Coolpix S1: HELP! "This card cannot be used"

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bill_weaver, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Hi. I just got this camera (CP S1) and a 1GB Sandisk Ultra II a week
    ago for my fiance. Worked okay (light usage) until yesterday. Turning
    the camera on without a card results in "This card cannot be used."
    Turning the camera on with a card looks okay, but taking a picture
    results in the flash/charge light flashing for a few seconds, then
    "Warning!! This card cannot be read."

    Menus can be accessed only when SD card is in the camera and no shot
    has been taken. Menu items are unusual - black text with no cursor
    indicating which item is selected. However, they seem to function.
    Formatting card looks okay, then taking a shot works, then pressing
    Review button causes the screen to go black (still on, though) and
    require removing the battery to turn it off. I.e. it's locked up at
    this point.

    Calling Nikon just asked me to (a) reset defaults (nothing different),
    then (b) format the card, which I did with above results. They said
    return it.

    Before I do, are there any tricks or advice as to what could have
    happened? I'm puzzled. I've got an N90, D70, CP950, CP4300, and never
    had weird problems like this.

    I thought it might be the SD card installed backwards, but nope --
    won't fit that way. She's used it a couple times to take maybe 30
    shots. Until yesterday and it was dead. She said something else about
    the screen looking "split, or double" but I can't duplicate that or
    figure out what she saw.

  2. Check to be sure the card didn't get locked. Also that the little 'card inserted' icon comes up in the upper right-hand corner. If it doesn't, the card is locked or not completely pushed in and locked in place (not the same as having the slider locked on the card itself). If the icon isn't in the upper right-hand corner, then there is a problem with the card or its insertion.

  3. Check to be sure the card didn't get locked. Also that the little 'card inserted' icon comes up in the upper right-hand corner. If it doesn't, the card is locked or not completely pushed in and locked in place (not the same as having the slider locked on the card itself). If the icon isn't in the upper right-hand corner, then there is a problem with the card or its insertion.
    Thanks Conni. Unfortunately, the problem seems worse than that. I get an error without a card (though the S1 has built-in memory), but also after taking a picture. With an SD card inserted, the card icon shows up. Taking a picture, however, flickers the charge light as if it's writing to the card, then I get the cannot-be-read error. Pressing the review button blanks the screen and locks up the camera.
    Thanks again.
  4. Battery freshly charged?

    Never know - could be a bad battery

    Good Luck
  5. Hi there I can fix your camera for a LOW price. I do works on all Nikon Digital cameras, If your interested you can contact me at
  6. Dear Bill and everyone,

    Did you solve the trouble with your S1 Coolpix camera?
    I am having the same problem with my S1 Coolpix since yesterday I am desperate.
    I am getting "This card cannot be used" messages without card and after attempts of taking pictures, unusual Menu items, and black screens when I choose some settings.

    I got my camera in US last November, but I moved overseas and is harder (and pricer!) for me to get in contact with Nikon. I really appreciate if someone could help me to fix it.

    I have a 250Mb Sandisck card. Problems started just after I copied some pictures from the card to my computer and put the card back at the camera.
  7. I also have exactly the same issue so would be happy to learn of any fix. I have sent a question to Nikon but don't expect anything different than Bill.
  8. I wrote to Nikon Tec Support on May 5th and I did not get an answer until the May 17th:

    "Response 05/17/2006
    Dear Felix,
    Please send us the camera and well have a look at it for you. The link below well give you complete directions on where and how to send the camera in..."

    If they spend 12 days to answer an email, how much time I would have to wait until I get my camera back?

