again?
 

DT MI

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When doing the low-level format were you using the OS utility? For SD cards you should be using the SDFormatter from the SD Association. I've been able to resurrect suspect cards using that program.

 

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I have four of the a119 V2 cameras. But, since this is more of a storage card problem, I figured I'd post my issue here.

So, it would appear this two-year old camera is frying cards. They were good, genuine cards, that I've used for the last year, and they contain 115 files, 59GB of viewable 3min segments that were recorded by that suspect camera.

Were the cards you have used bought from Amazon? Direct online from card manufacturer? Or at a big box store? There are a LOT OF FAKES floating around, and I wonder if all the cards were the same brand or bought from same place?
 
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erkme73

erkme73

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Thanks for the suggestions... this is what I'm after. I will try the SDFormater and report back...

Yes, these are genuine SanDisk. I've used them for well over a year (probably pushing 3 years). The fill to capacity without issue until now. I've run across fakes that were formatted to appear higher capacity than they actually were, and those would never reach even a fraction of the advertised capacity.
 

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SanDisk Ultra cards? Are these the A1 series cards or the older, non A1?
Your cards appear to have locked in read only mode. Common on the older Ultra cards, though I did have this issue on 3 of the Ultra A1 cards. All 3 locked within weeks. I’ve stopped recommending them ever since.
 

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Thanks for the suggestions... this is what I'm after. I will try the SDFormater and report back...

Yes, these are genuine SanDisk. I've used them for well over a year (probably pushing 3 years). The fill to capacity without issue until now. I've run across fakes that were formatted to appear higher capacity than they actually were, and those would never reach even a fraction of the advertised capacity.

What model of Sandisk? FYI: As mentioned by @CaptureYourAction the Sandisk Ultra Plus model has serious issues with Viofo Cams. I run a Sandisk A2 Extreme in my A129 duo and never had issue. But the Sandisk Ultra Plus created all sorts of problems when I tried it in the Dash Cam.
 

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What model of Sandisk? FYI: As mentioned by @CaptureYourAction the Sandisk Ultra Plus model has serious issues with Viofo Cams. I run a Sandisk A2 Extreme in my A129 duo and never had issue. But the Sandisk Ultra Plus created all sorts of problems when I tried it in the Dash Cam.
Not the Plus. The regular Ultra (non A1 series). Plus may not work well either, but haven’t heard much about those.
 

DT MI

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I've used them for well over a year (probably pushing 3 years).
Could be just a matter of reaching normal end-of-life, but it would be unusual for it to happen to multiple cards like you describe.
 

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Not the Plus. The regular Ultra (non A1 series). Plus may not work well either, but haven’t heard much about those.

I used the Plus and they were 100% incompatible with the Viofo Cameras. Tried in 2 cameras and both demonstrated same issue of freezing and erratic behavior. Sandisk A2 Extreme now in both and both cameras have worked flawlessly now for ~year.
 
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erkme73

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So, no luck with SDformater. Using the quickformat option, it appears to work - no errors and provides a summary that indicates it worked as it should. Unfortunately, all the data is still on the card. I'm running it now with the overwrite option checked, but I have little hope.

As for the types of cards - they're all older. The 32GB that got borked this AM is in the overwrite function right now. The other is a 64GB Sandisk Ultra class 10 (XC1). All of the cameras are/were running that same card. I only dropped in a 32 last night to get the firmware updated - and then let the camera record on the counter - until that card was full (and now locked).

I guess what I struggle with is that none of my other a119v2 cameras have any issues with any of these cards and it is only after putting a card in the suspect camera that it craps the bed.
 

DT MI

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So, no luck with SDformater. Using the quickformat option, it appears to work - no errors and provides a summary that indicates it worked as it should. Unfortunately, all the data is still on the card. I'm running it now with the overwrite option checked, but I have little hope...

I've never been able to resurrect a card with the quick format, only the overwrite - but still no guarantee.

If all your cards are Sandisk it may be they're unrecoverable. SanDisk cards will go into 'read only' mode at any hint of an error. This is done by the controller logic in the card itself and is done in order to protect any data on the card from being overwritten/deleted/corrupted/etc. when an error occurs. I don't recall ever hearing of anyone being able to reverse that setting once it happens.
 

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I've never been able to resurrect a card with the quick format, only the overwrite - but still no guarantee.

If all your cards are Sandisk it may be they're unrecoverable. SanDisk cards will go into 'read only' mode at any hint of an error. This is done by the controller logic in the card itself and is done in order to protect any data on the card from being overwritten/deleted/corrupted/etc. when an error occurs. I don't recall ever hearing of anyone being able to reverse that setting once it happens.

I have a Sandisk Thumb drive that did this and have tried in vain to remote read only. Appreciate the explanation.
 

DT MI

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I found this article on the web about recovering a 'read only' flash drive if someone wants to give it a try. It's a generic solution versus specific to SanDisk media so it may be an exercise in futility. If successful with an SD or mSD card doing a low-level format with SDFormatter afterwards would be a good idea.

 
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erkme73

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And to update - after the overwrite option on SDformater complete, no errors, nice summary page - but alas, the contents of the card are 100% unchanged - all the data is there.
 
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erkme73

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I found this article on the web about recovering a 'read only' flash drive if someone wants to give it a try. It's a generic solution versus specific to SanDisk media so it may be an exercise in futility. If successful with an SD or mSD card doing a low-level format with SDFormatter afterwards would be a good idea.


I'm just having a go on those four steps. The diskpart command prompt routine does not work. I'm able to select the disk and clean it, but upon "create partition primary" it errors out indicating there is no enough space on the drive.

The rest of the suggestions all imply issues with the OS (registry settings, virus issues, etc) - all of which I think are at a higher level than the hardware flag that is set to to prevent data manipulation/loss. I'm pretty sure both of my cards are hosed. I'm ok with that, especially considering the abuse they've seen over the years. But, given both failed in this camera, I'm not keen on risking yet another one. Fool me once kinda thing...
 

DT MI

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...The diskpart command prompt routine does not work....
If anything that's the process I thought might have the best chance of being successful. Everything else suggested is 'manipulating' the OS in some manner which will do nothing for a 'read only' flag set internally on the card by the controller logic.
 

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I found this article on the web about recovering a 'read only' flash drive if someone wants to give it a try. It's a generic solution versus specific to SanDisk media so it may be an exercise in futility. If successful with an SD or mSD card doing a low-level format with SDFormatter afterwards would be a good idea.


Tested all those methods in the past and no go. It's a flag on the Sandisk Drive (Thumb / SD) that seems impossible to remove once an error occurs.
 

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Tested all those methods in the past and no go. It's a flag on the Sandisk Drive (Thumb / SD) that seems impossible to remove once an error occurs.
it won't, that's expected, they change to read only when there's a fatal error to keep what data you have intact
 

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it won't, that's expected, they change to read only when there's a fatal error to keep what data you have intact

That's what I figured, but it'd be nice if there was a way to remove that flag, and do a low level format to use the part of the memory that isn't damaged.
 
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