Has anyone else had issues with their CF card? I just bought a new 4GB, thinking my other 2GB was bad. Looks like it's not the card. The camera will work for awhile, and then, poof, either forgets the card is there, or says it needs to be formatted, which I have done a couple times. Happens with both cards. I have a feeling it's not a cheap fix to repair this.
I just had the same thing happen to my D70. It would either says CHA or FOR and would not work with a formatted card then it would work. Also I had to use a file recovery tool to get my photos off the cards twice. It turned out to be a very minor flaw in one of my CF cards damaged the card reader in my camera. The repair was 172.00 including shipping (Nikon Canada Service)
The D70/S is known for the fact that the ribbon tape that connects the CF card slot with the camera's main processing board works loose from where it connects with the card slot internals. This happens over time from many instances of the card being removed and inserted again. This disconnect results in the camera bot being able to communicate with the CF card. A Nikon service center will fix this - at a cost. I, and quite a number of other Nikonians went through this. This may also be your issue.
A Nikonian posted a self-help fix to the problem on these forums a couple of years ago. It involves opening the bottom of the camera, and then you need really nimble fingers. I was too ham-handed and managed to make the problem worse when I tried it.
That Nikonian might have been me. I posted a repair procedure back in May, 2008 and included step-by-step pictures copied from a website I found.
Unfortunately, the pictures are gone from the post and appear to be gone from the web too. Someone replied to the post in December, 2010 and I happened to see it. The pictures were there but I actually cringed when I saw them. Even though I gave the person credit, I should not have copied and posted images that were not mine. I can only say I was a rookie Nikonian back then and know better now. But the bottom line is the pictures are gone.
Anyway, back to the OP, did you check for bent pins in the card reader? If they all look straight and none of them are pushed in, the procedure to reseat the cables might work for you. I did it on my girlfriend's D70s and it has lasted a few years now. It's not too difficult, but as Koos (Rassie) said you can make it worse.
I would not recommend trying the repair without pictures, but the procedure involves removing the bottom plate from the camera and reseating two cables on the exposed circuit board. The tricky part is that the two connectors are different. If treated the same you WILL break one of them. In fact, I broke one but band-aided it with a small wedge of cardboard. Please don't tell my girlfriend.
If you are still in a jam come mid-July, my girlfriend will be going on a trip and will be taking my D80. I'd be willing to document the procedure with my own images if it will help. I need to check that cardboard anyway.
I went through a spell with my D70 where it was corrupting cards on a semi-regular basis. I thought I might have to try this repair. But reformatting sorted out the cards and after two or three corruption incidents the camera seemed to settle down and hasn't played up since. Your situation, unfortunately, sounds worse.
Hey Gary - Good find! There is plenty of information and pictures to aid in either type of repair (bent pin or reseating cables).
Be sure to read the comments from the others who attempted this repair. There are additional tips mentioned.
When I did my repair I did not have any bent pins so I did not need to remove the back panel. One more time I will emphasize the two connectors on the bottom module are different. One of them has a pivoting clamp and the other is a sliding latch.
Another thing I found - and Stephan mentioned - is that there are two different lengths of screws on the bottom panel. I made a drawing of the bottom panel on a thin piece of cardboard (like the kind in a new shirt) and punched holes for the screws. As I removed a screw from the camera, I immediately stuck it in the cardboard template so I knew exactly where it belonged. Made life easier at reassembly time.
I don't see any bent pins. The card seats easily and seems firmly seated. Usually with a bent pin there is a little misalignment and the card would feel 'mushy'. I also did a hard format in my computer, not a quick one and the camera is reading the card. I will use the camera a lot today and see what happens. I will update as soon as possible. Thanks.
>If you are still in a jam come mid-July, my girlfriend will be >going on a trip and will be taking my D80. I'd be willing to >document the procedure with my own images if it will help. I >need to check that cardboard anyway.
Have you gotten into the D70 yet? I have yet to get up the courage to tackle the repair.
HI I have put a reply to a other user on privous page ref this cf card problem i hope that my data recovery software will resolve the problem or it's a case of getting out the big screw drivers ETC . i note that it can be repaired at a centre that may be my last option regards Tel1749
Revisiting this thread with an update. I delayed working on my D70, feeling not very confident about tearing into it. So I stored it without a battery or CF card in it for a couple months or so. Just for the heck of it, I charged the battery, inserted my new 4GB Lexar card, and guess what? Worked. No error messages. Ok, fine, but it'll probably rear it's ugly head again soon. That was nearly a week ago. I put a lot of frames through the camera, just sitting while watching TV and firing away, seeing if I could get it to fail again. So far it's been flawless.
Here's what I did. I formatted the card after several hundred exposures. I removed it, reinserted the card, and still no failures. I removed the battery and card. Put them both back in. No sweat. I tried different lenses. Again, perfect. I kept up the shooting. Great.
Here's what I did NOT do. I did not insert the original CF card which had been in the camera when it first failed. I am suspecting that old card was corrupted somehow, and messed up my camera. I plan to circular file that card. CF is cheap, so why take a chance? It tests and reads fine on my computer, but the only thing that makes sense is that card being bad.
So, if you are having similar issues with your D70, try leaving the card and battery out for a few weeks. Get a new CF, and try what I did. Can't hurt.
I have a D7000, so I did not miss out on shooting. Hopefully anyone else has a second camera to use while performing this fix. I will keep updating for awhile, until I am satisfied that the issue is resolved. Thanks and good luck if you try this. And let me know how you fare.
Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water....
After 5 days of continuous use, the problem has reared it's ugly head again. I shut the camera down, removed the card, put it back in, and it cleared for the time being, but all the images on the card are corrupted. Good thing they were junk shots of random stuff around the apartment. Looks like I'll be trying that fix soon. Nothing to lose by trying.
Hi George - Sorry to hear you're still having problems, but it does not surprise me. You do not have a card problem.
I never did take my girlfriend's D70s apart again. It has been working perfectly.
It seems like you're dreading this procedure. It's really not that difficult. I'll make a suggestion to you: Review the procedure linked to in Gary's post #7. Remember you will only need the steps to remove the bottom cover with the goal of reseating the two cables. Find yourself a quiet, clean, well-lit place to work. Remove the battery. Take the bottom cover off with a plan of just looking. Find and study the two connectors. If you don't feel comfortable reseating the cables, put it back together. Come back to it on another day or send it in for repair.
On the other hand, if the connectors make sense, just do it! (Remember that one connector slides and the other one pivots.) Your camera is not reliable and has no value as a backup or for resale in this condition.
As you so aptly put it, you have nothing to lose by trying. It WILL be fun and very satisfying when complete. Guaranteed!
I now have a paperweight. I broke the connector on the bottom of the card reader and now the ribbon cable cannot be secured. Not all is lost though. Seems all I need is a new card slot with cable attached. For now I am putting the camera in storage until I get the money for another. Wasn't working that well anyway, and I use my D7000 99.99% of the time anyway. Or maybe I'll just pony up and send it into Nikon at some point. Camera repair isn't my strong suit apparently.