Is it safe to leave the flashcard in RAW?

Discussion in 'R4 DS' started by Rayder, May 19, 2007.

May 19, 2007
  1. Rayder
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    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    EDIT: Let this thread die.



    I just noticed....I reformatted my 2gig MicroSD for the R4 to clean up any fragmentation and when I formatted I forgot to set it to FAT. What caught my attention is I had about 50 extra megs of space....because of cluster size differences between FAT and RAW modes, I imagine.

    Everything seems to be working fine and loading fast, saving too, with it in RAW mode. Now, I have the whole card backed up in the PC, but I'm wondering.....is it safe to leave the card formatted in RAW? It certainly gives me extra space......

    Things that are DLDI patched will still work, right? I only have one such file on the card; SNEmulDS and I'm wondering if I should reformat it to put it in FAT or if it's safe to leave it in RAW mode.

    What say you?
     
  2. Costello

    Administrator Costello Headmaster

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    can you explain what you mean by "RAW" mode? ...
     
  3. Rayder
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    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    The card is currently formatted in RAW mode instead of FAT16. I don't exactly know what the difference between RAW and FAT is, but I know that when you first get a flashcard, it's pre-formatted in RAW.

    I'm just wondering if it's safe to leave it formatted in RAW since I gained like 50megs of space by having it formatted in RAW, or if I should immediately reformat it to FAT. If I should immediately reformat it to FAT.....why? What issues might I run into?

    I actually didn't know that the R4 would even read the microSD formatted in RAW mode, but it does.....and it seems to load faster too, as well as giving me extra space on the card.

    I've heard of occasions in cameras and whatnot where if it was formatted in RAW, the data would suddenly disappear when using it. I was curious if anyone tried RAW mode format on a flashcard for the R4 and had any problems, or if I stumbled on a way to get some extra space and loading speed.

    Any clues?
     
  4. sylux92

    Member sylux92 GBAtemp Fan

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    How do you format it to RAW?
     
  5. Rayder
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    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    This is a VERY good question. I reformatted to FAT and now I can't get it to go back to RAW. All I know is that reading and writing to the card in RAW format was twice as fast as FAT.

    I'm trying to figure out what I did last time to get it to go to the RAW file system. Don't know what the hell I did, but I can't get it back. I was going to see if I could run PoR that way without crashing since it read and wrote so much faster that way.



    It's definitely a [​IMG] type of situation.
     
  6. st0nedpenguin

    Newcomer st0nedpenguin Member

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    Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > Storage > Disk Management

    Should show the drive in there, I'd imagine you could delete the partition on the flash disk and then recreate it again which might make a fresh RAW partition.

    This is all just pure guesswork though so I'd try it first on any random disk you may have lying round and if you do actually try it and your drive dies/PC dies/cat suffers an aneurism don't hold me accountable. [​IMG]

    Edit: Some handy info here

    http://www.aximsite.com/articles/print.php?id=278
     
  7. Rayder
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    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    OK, from what I could find out online, RAW is a card with NO file system on it. Don't know how I managed to get it to RAW, but it sounds like it shouldn't be used. Too bad, it was really fast compared to FAT. Oh well.
     
  8. Xeijin

    Member Xeijin GBAtemp Fan

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    Mind explaining the disadvantages of using it as RAW? 50MB of extra space sounds very tempting...

    Edit: Is this similar to the 'AKFS' (Acekard's Proprietary Filesystem) which attains higher read speeds, but is prone to fragmentation/wasted space? (link here: http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=39686)
     
  9. Rayder
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    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    ER....I was mistaken about the 50megs of space deal, I forgot I took out a game. [​IMG]

    But it definitely read/wrote to the card faster, of that I'm absolutely positive. Too bad I didn't try PoR before I reformatted it back to FAT.

    Mostly all I found online talked about the .RAW image format and not the file system, but even when I did find some info, it was vague. But RAW as a format on a flashcard probably isn't good if there is no actual file system. You're putting files on a totally blank card with no file system. You'd be prone to file corruption or having files go completely missing. That's my guess anyway.
     
  10. Xeijin

    Member Xeijin GBAtemp Fan

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    [​IMG] There I was getting my hopes up!

    Yeah, with the 50megs outta the picture its sounding alot like the AKFS, thing with Acekard which isn't all that good judging by the review.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  11. fritz

    Newcomer fritz Member

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    I think you might have been mistaken. If it is RAW (ie, no file system), how does it keep track of files? Where are the file names stored? How is space allocated for files? These are all tasks of a file system. Incidentally, most flash media cards come formated as FAT.
     
  12. Maikel Steneker

    Member Maikel Steneker M3 Fanboy

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    Indeed. If there is no file system, there are no files either.
     
  13. Rayder
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    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    I don't know where you guys got your flashcards, but when my Transcends came (and all other flashcards we've bought for that matter), they were, and I will loosely term it as "formatted", in RAW. In other words, the cards were unformatted when I got them, so they show as a RAW file system in Windows. Hard drives won't be recognized that way, flashcards through a USB connection will. Flashcards access their content differently from a HD and that's the only reason it worked at all.

    RAW mode is what it calls a flash card with nothing on it. You CAN put files on it that way, but like I said in a previous reply, it will be prone to corruption and files going missing or the card suddenly saying there are no files there, since it won't record any file details. You put the integrity of your files at risk by using it that way.

    All I know is that it WAS working and was loading/saving to the card really fast through the R4. When it was saying it was in RAW, it took 7 minutes to write all the files to the card from my PC. In FAT it takes 15....yeah, it's a slow card. (2gig card, I have 1.74 gigs worth of stuff on it, out of a possible 1.86gigs of space)

    I have since reformatted the card in FAT and have verified that all files are still intact. Only thing I can figure is that somehow something blew the format information off the card (possibly pulled the card before the Delayed Write action completed), but still left the files intact, hence the RAW report from Windows.

    It was a "Twilight Zone" moment to be sure. (cue TZ music)

    I've determined RAW to be a bad idea when I couldn't find any way to "format" a card in RAW. I couldn't even find a way to clear previous formats from the card to purposely put it back in RAW. Anything I could find online about it (which was precious little) always just said to format your unformatted volume. Mostly, you got info on the RAW image format for cameras instead.

    Long story short, it shouldn't have worked at all, but it did.....and spawned this thread. [​IMG]
     
  14. iamwhoiam

    Member iamwhoiam Honorary R4 Fanboy

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    Are you sure this isn't a mistake?

    Because the R4 and every other card comes with a FATLIB which tells it how it should read and right the card... with a Fat file structure
     
  15. Rayder
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    Former Staff Rayder Mostly lurking lately....

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    In properties through Windows, It SAID the file system was in RAW. It WAS working through the R4. But since RAW is not an actual file system, I formatted it back to FAT out of fear of losing all my progress in various games after investigating about RAW online. IT WAS WORKING AND IT WAS FASTER! I just reported my observations.

    I think the "mistake" was bothering to say anything about it at all. All I know is what happened and I have already said all that I discovered about it in previous replies in this thread.

    Just let this thread die already. Geez! [​IMG] Just pretend this thread never existed.

    Sorry if I sound pissed, but a HD (C: no less) just died on one of our other PC's and now I have to waste my whole day setting that POS back up and I'm not happy about it. [​IMG]

    And we don't have any weed to keep me calm either! I'm more that just a little aggravated right now and it has little to do with this thread. So, again, I apologize for being short with you.
     

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