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Nikon D800E won't format SanDisk CF cards


New member
None of my Extreme III or IV cards will format on my new D800E.

Tried through the Menu, and could not start format process.

Pressed Mode+Delete and LCD displayed blinking For, showing formatting in progress, but images remained on card.

Latest firmware already on camera.

Any suggestions?


New member
I have no idea what the problem might be.
Those are listed as supported cards, in sizes from 2GB through 16GB.

I just formatted a 16GB Saindisk Extreme Pro in my D800E with no problem.

- Leigh

Jan Brittenson

Senior Subscriber Member
Put the card in a computer and repartition. (On OSX, through Disk Utility.)

Delete all existing partitions and create a new FAT32 primary for the entire card.


Sr. Administrator
Staff member
What Jan said -- initialize any card on a computer with a FAT32 format and retry. If the issue persists, it's either a bad card OR a bad reader in the camera. My guess is since it's affecting only your Sandisk cards and not others, it's related to how you used them in the past -- like removing them without ejecting them or used them in a camera that did some other format process. Reformatting to FAT32 from a computer should clear the issue up.

Jan Brittenson

Senior Subscriber Member
I've seen cases where cards sometimes have an extra tiny partition (no idea what for), or partitions that don't add up, or a single partition bigger than the available space on the card. This will cause all sorts of random problems with some firmware but not others...