How to copy SD card of controller?????

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How to copy SD card of controller?????

Postby Ron56 » Sat May 19, 2018 7:52 am

I have the older machine Shark Black Diamond.
I have tried to back up (copy) the SD flash card on the controller, with no luck.
I am using windows 7 and only prompted to format the card.
Is there anyone that might be able to help?
If I were to set up a pc running say windows 98 or 95 would that allow to read/write the SD card,
or is there something else I’m missing? I would be grateful for any help. Thanks much. :?:
If at first you don't succeed, rethink the situation.
Ron56
 
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Location: Foothills of North Carolina

Re: How to copy SD card of controller?????

Postby Rando » Sat May 19, 2018 9:54 am

Ron56:

You can't and you don't want to. The information stored on it is only the running GCODE that's sent to the controller.
The controller is the only one that understands the format it uses; they're essentially useless to a PC once you've
run a GCode program through the controller. The controller uses them like a very slow RAM (Random Access Memory),
while the PC formats them like a solid-state disk drive, with sectors and a directory, and even a file allocation table,
just like floppies and nearly every other disk since. The controller just writes over all that, but requires it be there
when it sees a new card inserted. Well, that's what it appears to do. ;-)

The best protection against a card going bad is to keep multiple spare low-GB SD cards (<= 4GB, preferably 1GB)
that are freshly formatted from a PC. Bonus points for keeping a USB-connected card reader of that specific SD card
size. Extra credit if you keep a spare of THAT too.


When a card goes "bad" on these controllers, that typically just means data got messed up on the way into the card,
and the controller can't read it properly. Unfortunately, those checksum errors can mean it can't read the card at ALL.
So, you take a new 1GB card (good luck finding those in a decade...) to a PC with an SD card slot (which also might not
exist in the future...) and format the card using Windows (who still uses that in 2025? Microsoft was closed down as a
cocaine cartel in 2022...everyone knows that ;-) ).

Oh...in case you're wondering where the software that actually runs **inside** the controller is stored, that's burned
permanently into the microcontroller on the PC Board. If that goes, the board's dead :shock: so no backup needed there.

Thus, your best defense against that SD-card component failing is to just have multiple lightly-used ones on-hand and
ready to swap in. While you might be able to find an old card, finding a reader and something that knows how to use
that might not be so easy. Yeah, we used to think floppies were going to be around forever too. :ugeek:

Cheers!

Thom

P.S. kidding about the Microsoft thing, if for some reason this post lasts that long! :twisted:
=====================================================
ThomR.com Creative tools and photographic art
A proud member of the Pacific Northwest CNC Club (now on Facebook)
Rando
 
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Location: Hoquiam, WA

Thanks Thom

Postby Ron56 » Sat May 19, 2018 11:27 am

Thanks Thom

Thanks for the lesson.
It is seldom that a reply instantly turns the light on.
I could have looked for a year or more and never got it, but you made it very clear.

"Oh...in case you're wondering where the software that actually runs **inside** the controller is stored, that's burned
permanently into the micro controller on the PC Board."

Think this is the part I had trouble understanding. I simply thought this too was stored on the SD card.
Now if I can find a couple cards.

Also good to know about the Microsoft details, I can invest elsewhere before 2022. :o
If at first you don't succeed, rethink the situation.
Ron56
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:31 pm
Location: Foothills of North Carolina

Re: Thanks Thom

Postby Rando » Sat May 19, 2018 3:02 pm

Ron56 wrote:Thanks Thom

Thanks for the lesson.
It is seldom that a reply instantly turns the light on.
I could have looked for a year or more and never got it, but you made it very clear.



Excellent. Thanks for your kind words, Ron.

One point that, after re-reading my reply, could be a bit unclear:

Sometimes, due to bad timing or some other reason, the controller will experience an error with the SD card.
When that happens, assume the card is only temporarily malfunctioning. In every case I've seen so far, the problem
was solved by taking that SD card to a computer and formatting it with the normal FAT style of file system, even
using the Quick Formatting option, and then re-inserting that SD card into the controller. That's the recommended
solution to a failure like that. Might even be in the manual for all I know...who reads those things? :roll:

But, my original reply seemed to indicate that the malfunctioning card is permanently damaged and therefore needs
a **new** card. That's not really true. You only need a **new** card when the old one can't even be formatted on the PC.
In all other cases, after the malfunction, what the controller wants is a **newly formatted** card.

Anyway, yeah, too many darned details for a simple thing :D.

Regards,

Thom
=====================================================
ThomR.com Creative tools and photographic art
A proud member of the Pacific Northwest CNC Club (now on Facebook)
Rando
 
Posts: 583
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:24 pm
Location: Hoquiam, WA


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