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memory card locked appears on my camera how do I unlock it?

snapshot
Apprentice

how do I unlock the memory card in my powershot a480?

29 REPLIES 29

Well as mentioned your running the risk of whatever you use on that SD card, tape, glue etc. falling off into your camera and compounding your problem $$$$

I've never seen and SD card without a lock tab but I imagine there are some out there. I also cant remember ever seeing a direct read from USB SD card either. Which also means very little since Im not aware of all the different types of SD cards either. Must be a mini USB cable those SD slots are pretty slim.

Whatever you chose to do I wish you the best of results!

BLUF: The tape fix works.  I am simply elaborating a little on the technique, FYI.

 

Today I received a used SD1200 IS that I bought off ebay as a #2 / backup camera. It seemed to operate OK; it came without a memory card, so I slipped one in.  Got the “Card Locked” message.  I fooled around with the sliding tab, even though it was set to “unlock” correctly.  I tried another card – locked, again.  I slipped in a third card – OK!  All three cards were recognized correctly in my #1 camera, but only one of the three in this used #2 camera.  With a “bad” card in the camera, the options to reformat the card and reset default settings are disabled.  I slipped in a good card to reset to default; resetting did not help.  Before searching and finding this web site and thread, I visually compared cards, but could not really see any difference.  After listening and watching the video posted by 100nz843z it occurred to me to check the height of the good card with the bad card.  I used a small metal ruler, laying the edge across the edge to observe if the tab was at the same height.  Both card tabs had a gap, but the gap of the good card was very small and the gap of the tab on the bad card, while small, was noticeably greater.

 

On the bad card, I positioned the tab at unlocked, and covered the entire tab cutout with tape.  You have to be aware that you could accidentally cover the metal connections on the card, which I did at first.  (I decided to use Scotch Magic tape; I thought it would become less goo-ie over time, esp. in my car were I always keep a camera.)  I slipped the card into the camera and the camera started up just fine, no problem.  I think a more permanent fix would be to get some Superglue Gel and with a toothpick add a layer or two across the top of the tab to increase its height, allowing the tab to properly engage the small “switch” inside the camera.  That switch must be slightly worn or bent.

 

Here are a couple of photos. The first shows the tab gaps.  The good card (cheap, unbranded) is the blue one on the left as you look at it.  The bad card (Sandisc Extreme) is the black one on the right.  If you look carefully and compare the space between each tab you will see that the card tab on the left is noticeably closer to the ruler edge than the one on the right.  As you can tell, it doesn’t take much of a difference/increase in gap to create an error, or to fix it.

 

 Tab gaps compared.JPG

 

Tape applied.JPG

 

 

The tape negates the need for any tab, as you now know. I don’t know how long the tape would hold up long term, especially in high heat, hence my plan to replace that with some carefully placed buildup of Superglue gel on the tab edge.  I wanted to present my observations for the curious.  There are a couple of other threads addressing this problem, and unfortunately recommendations on those have the camera owners chasing firmware solutions, sending the camera in for repair, etc. – all expensive, time-consuming and, as we can see, a needless waste of money and headache.  I really appreciate the video and information posted by 100nz843z.


@tuna wrote:

BLUF: The tape fix works.  I am simply elaborating a little on the technique, FYI.

 

Today I received a used SD1200 IS that I bought off ebay as a #2 / backup camera. It seemed to operate OK; it came without a memory card, so I slipped one in.  Got the “Card Locked” message.  I fooled around with the sliding tab, even though it was set to “unlock” correctly.  I tried another card – locked, again.  I slipped in a third card – OK!  All three cards were recognized correctly in my #1 camera, but only one of the three in this used #2 camera.  With a “bad” card in the camera, the options to reformat the card and reset default settings are disabled.  I slipped in a good card to reset to default; resetting did not help.  Before searching and finding this web site and thread, I visually compared cards, but could not really see any difference.  After listening and watching the video posted by 100nz843z it occurred to me to check the height of the good card with the bad card.  I used a small metal ruler, laying the edge across the edge to observe if the tab was at the same height.  Both card tabs had a gap, but the gap of the good card was very small and the gap of the tab on the bad card, while small, was noticeably greater.

 

On the bad card, I positioned the tab at unlocked, and covered the entire tab cutout with tape.  You have to be aware that you could accidentally cover the metal connections on the card, which I did at first.  (I decided to use Scotch Magic tape; I thought it would become less goo-ie over time, esp. in my car were I always keep a camera.)  I slipped the card into the camera and the camera started up just fine, no problem.  I think a more permanent fix would be to get some Superglue Gel and with a toothpick add a layer or two across the top of the tab to increase its height, allowing the tab to properly engage the small “switch” inside the camera.  That switch must be slightly worn or bent.

