D5100 "This memory card cannot be used"

Started Mar 1, 2013 | Questions
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M J B New Member • Posts: 4
D5100 "This memory card cannot be used"

So, today, after transferring images from my SanDisk 1GB SD card to the computer, via a card reader, I erroneously hit "Delete" and wiped the card before returning it to my D5100. (I didn't know this was a problem at the time.) Once back in the D5100, I promptly formatted the card in the camera, as I had intended and then tried to take a couple shots (the format completed successfully, or at least without any errors being reported). To my surprise, when the camera tried to write the shots from the buffer to the card, I got: "This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card."

I've done a fair bit of Google-ing, but the what I've found either says "format the card", update firmware (I'm at A 1.01, B 1.01, and L 1.006), or the situation is one where the SD card itself has failed. As to those scores:

+Card failure is not the case here--I've done numerous read/write/copies/what-have-you on the card via the reader on my computer. I have sucessfully taken shots on the card with my old, old point-and-shoot (a Canon PowerShot A510).

+Firmware is up-to-date, according to the camera menus and the info I can find on Nikon's site.

+I've repeatedly, and allegedly successfully, formatted the card on the D5100. I've removed the card and the battery from the D5100 and tried again. But, after everything, the moment I take a shot with the D5100 and it tries to write from buffer to card, I receive the "This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card."

I cannot believe that simply because I wiped the card, rather than leaving the pics intact and then formatting, the D5100 refuses to ever use it again...else how could it ever use a new card? Granted, the card is old, but it still was working fine in the D5100 until I took the images off it, and continues to work fine with the PC and in the old Canon P&S.

Is there something I've failed to try?

Any help would be appreciated!

ANSWER:
Nikon D5100
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toomanycanons Forum Pro • Posts: 10,761
Re: D5100 "This memory card cannot be used"

See if the little switch on the side of the SD card hasn't been slid to "lock".

M J B OP New Member • Posts: 4
Re: D5100 "This memory card cannot be used"

toomanycanons wrote:

See if the little switch on the side of the SD card hasn't been slid to "lock".

No, the SD card is not locked. Sorry I didn't mention above. Thanks, though.

I did troubleshoot with that, too, however: I slid the card to the locked position and the D5100 immediately threw up a message saying the card was locked and it couldn't be used in the locked state. I unlocked the SD card again and was back to square one...could format, but got an error immediately on trying to take a photo.

Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 20,265
May work
1

Putting the card back in the reader and doing a full format with your PC OS..then put it back in the camera and format using the camera system. That may work.

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

pixd90 Senior Member • Posts: 1,368
Re: May work

Even if it worked i would not take a chance using it. Send it back to sandisk, great company, they should replace it for free.

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M J B OP New Member • Posts: 4
Re: May work

Gave it a go. Seemed to work.

Full format (not quick), FAT32, renamed the card

When put back in the D5100, this brought up "card not formatted, format card" and "FOR" in the view finder. Went to menu, format card, said was successful. Went, shot the computer screen a few times. The first 4 photos went fine. I then held down for a continuous shot and the "This memory card may not be used" returned. After powering off and back on, I tried another image and even after a single photo, the message was back.

So...perhaps a card failure-type issue after all? At least when trying to send data as fast as the D5100 is? (The thing is still immediately recognized on the PC and I could take the 4 shots of the screen off of it without issue.)

Mako2011
Mako2011 MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 20,265
Re: May work
1

M J B wrote:

Gave it a go. Seemed to work.

Full format (not quick), FAT32, renamed the card

When put back in the D5100, this brought up "card not formatted, format card" and "FOR" in the view finder. Went to menu, format card, said was successful. Went, shot the computer screen a few times. The first 4 photos went fine. I then held down for a continuous shot and the "This memory card may not be used" returned. After powering off and back on, I tried another image and even after a single photo, the message was back.

So...perhaps a card failure-type issue after all? At least when trying to send data as fast as the D5100 is? (The thing is still immediately recognized on the PC and I could take the 4 shots of the screen off of it without issue.)

That does indeed seem to be a card failure. The throughput of the camera is way more demanding than the PC

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My opinions are my own and not those of DPR or its administration. They carry no 'special' value (except to me and Lacie of course)

selected answer This post was selected as the answer by the original poster.
M J B OP New Member • Posts: 4
Re: May work

Understood. Many thanks for the help trouble-shooting.

Enthusiast Photographer Regular Member • Posts: 117
Re: May work

I'd contact SANDisk for a warranty replacement.  Sounds like media failure, and might just be a coincidence on timing.

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ZorSy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,425
Re: May work

1G card - they don't make them anymore! Get serious, how much does it cost to replace? $2 perhaps for the lot of 4? Just buy a new (decent size) one...

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LouCioccio
LouCioccio Senior Member • Posts: 1,926
Re: May work

Here is a good link:

https://www.sdcard.org/home/

Yes old cards can fail just as new.

Ciao,

Lou Cioccio

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atigun Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: May work

Do you have the latest D5100 firmware?

Early firmware had a problem with certain cards. It was soon fixed with a firmware update.

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Atigun valley, a place north in Alaska

Deleted-pending Senior Member • Posts: 2,665
Re: D5100 "This memory card cannot be used"

I had the exact same problem with 16GB patriot SD cards - no matter what the D5100 and D3200 refuse to read them (formatted on pc, camera, etc...) they work on all my other devices. New Nikons seem to be reluctant to read certain types of SD cards (software coding ?) and has a list of compatible cards on its website. My lexar 64GB high speed cards work like a charm though

M J B wrote:

So, today, after transferring images from my SanDisk 1GB SD card to the computer, via a card reader, I erroneously hit "Delete" and wiped the card before returning it to my D5100. (I didn't know this was a problem at the time.) Once back in the D5100, I promptly formatted the card in the camera, as I had intended and then tried to take a couple shots (the format completed successfully, or at least without any errors being reported). To my surprise, when the camera tried to write the shots from the buffer to the card, I got: "This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card."

I've done a fair bit of Google-ing, but the what I've found either says "format the card", update firmware (I'm at A 1.01, B 1.01, and L 1.006), or the situation is one where the SD card itself has failed. As to those scores:

+Card failure is not the case here--I've done numerous read/write/copies/what-have-you on the card via the reader on my computer. I have sucessfully taken shots on the card with my old, old point-and-shoot (a Canon PowerShot A510).

+Firmware is up-to-date, according to the camera menus and the info I can find on Nikon's site.

+I've repeatedly, and allegedly successfully, formatted the card on the D5100. I've removed the card and the battery from the D5100 and tried again. But, after everything, the moment I take a shot with the D5100 and it tries to write from buffer to card, I receive the "This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card."

I cannot believe that simply because I wiped the card, rather than leaving the pics intact and then formatting, the D5100 refuses to ever use it again...else how could it ever use a new card? Granted, the card is old, but it still was working fine in the D5100 until I took the images off it, and continues to work fine with the PC and in the old Canon P&S.

Is there something I've failed to try?

Any help would be appreciated!

Susant New Member • Posts: 3
Re: May work

I am also getting the message "this memory card cannot be used". Etc. in my nikon d5100.   I put 3 different cards in the camera and they all give the same message.   The 4 cards all work in other cameras and can be read on a pc and on an ipad.  The cards seem ok so what is wrong with the camera?

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