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Camera can't save photos to SD Card

David Rosen

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2013
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Sigh... I've made it pretty long without any major issues with my Galaxy S7 Edge, but now I've got one. I'm not sure if this started with the last update (or the update before that)... But I've read online about the update being the culprit, so that's why I mention it...

If I choose to store photos on my SD Card, as soon as I go to take a photo it says "Unable to save file to SD Card. Default storage has been changed to device memory."

The SD card is fine. My phone is running fine otherwise. Other files can be written and read from the SD card. It's a high quality Samsung card (forget the exact model but one of the top of the line ones). Only 3gb of 128gb are even being used yet.

It never used to be like this. When I got the phone SD card was selected and it saved the photos to the SD card like it's supposed to.

Any ideas? I really don't want to start formatting and wiping and restoring and all that. This is so annoying.
 

SpookDroid

Ambassador
Jul 14, 2011
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Can any other camera apps write to the SD Card? Not read...write. The first time I saw that happen on mine, BOOM, yet another SD Card fried by a Samsung phone. Fortunately I learned my lesson a long time ago and I never save pictures to SD card (I was trying out that in the camera because I saw some glitches in the SD card).
 

David Rosen

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2013
270
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0
Can any other camera apps write to the SD Card? Not read...write. The first time I saw that happen on mine, BOOM, yet another SD Card fried by a Samsung phone. Fortunately I learned my lesson a long time ago and I never save pictures to SD card (I was trying out that in the camera because I saw some glitches in the SD card).

what's a good not spammy camera app i can install that can write to SD that I can test? i only have the main camera app and camscanner (which can't save to SD) and instagram which i don't think can either.
 

Rukbat

Retired Moderator
Feb 12, 2012
44,533
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ANY app can save to a folder it created on the SD card. It can't save to a folder another app created. (Assuming that it's written to give you a choice.)

That's probably the problem you're having - trying to save to some other app's folder (or to the root of the card - which is effectively root's folder)..
 

David Rosen

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2013
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but i'm not trying to save to any specific folder. i'm just choosing SD Card as the location for the built in camera app to save photos and videos to as it takes them. so what you're describing is that IT is the one screwing up, not me haha. it's not asking me what folder to save photos in. it's just Device Storage or SD Card. that's the only two options.
 

SpookDroid

Ambassador
Jul 14, 2011
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ANY app can save to a folder it created on the SD card. It can't save to a folder another app created. (Assuming that it's written to give you a choice.)

That's probably the problem you're having - trying to save to some other app's folder (or to the root of the card - which is effectively root's folder)..

But the camera app (at least the stock one) shouldn't have that problem. Plus, it never really asks you where to save the photos, just changes it to SD card, effectively just creating the folder there and saving pictures. I still think the card is about to or already gone kaput. Sammy doesn't seem to get SD Cards right on their phones :( Been churning and burning and chewing through SD Cards since the Note 2 in my case.
 

David Rosen

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2013
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Sammy doesn't seem to get SD Cards right on their phones :( Been churning and burning and chewing through SD Cards since the Note 2 in my case.

I really hate to say this, and I know that a million other people will probably disagree with you, but I think you're probably right. I've posted many times about how my Android phones always start having issues with an SD card installed... And all of my Android phones except two have been Samsung... I think Samsung just murders SD cards... I suppose it wouldn't kill me to format the card to see if that helps... I don't know, I kind of am feeling pretty negative about it haha.
 

lammy8

Trusted Member
Apr 4, 2013
276
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I've only ever had non Samsung cards die on me in their phones. Curious....

Speculation aside, have you tried resetting the camera settings to default, cache clearing, tried a different card etc?
 

Jaycemiskel

Trusted Member
Jul 28, 2011
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That's crazy. Every one of my phones has had no problem with the SD card *knock on wood*. Guess some people just have bad luck.
 

IAmSixNine

Well-known member
Jun 1, 2010
3,157
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Look at your SD card and see if it has
/DCIM/Camera
Thats where my photos are being stored by selecting SD card on my stock camera app.
If NOT perhaps the card was not formated correctly by android and this location doesnt exist thus confusing the app.
 

David Rosen

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2013
270
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wow even though storage shows that 4.03gb of the 128gb is used, when i go to the sd card in My Files, it shows no files. So maybe the phone did ruin the card... i'm gonna put it in a computer later and see if it can access anything and if not i'll format the card and see what happens.
 

SpookDroid

Ambassador
Jul 14, 2011
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wow even though storage shows that 4.03gb of the 128gb is used, when i go to the sd card in My Files, it shows no files. So maybe the phone did ruin the card... i'm gonna put it in a computer later and see if it can access anything and if not i'll format the card and see what happens.

Some of those might be 'hidden' files, though, like if you download music from Play Music, etc. But yeah, I don't trust Samsung with SD cards anymore :(
 

David Rosen

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2013
270
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OH ok then that might make sense, because the only thing I use my SD for is the camera and saving music for offline play in Google Play Music, Spotify, and Howl Podcasts. Otherwise I don't even touch the SD card.

However there's definitely no DCIM folder like there should be when viewed in My Files or via a USB Cable on my PC at work (I don't have an SD Card reader here)
 

WingLT

Well-known member
Dec 19, 2015
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I can't tell you how many times my Samsung phones ruined my SD Cards. Yes they were third party cards. This time I'm using a Samsung card. And it better work for a long time.
 

JOC2016

Well-known member
Aug 22, 2016
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I got the same message when I tried to get mine to save pictures to the SD card. I wondered if it might be worth formatting the SD card actually inside the phone. The only problem with that is that I like to have my music also on my SD card (its quicker for backups if I do music separately from my PC to and from the SD card). so if its formatted in the phone it may not be compatible with the PC.
 

SpookDroid

Ambassador
Jul 14, 2011
18,848
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I can't tell you how many times my Samsung phones ruined my SD Cards. Yes they were third party cards. This time I'm using a Samsung card. And it better work for a long time.

My last S7 Edge, unfortunately, did end up damaging a Samsung card (the one I got from the promo from the original S7 Edge haha).
 

WingLT

Well-known member
Dec 19, 2015
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My last S7 Edge, unfortunately, did end up damaging a Samsung card (the one I got from the promo from the original S7 Edge haha).

NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Don't say it! Now I'll be worried about it happening again.
 

SpookDroid

Ambassador
Jul 14, 2011
18,848
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NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Don't say it! Now I'll be worried about it happening again.

Just like the next big meteor hitting Earth: the question is not IF, but WHEN. (Read in Morgan Freeman's voice)

My advice? Don't keep anything in an SD card that's important or not already backed up. Use it for media consumption only and stick to stuff that you have elsewhere.
 

David Rosen

Well-known member
Apr 15, 2013
270
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OK so a little update on this post (I've been busy getting ready for a Thanksgiving trip so didn't get to mess with it for a couple weeks).

I tried copying all the stuff on the SD card onto my computer to back it up. It did it fine. The images on the card are readable on both my PC and my Galaxy s7 edge.

Then I tried to format the card in both the computer and the phone, and both failed because the card is write protected. There's no write protection switch on the card (I don't think microSD normally has one anyway, right?).

Android and Windows both can't write to the card, only read. And can't format.

So now we know there's a major issue here haha. Do you think the card is toast? If so do SD cards usually last less than a year because like I said previously, I feel like I've never had a phone's SD Card last more than a year before problems arise (which I always attribute to the phone and never really consider "Oh maybe the card is bad"). Any ideas?