 

Here are a couple of photos. The first shows the tab gaps.  The good card (cheap, unbranded) is the blue one on the left as you look at it.  The bad card (Sandisc Extreme) is the black one on the right.  If you look carefully and compare the space between each tab you will see that the card tab on the left is noticeably closer to the ruler edge than the one on the right.  As you can tell, it doesn’t take much of a difference/increase in gap to create an error, or to fix it.

 

 Tab gaps compared.JPG

 

Tape applied.JPG

 

 

The tape negates the need for any tab, as you now know. I don’t know how long the tape would hold up long term, especially in high heat, hence my plan to replace that with some carefully placed buildup of Superglue gel on the tab edge.  I wanted to present my observations for the curious.  There are a couple of other threads addressing this problem, and unfortunately recommendations on those have the camera owners chasing firmware solutions, sending the camera in for repair, etc. – all expensive, time-consuming and, as we can see, a needless waste of money and headache.  I really appreciate the video and information posted by 100nz843z.


I would never put tape or super glue inside of my camera.  A new card is far cheaper than a new camera.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Yeah, you said that before....  Everyone, of course, is going to make their own decision.  In the absence of any evidence or reports of dire mishaps occurring from using the quick fix, I see no reason not to use it.

 

The modifications are entirely on the card.  What are the odds of the tape or the very small amount of glue coming off inside the camera?  I don't know, but it's worth a try.  Simply checking the card every few months (or whenever) is easy to do.  I think either material could be easily removed if they became dislodged.

 

Personally, if I had a camera out of warranty (I do), and did not want to spend the money for a new one or even for a repair (I don't), then altering the sliding tab on the memory card is a viable option.  If the alternative is buying a new camera, what do I have to lose by trying this?  That small spring switch inside the camera simply needs to be pushed in a mere fraction of a millimeter further to work... so simple, so easy to fix.

 

Anyway, I have these cameras because they are the last ELF series model that have a viewfinder.  There are none available new, only used, and they are so inexpensive that repairing one is not worth it.  I paid $13 for this recent purchase, including S&H.  The quick fix is the practical one.

 

I'll post my result after applying glue to the card's tab.  I may or may not use Superglue; something more along the line of an epoxy might be more durable and adhesive (a truly bonding material).  (Nah, I'll probalby use the Superglue.)   I only received the camera yesterday afternoon, just a few hours before searching for a solution, fixing and posting here.

hectorleyba
Apprentice

How do I unlock memory card?

There's a sliding tab on the SD memory card that either locks the card (prevents writing to it) or "unlocks" it, allowing writing:

 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58pdnjskvyw

 

 

If you have the tab of the card in the unlocked position and you get a message on your camera that the card is locked, well then, that's what this thread has been about.  Have you read it thoroughly?  Here's another YouTube video that pretty much demonstrates the "fix" that we've been discussing here:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_XkvkHDveo

 

 

amazinglyso
Apprentice

There should be a slide switch on the SIM itself so take this out of the camera and slide it to Lock-Off - this is the only way to resolve the issue.  If for any reason there is no slide switch on the SIM means that it is either innapropriate for the device or defective and a replacement should then be purchased.  I asummed it was to with the Camera itself until I figured out about the SIM slider yet unable to get the camera to resolve it.  Hope this is helpful to anyone who reads this post.

amazinglyso
Apprentice

Take the SIM out of camera and there should be a slider - gentley push this upwards to the top.

I think you're going to create some confusion by misidentifying the memory card as a SIM.  While a SIM looks like an very small SD memory card, and has memory functions, it is not a memory card in the sense that Canon and all camera mfrs. use simply as a means of image storage.  I don't want anyone disassembling their camera looking for a micro-SD type of SIM when one doesn't exist.

 

SIM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_identity_module

 

Memory Card:  http://community.usa.canon.com/t5/PowerShot/Memory-card-locked-simple-new-soultion/m-p/222378#M11561

 

 

william4534
Apprentice

Hold the ON button down, then press the MENU button.

The camera will turn off. Press and hold the on button again, but DON'T release it this time. If you have a memory card inserted in your camera it will automatically start formatting for use with your camera. Release the on button to complete the formatting of the memory card.

If your memory card is not formatted or damaged it will prompt you to do so before continuing past step 2 above. When done properly a prompt should come up confirming that any images/videos/movies in its current directory are now erased and safe for future use in another device if needed.

Source: CaptureGears

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