Tutorial Speed up slow SD card.

CrimzonEyed

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Cure that lazy and slow Micro SD card!



So I was asked by a friend this morning why he wasn't able any games on his flashcart on his DS lite because they freeze after some time played.
I told him it's probably your SD card that's getting a bit slow, search on GBATemp and you sure find a solution on it. (I know i had answered that question a lot before in the forums)
However he wasn't able to find any helping posts. *sighs*
So now I am going to make fast guide on how to speed your Micro SD card that for some reason have started to have problem with game freezes or slowdowns.

1. Make a Backup of all the content on your Micro SD card and save it some place safe on your Computer, for example create a Folder on the desktop and put everything in the folder that you have on your Micro SD Card.

2. Download and install Panasonic SD Formatter 3.1

3 Open SD Formatter 3.0 from the start menu or by the new fresh desktop shortcut.

4. When SD Formatter 3.0 opens you will be shown this window:
guide1.png


5. Now We are going to Press the "Options" Button and will be shown this brand new Window!
gudie2.png



6. Now Select as show in the image "Format Type: FULL (overwrite)" and "Format Size Adjustment: ON" and then press the OK Button!

7. Now before we do anything else, DID YOU REMEMBER TO DO A BACKUP OF YOUR MICRO SD CARD CONTENT? If you did now let's go to number 8.

8. Now you have to press the scary looking "Format" button as shown in image below, when you press it will take some time before it's done, do not remove the micro sd card during the format progress.
guide3.png


9. Now when the format is complete, Remember the backup you did? Put everything back on your micro SD card, and while you are at it, check if your R4wood/Acekard/DSTWO or whatever flashcart have a new update, I suggest you to use Ron975's awesome FlashcartHelper to download the latest firmware for your flashcart.

10. Phew everything is back were it should be (hopefully) and you maybe even got yourself a better update for your Flashcart. Now this guide have solved problem with slow micro SD card in maybe 90% of the cases.

Anything missing/wrong/could be done better? Just post your comment and I promise you I look it over.
 

impizkit

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I dont see how you can change the speed of a slow card. For example a class 2 cannot become a class 10 by simply formatting it. Read speeds may increase because the files are moved around.
 
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CrimzonEyed

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impizkit said:
I dont see how you can change the speed of a slow card. For example a class 2 cannot become a class 10 by simply formatting it. Read speeds may increase because the files are moved around.
I didn't mean speed up in that way, I meant as you use a SD card it will gradually get slower and slower until you maybe reach a point so that it makes game's freeze.
That's why formatting your microsd card is good to get it fresh and clean Flash memory.
Kinda like you sometimes have to re-install windows because it get's so darn slow after some time, you defrag and use all kind of tools to speed your pc up, but it can never be as fast as it was fresh installed.
 
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mutant2

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Whenever games are deleted and replaced on an sd card it can affect the performance. This isn't always immediately apparent, but over time, with continuous deleting of one and replacing of another game the card loses it's optimum performance ability. Each time a game is deleted, an ' empty space' is left behind. When a new game is put on, it is placed in 'fragments' and uses up the empty spaces left behind by deleted games. Over time this can affect gameplay.

Formatting your sd card gives it a new lease of life, and replacing everything 'fresh' on the formatted card ensures that each game is allotted it's 'own little corner' on the card, thus improving card performance.

Using this formatter (in tutorial) instead of the standard one in your PC ensures better formattting, as the Panasonic is designed specifically for sd cards.

Thank you for a great tutorial CrimzonEyed. :)
 

ZAFDeltaForce

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I remember in the old days before all these "Class 2" or "Class 10" SDHC cards were out, we used to format our microSDs to FAT16 with 64K cluster sizes or something. It really did some wonders back then :creep:
 
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alphamule

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What I don't get is how a solid-state device (random access) is slowed by fragmenting but it seems to happen. Formatting the SD card through the program won't work on server OSes by the way. No, 2003 and 2008 are somehow not compatible even though they have the exact same updates. Version-checkitus! :D
 

Foxi4

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What I don't get is how a solid-state device (random access) is slowed by fragmenting but it seems to happen. Formatting the SD card through the program won't work on server OSes by the way. No, 2003 and 2008 are somehow not compatible even though they have the exact same updates. Version-checkitus! :D
It's not really the matter of the medium itself - regardless of the level of fragmentation, read speeds will be exactly the same thoughout the use of the card until it starts failing at the end of its life-cycle. The problem here is the File Allocation Table and the Pagefile which tend to go mumbo-jumbo after a while - this is why you should format your drives every now and then to increase performance, not just Solid State drives, but Optical ones aswell.