    Now I am waiting, but I am also starting to look for cameras of other brands.
  9. I got the same message with a new 1gb card. I replaced it and after 300 pictures the same message appeared on the new card, causing me to lose all of the pictures taken on a trip to Italy.
  10. Hey guys, I just got this same message and all I had to do was format the card. My camera prompted me to format it, so I did and now I don't have that error and pics are saving fine to the card on the cam.
  11. I have a Nikon S9 coolpix
    i got the same message after formatting the card. "this card cant be used"
    i reformatted the card again but instead of selecting FAT 32 I selected FAT.
    Placing the card in the camera it worked as normal.
    Seems to be a simple and easy solution. hope its useful.
  12. I have the Nikon Coolpix S630
    Same problem as others..."this card cannot be used" comes up.
    How do I reformat the card if the camera seems frozen? I can't get it to do anything but sit there and say "This card cannot be used".
  13. Okay, I was getting this same problem. Here is how I fixed it.
    First, you have to remove the card from the camera. There was no way I could format it via the camera.
    Next, I plugged the card into a card reader attached to a computer. The computer reads the card and treats it like a drive.
    Next I used the computer to format the card. Since I am using Linux I ised the command
    $ mkfs -t vfat /dev/sd(x) where (x) is the device number of the card.
    Note. if your using Windows or another system you'll need to use whatever formatting commands or functions are available on your system. Note... you will lose any pictures or data on the card at this point.
    Once the format was complete remove the card from the card reader and place it back into the camera. Turn the camera back on and the card should read and function normally..
    This worked for me. bear in mind that if you cannot get the computer to recognize, read, or format the card then you might have a defective card, in which case try a different card.
  14. Had the same problem. Remove the card. Remove batteries. Spray a short burst of an electronic contact cleaner on the card slot. Allow a few minutes to dry. Try using the card again, the error message should be gone.
    The problem was, the card was not making good contact with the slot pins. Could have been caused by moisture or oil getting into the card contacts, contaminating the slot pins.
  15. Thanks to Martin Grace and John Holotko, I finally solved the "this card can not be read" meassage.
    I have Nikon Coolpix S570 with 16GB SDHC memory card. I used this memory card until it became full with pictures and videos. After copying all of its content (via $2 memory card reader which simply converts the metal strips of the memory card to the pins of a USB port) into my external hard drive in a Windows PC, I deleted the folders in the memory card in the PC.
    After I inserted the card back into Nikon Coolpix, whenever I take the picture it is hung a while (feels like a full minute) and then it says "this card can not be read" message. When I view the pictures taken, it says "the memory is empty" or something like that.
    After resetting the camera to default and reformating the memory card within the camera, I tried again and it still says the same message "this card can not be read" whenever I take a picture and nothing gets stored in the memory. So I started searching the internet for solution and I came across this message board. Thanks very much for those two people who suggested to REFORMAT THE MEMORY CARD IN THE COMPUTER, NOT IN THE CAMERA.
    I reformated the memory card in Windows (I did it in Windows 7, but it can be done in Windows Vista or any version). But it did not work when I left the the "Qucik Format" box checked on, no matter what format type I did, FAT32, exFAT, or NTFS. [Note: With the Quick Format checked, the format time is very short, just a few seconds.] So, I UNCHECKED the Quick Format, and FORMATTED the card in FAT32. It took about 15-20 mins to complete this 16GB memory. When the card was inserted back to Nikon Coolpix, it works perfectly now -- just like when I purchased this memory card and used it the first time.
    My wife hates this Nikon camera because it takes so long when first turned on and takes so long to store the image in the memory card before turning back to the picture taking mode. Taking two pictures in a row, it is a pain. My two boys, after seeing how poorly functioning this camera is, they each bought an expensive model of a different brand. But I am still OK with this camera although there is a lot to be desired -- but hey, what can you expect? You get what you pay. I am glad the 'this card can not be read" problem is fixed now, with the help of this board, because I do not have to waste another 150-200 dollars on another simple camera.
  16. Sorry to bump this age old thread, but I thought I'd see if anyone knows the solution to this problem that I am a victim of as well that Bill talked about on the first post. I've found that my Nikon Coolpix S1 does the "Card cannot be read"/"card cannot be used" error and the menus are also graphicaly distorted. Here's a video I shot of the problem:

    Let me know what ya'all figure out.


    - 2 Bunny ("john smith" on this forum ☺)
  17. Any updates on this?
  18. Any updates on this?

  19. Any updates on this? Anyone? Anything?
  20. Same Problem, I get the message (card cannot be used), computer will not recognize or read card, camera plugged in via the usb cord, same thing, I get,(this card cannot be used) on the display for the camera. there is no prompt to format the card, I put a new card in Camera and no problem. I would like to recover the pics if possible. any suggestions?
  21. [[computer will not recognize or read card]]
    Just to be clear, you're saying that when you put the card into a separate card reader on your computer, it does not recognize that a card is there?
  22. Hi. I have a Coolpix S2600 and have the same problem that comes up as soon as I turn the camera on, and also when I place the battery charger in "this card cannot be used".
    So I have: 1) Formatted card in card reader for computer.
    2) I have formatted the SD card in another camera
    3) I have cleaned inside of the brand new camera.
    4) I have placed a working SD card into the camera and still get the same message.
    5) I have charged the battery and retried it
    What other suggestions were there....I think I have done.
    Any other tips appreciated.
    Cheers, Leah
  23. Leah, Rob, the problem has nothing to do with your card. If you're having problems with your card, this is not the place to diagnose such an issue; the topic at hand is Nikon Coolpix cameras that say "card cannot be used" or "card cannot be read" when you power them on, even if no card is inserted. Speaking of which, has anyone got any updates on the issue that causes this?
  24. Any updates or progress on this? Anyone?
  25. Media cards go bad or act wonky occasionally. One of my original two Sandisk 1 GB CF cards purchased with my D2H 10 years ago went bad within a year or two. Oddly, it works with other cameras that take CF cards. But not with my D2H.
    A couple of years ago a friend bought a Lexar 8 GB SD card with her Olympus digicam. It records just fine. But it wouldn't transfer photos to her laptop, or to mine. However it will transfer photos to my desktop. I swapped one of my Transcend SD cards to her and kept the wonky Lexar. I only use it as a backup in case all my other cards are filled up, because it still won't transfer to my laptop - only to my desktop.
    And more than half of my original SmartMedia sorta-floppy cards from ye olden Olympus digicams of the late 1990s-early 2000s have gone bad. That was a very unreliable design, very vulnerable to ESD damage. Too bad because the cameras were good, but useless without reliable media cards.
  26. I also received this message, and found the problem was
    SIZE LiMITS on sd card reading. Coolpix s220 is limited to 16gb sd cards, for example. Nikon has listings, just search for your make and model and the range and type should come up.

    This is probably a general-purpose message that covers a lot of errors.
  27. @Lex Jenkins
    As we have established already, the problem has nothing to do with SD cards because the issue occurs whether there is one inserted or not.
    This is also not the cause of the problem. Distorted menus and this message coming up with no card inserted are an indication that the "This card cannot be used" error has NOTHING to do with SD cards.

    Read the thread, people!

Share This Page