Sunday, May 16, 2010

Using an 8GB CF Card in a Fujifilm S7000

This is for anyone else searching for how to solve this problem.  I bought an 8GB Compact Flash card to use with my nice digital camera, since it only had a 256MB xD card in it.  The camera I have is a Fujifilm FinePix S7000, which is a VERY nice camera, besides its one shortfall of being so big, which is of course also why it's so nice.
I bought the 8GB CF card without doing too much research as to if it will actually work or not with the S7000.  It turns out, at first glance, it did not.  It turns out the S7000 uses the FAT16 file system on its memory cards, as opposed to FAT32, which is what most modern SD cards and USB flash drives use.  This means that the file system on this camera can only support 2GB partitions (anyone remember Windows 95 with the hard drive split into 5 different partitions? Good times...), so the camera complains of an uninitialized card, but formatting it through the SET menu does no good.

So the problem is that the camera can't handle cards bigger than 2GB.  Fortunately, I realized that with a little partitioning magic, I could most likely trick my camera into thinking that this card really only was 2GB, at the expense of leaving the other 6GB unused, for now.

The solution I used to fix this was to pull out my trusty Ubuntu boot CD and booted it on one of my computers to use the wonderful tool called GParted.  GParted lets you edit the partition table of any storage device, which means you can destroy a lot of data very quickly, so don't say I didn't warn you.  (GParted apparently also comes on its own boot disc if you don't happen to have an Ubuntu CD laying around.)

Using GParted, I deleted the 8GB FAT32 partition, and created a 2048MB FAT16 partition.  Note that GParted will let you create a FAT16 partition up to 4GB, but anything larger than 2GB (2048MB) won't work with the camera.  Click the apply button, and you can now use the CF card in the S7000.

Obviously, this is less than ideal, since it means than you can only use two out of the eight GB on the card, but since I had no other use for the card than for this camera, its 2GB more than I had before.  If you ever end up using the same card in a more modern camera, you just have to follow the same process to delete the 2GB partition and create a new partition that is the full size.


  1. I did it exactly as you did. I was succesful to create a 2gb partition with Fat16, but every time I would put it in my Nikon D1X it wanted to format it and of course once again found 8GB instead of 2GB. Any recommendation?

  2. Try not pushing the limit, but first create a 1GB partition and see if it likes that. Then you can try and grow it until it stops recognizing it again.

    I eventually gave up on using the 8GB CF card (kept managing to bork the partition table) and just spent the $10 for a 2GB CF card on the second hand market.

  3. Thank you for responding. I guess it won't work anyway. I tried with one giga and still every time I put it back into the camera, the camera needs to format it to work with it and once it happens then it analyzes it as an 8GB card. I guess there is no way to format it for Nikon unless through the camera. So I am giving up. I'll keep my 8GB for a future camera. In the meanwhile I will buy a couple of 2 GB. Thanks again.

  4. Thanks for writing this down.
    I've got an old FAT16 CF camera with a 8GB microSDHC + adapter, but I also ended up with a 4GB CF card.

    Sometime I'll give it a try, once again. :)

  5. I found one of these cameras today and its very nice for what i paid for it and couldnt find an xD card anywhere so i ended up doing the same thing with the same issues! Thanks for the help I literally ended up saying the camera couldnt read the card because it was to big right before finding this post so glad the camera works looks like im going to ebay to order the right card for it!!!