Also, using SD Formatter is generally recommended as it's the application endorsed by the SD Association - they know what they're doing, it's their standard afterall. Built-in OS tools are quirky, always have been, always will be.
 

alphamule

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Optical or magnetic? Hard drives are generally mechanical and magnetic.

Also, using SD Formatter is generally recommended as it's the application endorsed by the SD Association - they know what they're doing, it's their standard afterall. Built-in OS tools are quirky, always have been, always will be.
Hmm not in my experience... More like klunkiness(slow). But that's only on HDD's and FDD's that are pretty mature. Heh, I remember the OS taking minutes to make a 1.2M disk while a special tool was able to do it in 20 seconds and that included a low-level magnetic format. They probably skipped verifying or something?

SSD support is 'supposed' to be done at the OS level so that normal users don't have to know all this junk but someone seems to have dropped the ball. This is the reason that we have to install a tool that duplicates quite a bit of what the OS does in order to get that 10% of features needed for SSD's. It also doesn't help that the file systems tend to leave critical parts that a rewritten/read a lot all in the same location such as how FAT32 does. Eventually, even reading a sector often enough forces the controller inside a Flash ROM drive to rewrite the data nearby to prevent read-wear forms of memory loss. :/
 

Foxi4

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The HDD Low-Level Format Tool has saved many MicroSD cards that I thought were dead. It can recover cards that even the Panasonic SD Formatter doesn't recognize. If you ever encounter a card that the Panasonic tool can't read, give it a try.
Well, even when you do nuke an SD card like that, there is still a high probability that the card will fail once more sooner or later. Still, good advice. Better to C.P.R those then just throw them away. :)
 

alphamule

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Meh, if you're using it for something noncritical, it's worth a shot. I wouldn't rely on them for anything professional. It would be terribly annoying to show up at work with a presentation that can't load or arrive at college across town with a project to turn in and an instructor who refuses to use a file locker but wants your (now dead) card to be in their hand. D'oh!
 

buhdiego

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Im trying this now. I have a class 10 mSD card that has run slow less than a month of use, it was 32mb/s the first times i've used it and now it is less than 8mb/s everytime... tried to format even with low level format tools and it didn't solve.... guess this software will revive my mSD hahahaa. One thing I'm noticing while it is formating though.... the numbers on the "overwrite erase" are not running smooth, they're going fast but sometimes it stutters, is it normal? on the first 3% it was normal, and then began to stutter evey now and then... maybe it is getting faulty already? :T
 

Treskatae

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Sorry to zombie, but I'm trying this now because I had the same problem as buhdiego. I let the format run overnight and it's only 24% of the way there. I think the card must have gotten corrupted at some point. It rocks back and forth between ~1MB/s all the way down to 43KB/s. Hopefully this fixes it since it's a 200 gig card and would feel like a waste to just throw away...
 

buhdiego

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Sorry to zombie, but I'm trying this now because I had the same problem as buhdiego. I let the format run overnight and it's only 24% of the way there. I think the card must have gotten corrupted at some point. It rocks back and forth between ~1MB/s all the way down to 43KB/s. Hopefully this fixes it since it's a 200 gig card and would feel like a waste to just throw away...

I noticed mine was doing that only on one partition, so it was not a problem of the sd card... i did a full format on that partition and it fixed my problem.
First of all, backup your data
then, remove the sd card
then, reinsert it to the pc
and then, do a full format (uncheck quick format) and wait until it finishes...
remove the sd card, reinsert and check if the problem was fixed.

I have another sd card with the same problem that this process above didn't fix...
but... i removed the partitions and readd again and then formatted them, all this using the manjaro linux live boot, and idon't know why, somehow it fixed the sd card speed...
 
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