Offloading problems with older CFast 2.0 cards

Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:49 am

Due to the information we have received during our regular market observance and our investigations, we have to take back our recommendation to use Lexar Professional 3600x CFast 2.0 cards for recording in ARRI cameras. The cards will continue to work in our cameras, but we cannot unreservedly recommend their use any more.

Noticed Symptoms
A CFast 2.0 card stops working after it was used for recording, making the recorded footage inaccessible.
The problem can occur with one or more of the following symptoms:

    A camera shows the error message "Medium in Slot A/B not (yet) ready" and cannot access the card.
    The card may only mount/play back in a camera, but it cannot be mounted in a card reader.
    A computer can mount the card, but only shows a 1GB partition, which does contain the data.
    The operating system may also request that the card is "initialized," which does not solve the issue.

Potential Cause
Root cause analysis has shown that the issue may be caused by weak soldering joints of card components. This would make these cards particularly sensitive to mechanical and thermal stress.

Counter measures in case of error
Warning: The following counter measures bear the risk of complete data loss!
We generally advise seeking professional help from a data recovery service, especially if a card represents a high production value, e.g. something that cannot be reshot.

    It may be possible to salvage recorded data by cooling down the card and reading it at slow transfer speeds. Slow transfer speeds can be achieved by connecting a USB-3 card reader with a USB-2 cable. Please note that cards should only be cooled in a controlled, low humidity environment, as a card can be destroyed if condensation builds up on the inside!
    It may be possible to temporaritly reconnect defective soldering joints by applying soft pressure between the top and bottom lid.
    Please note that too much force will cause fatal mechanical damage to the electrical assembly and render the card useless!
Note: The use of data recovery software is not required, as the problem does not affect the data integrity on the flash chips.

General Recommendations
    Handle the CFast 2.0 cards with utmost care and avoid unnecessary thermal and mechanical stress.
    Needless to say, a CFast 2.0 card with offloading problems should not be put back into circulation.
    Frequently used media, e.g. in rental operations, should be rotated out sooner than others.
    No additional stickers or labels should be placed on the cards. Stickers impair the thermal conductivity and cause cards to run slightly hotter. Peeling stickers will increase the risk of residue clogging up the connector.

Replacement options
    Customers wishing to replace Lexar 3600x 256 GB CFast 2.0 cards (K2.0006495) can request an exchange from their point of sales to receive a partial credit note towards the purchase of a new 256GB CFast 2.0 card offered by ARRI. ARRI will also accept Lexar cards that were not distributed by ARRI (not “Tested by ARRI”), against a reduced credit note towards the purchase of a new CFast 2.0 card offered by ARRI.
    Please contact your point of sales for details on the exchange procedure!
    Lexar CFast 2.0 cards showing the above symptoms are covered by the Lexar limited lifetime warranty. Customers with defect Lexar CFast 2.0 cards, are advised to request an RMA against a refund from Lexar Technical Support. Please note that Lexar currently does not offer an alternative CFast 2.0 product that can be used in ARRI cameras. Nevertheless, an RMA with Lexar will result in a higher return value.

ARRI does not want to give the impression that all Lexar cards are affected by this problem. Many customers have been using the Lexar 3600x CFast 2.0 cards for years without experiencing any problems. In fact, only a few users have experienced the aforementioned issue. Therefore, it would be premature to replace every card currently in use. First and foremost we wanted to insure that our customers were made aware of this concern so they could identify a problem at its first occurrence and take the effected cards out of circulation immediately.
Jan Heugel
Application Engineer
Jan Heugel
Posts: 419
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:15 pm
Location: Munich, Germany

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