Go Back   AnandTech Forums > Hardware and Technology > Memory and Storage

Forums
· Hardware and Technology
· CPUs and Overclocking
· Motherboards
· Video Cards and Graphics
· Memory and Storage
· Power Supplies
· Cases & Cooling
· SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs
· Networking
· Peripherals
· General Hardware
· Highly Technical
· Computer Help
· Home Theater PCs
· Consumer Electronics
· Digital and Video Cameras
· Mobile Devices & Gadgets
· Audio/Video & Home Theater
· Software
· Software for Windows
· All Things Apple
· *nix Software
· Operating Systems
· Programming
· PC Gaming
· Console Gaming
· Distributed Computing
· Security
· Social
· Off Topic
· Politics and News
· Discussion Club
· Love and Relationships
· The Garage
· Health and Fitness
· Home and Garden
· Merchandise and Shopping
· For Sale/Trade
· Hot Deals with Free Stuff/Contests
· Black Friday 2014
· Forum Issues
· Technical Forum Issues
· Personal Forum Issues
· Suggestion Box
· Moderator Resources
· Moderator Discussions
   

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
geokilla
Golden Member
 
geokilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,969
Default Formatting SD: Windows or Dedicated SD formatter?

So when I used to play on the Nintendo DS, PSP, etc. etc., a lot of people would say that Windows is no good when it comes to formatting SD cards, and that I should use the Panasonic SD formatter. Is there any truth in this? Does it really make a difference?
__________________
Intel Core i5-3570K @ 4.2Ghz @ 1.16V (CPU-Z + LinX)
Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H F14 BIOS
XFX 7950 Double D 3GB (TDKC); VDCC @ 1.125VDCC 1000/1500
Kingston HyperX DDR3 8GB @ DDR-1333
Corsair AX750
Samsung 840 Pro 128GB and Western Digital Black 1TB + Misc HDD
geokilla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2012, 11:29 PM   #2
Cerb
Elite Member
 
Cerb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 15,990
Default

The formatter aught to correctly align the partitions, and leave space at either end. Some cards were known for using exposed logical blocks at either end for internal crap, and wanting very specific alignment, that would perfectly match a FAT32 file system. If they didn't get it, they could run slowly, due to lack of alignment, and/or bug out if your data was in the way of expected scratch space, or space for encryption info, or whatever else.

TMK, all the Panasonic SD Formatter does is write the partitions and main FAT table at erase block aligned boundaries. I can't say that's 100% of what it does, but AFAIK, that's basically what it does. Allegedly, the standard calls for 4MB alignment, and many cards use 4MB erasure blocks, but performance tests seem to make it look like there's everything from 512K to 8MB blocks out there, so...?

Since my recent SD cards have not been compatible with the Panasonic SD Formatter (Samsung, Kingston, Patriot), what I've done, just in case, is make images of them, while blank, with dd, then keep a compressed image in case I need to format one in the future (a sparse write of an image that's mostly zeros should be OK on the flash).

My last Samsung 32GB class 10 uSDHC consistently gives >18MB/s sequential read, about 4MB/s 4K random read, and ~11MB/s sequential write (as per CDM); yet is partitioned just like a regular hard drive would have been, down to the partition beginning at sector 63. So, even with all the alignment bits said, there are definitely exceptions.

The SD specification not being fully open is kind of annoying, when it comes to this stuff, and that SD controller makers didn't have to things anywhere near right, like CF.

P.S. Nice article on the issue: http://www.olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=4993.0
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crono View Post
I'm 90% certain the hipster movement was started by aliens from another galaxy who have an exaggerated interpretation of earth culture(s).

Last edited by Cerb; 11-12-2012 at 12:29 AM.
Cerb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 10:39 PM   #3
bigi
Golden Member
 
bigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,422
Default

Windows 7/8 will format SSDs fine.

Gparted will do that too.

XP will not format SSDs properly.
__________________
"I'm sick of being so healthy" - H.Simpson
bigi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 11:35 PM   #4
Soundmanred
Lifer
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: East Thrace, Türkiye
Posts: 10,689
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigi View Post
Windows 7/8 will format SSDs fine.

Gparted will do that too.

XP will not format SSDs properly.
SD cards, not SSDs.
__________________
Nothing like doing a little meth and defending the honor of lions on the internet. NOTHING.
Soundmanred is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
ericloewe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 258
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundmanred View Post
SD cards, not SSDs.
Windows 7 (and thus 8), and maybe Vista can safely be used to format USB flash drives, so there shouldn't be a problem with SD cards.
ericloewe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:43 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.