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PSA: Fuji Users – Lock Your SD Cards When Accessing Files On A Mac To Avoid Corruption

By Justin Heyes on October 21st 2016

Apple can’t catch a break recently. First, there were/are issues with Photoshop and Lightroom with the newest macOs Sierra, and now there are issues appearing that are causing corruption and failure on SD cards used in Fuji cameras.

[REWIND: Mac OS Sierra Might Break Compatibility With Lightroom & Photoshop ]

I second-shot about 20 weddings this year with my Fuji system, and most went off without a hitch: Either I shot on the lead’s cards, dumped a copy on my laptop and gave them the cards at the end of the night, or I shot on my cards and the lead mailed them back (weird, I know). I haven’t had any issues with the dozen or so photographers that I have shot with save one of the last ones; I received my SD cards back completely toasted.

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Unbeknownst to me at the time, cards from Fuji cameras can have Issues with the files that Apple writes to all media drives. Granted it is not a specific issue with macOS Sierra as all OSX based systems write files like .DS_Store and ._AppleDouble that help with indexing and file retrieval. When these files are written to the card, Fuji cameras like the X100T see them as an error and Display “Card Error” on the screen, or even make the cards unmountable.

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A simple solution to prevent theses files from being written to your SD cards is enabling the write protection switch before inserting them into your computer. Enabling the switch will allow you read the image file off the card and prevent macOS from indexing them. When you are done transferring, your files disable the write protection and format the cards in camera.

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A second solution comes from Zerotwenty and their $15 app BlueHarvest. Die hard Star Wars fans will understand the reference, but what Blueharvest does is prevent the Empire macOS from writing .DS_Store files on your local and networked drives. If you work with Fuji cameras extensively, it is worth the free trial and peace of mind especially when working on a Mac.

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In my situation, luckily, the Lead got all the files she needs before the cards became corrupted. I was miffed that I lost two cards, but it gave me the opportunity to invest in the Lexar x1000 UHS-II I had been eyeing up on B&H.

About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

13 Comments

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  1. Bjarne Solvik

    Same goes for windows. More a Fuji issue. Seems like camera is sensetive to forrign files. Same card on a Sony will work just fine, even with fuji camera files :)

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  2. Nathan Smith

    I might add that when I use Lightroom’s “Eject after Import” option, I don’t have any problems. But if you copy a few files to your Mac manually, but want to keep shooting on the same card (when traveling for example), the FREE Clean Eject program solves the problem. http://www.javawa.nl/cleaneject_en.html

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  3. Nathan Smith

    Justin, just get this FREE Mac program that removes the offending Apple files WITHOUT touching your photos. I use it not only with my SD cards, but with PC formatted flash drives i share with friends, my Garmin GPS during updates, and PC formatted external drives. Do a test with an SD card and you’ll see it works. http://www.javawa.nl/cleaneject_en.html

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  4. Alex Harris

    Should this only be if putting the cards into a Mac? Or also when using a card reader?

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  5. Shawn Colborn

    Hello. Thanks for reporting this issue. I have a quick question. Was the lead using a Mac or Windows PC? I’m curious if there is some kind of added code that the Mac has an issue with when the card is inserted. I use an X-Pro 1 and a Mac with OSX 10.6.7 (Older) and haven’t had a problem. I’m using Adobe CC for file processing. Thanks.

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    • Justin Heyes

      No problem Shawn. She was using an iMac with Sierra.

      I can not recommend enough that anyone doing professional work upgrade to macOS 10.12. I haven’t had this many issues with and OS since Windows Vista (yeah, it’s that bad)

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  6. Thomas Barrows

    Just curious if others have had the same problem or not. I upgraded immediately to Sierra on both a MacBook Pro and Mac Mini. Since then I have filled and downloaded dozens of cards from both an XT-2 and X100T, shared some with other Mac users and sometimes added files to the cards to transfer to different machines. All were reformatted in the camera afterwards and refilled, etc., etc. Have not had a single problem with any cards on any Mac OS when using Fuji gear so I am not sure if it is an isolated problem or more widespread, or possibly just a difference in workflow?

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  7. Jack Strohm

    no no no . . . Just format the card don’t throw it away! sheesh.

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    • Justin Heyes

      My cards were unmountable and were not recognized by 4 different cameras and 5 different OSs. I think it was safe to say that they were toast

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  8. Walt Polley

    regarding toasted SD cards – try using the SDFormatter program from the SD Consortium. It should be able to revamp them.

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    • Justin Heyes

      I ended up tossing the cards after trying for days to mount them in Windows, Mac and a few Linux distros.

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  9. Jon Corun

    Wow, I just had a mini panic attack reading this. Glad there was a happy ending and you didn’t lose any data!

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    • Justin Heyes

      Yeah. the lead had copies of all the files so, I was able to copy her drive for the images I shot

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