Improve the lifetime of memory cards

Delete images all at once

Delete/erase images all at one once after uploading them to your PC. This will reduce the number of erase cycles, and thereby improve the lifetime of the memory cards. Note that there will be one erase cycle no matter if you delete one or multiple images.

Remove the hardware safely

When your camera mobile phone or digital camera is connected to your PC make sure that you remove the hardware using the “Safely Remove Hardware” option in your system tray. If not then there is more likelihood of your memory card getting damaged or completely losing the data stored in it.

Delete/erase images before the memory card gets full

It is always better to regularly remove the images from your memory cards and store them on your PC or burn them on to a CD rather than waiting until they are full. There is more likelihood of the memory card to malfunction if you fully load the cards with images.

Defragment memory cards at regular intervals

Note: After much reading the consensus seems to be that reformatting a memory card is not a good idea. Defragmenting is the preferred method.

Just as important as defragmenting a PC at regular intervals, memory cards also need defragmenting at regular intervals to keep them in optimal condition. Defragmenting the memory card will delete images, file names, and other data on the card and will leave it clean. Just like on a PC the frequency defragmenting depends on the usage. If you use your camera frequently, you should consider defragmenting the memory card fairly often. Ideally, defragment your cards every time you download all of your images onto your PC.

To defragment a card insert it into a PC. Find it in My Computer. Right click and choose Properties. Click the Tools tab and then click Defragment Now…

Remove the memory card after turning off the power

It is always best to switch off your mobile phone/digital camera before removing the memory card to either replace it with another one or to use it on a card reader to download the images.

Update the software as and when needed

Manufacturers fix several bugs along the way and are always fine tuning their software. Therefore, it is very important to keep track of those software updates.This is vital to keep your mobile phone/digital camera up to date with any fixes for errors or problems that are identified. Some of these may be related to your memory card as well.

Keep the batteries in optimum condition

Do not let your battery drain down. It could result in memory card errors. This usually happens when an image is not fully written to a memory card. So recharge the battery regularly or change them over for a fresh set before they completely run down.

Do not switch off the camera/mobile phone too soon after taking pictures

When you’re taking pictures at a constant clip, especially when using the “burst” or “continuous shooting” mode, make sure that you don’t switch off your camera/mobile phone too soon after the shoot. You could lose your images and even find yourself with a system error. Cameras need time to write all of the data you’ve taken to the memory card. If you’ve taken numerous images very quickly, your camera will be buffering those images and that requires some time. Some high-end cameras continue to buffer even after they are switched off, but that’s not the case for every camera.

Ensure that you store your memory cards properly

If you are not using your memory cards for a long period of time, it’s best to store them in a plastic casing to give an extra layer of protection. Also, make sure you keep your memory cards away from liquids and extreme temperatures. Also make sure that you do not expose them to electromagnetic currents.

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