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Tourist
Posts: 1

128 GB sdcard formatted by Hero 8 Black can't be read by iPad, problem solved

My recently purchased (June 2020) Hero 8, updated to v 1.60, had no issues with a Sandisk 128 GB sd card out of the package. The card came formatted as ExFAT with a single partition. After using the camera for a bit to lean and familiarize myself, I plugged it into a USB-C <-> sdcard adapter for my iPad and was able to see and copy the media on the card. Done with testing it, I wanted to delete all the files and start fresh, so I formatted the card with the 'reset' command in-camera. I took more photos and videos, but then the iPad no longer saw any media files at all. I checked the card's file system in my Linux PC. It was still ExFat:

 

fdisk -l /dev/sdk
Disk /dev/sdk: 119.1 GiB, 127865454592 bytes, 249737216 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 x 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00000000
Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sdk1 32768 249737215 249704448 119.1G 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT

 

But the main partition contained four nested partitions:

fdisk -l /dev/sdk1
Disk /dev/sdk1: 119.1 GiB, 127848677376 bytes, 249704448 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 x 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xf4f4f4f4
Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sdk1p1 4109694196 8219388391 4109694196 1.9T f4 SpeedStor
/dev/sdk1p2 4109694196 8219388391 4109694196 1.9T f4 SpeedStor
/dev/sdk1p3 4109694196 8219388391 4109694196 1.9T f4 SpeedStor
/dev/sdk1p4 4109694196 8219388391 4109694196 1.9T f4 SpeedStor

The nested partitions' parameters are nonsensical, which might explain the iPad's difficulties.

 

After copying all the media files to the PC, which had no problems accessing them in spite of the partition arrangement, I reformatted the main parition on the drive for ExFat again and so deleted the nested partitions:

# mkfs.exfat /dev/sdk1
mkexfatfs 1.2.3
Creating... done.
Flushing... done.
File system created successfully.
# fdisk -l /dev/sdk1
Disk /dev/sdk1: 119.1 GiB, 127848677376 bytes, 249704448 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 x 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

I inserted the freshly formatted card into the GoPro and took a short video, then powered off the camera, and put the card back into the PC. The disk format was not changed; the default directory structure and database files were written by the camera; the four nested partitions were not created.

 

The media files were written successfully to the sdcard and could be transferred to and played back on the iPad. So, problem solved.

 

My questions are 1) what is the purpose of the nonstandard disk arrangement created by the GoPro format operation and 2) why would I ever use the camera's card format operation?