The Most Obvious Answer

You would think after four decades on planet Earth, I would have learned this lesson long ago: When a problem arises, look to the most obvious answer first.

Case in point: When our middle child took a school trip to New York City this past June, she took 1173 photos on her digital camera. When she came home, we added another 100 before trying to download them all onto a computer—first hers, then mine.

Both attempts were a no go. We installed and reinstalled her Kodak EasyShare software before exchanging countless rounds of (polite) emails with Eastman Kodak’s tech team. “Reinstall,” they suggested. “Upgrade,” they urged. I followed their instructions to “T” only to find that in the end, we could still not download those 1200+ images. After two weeks of tinkering, I gave up for the same. 

Then, yesterday, I tried again. I was determined to get those images off that camera. 

Once again my attempts proved fruitless, and thus gave way to two rounds of online “chat” with more professionals at Kodak’s tech team. The software guy transferred me to hardware. The hardware guy transferred me back to software. I was not only exhausted, I felt defeated. And I could feel the imminent purchase of a card reader in my future. It seemed like the only way. 

Still, the tech guy and I did not give up. He had me tweaking my pc and trying more fixes than there are pink and white candies in a Good ‘n’ Plenty box. In the end, I knew my pc and my daughter’s camera intimately, but those 1200+ images weren’t budging off that memory card. Then tech guy had an idea: If images from the camera’s internal memory could be downloaded to a pc successfully, but images off the camera’s memory card refused to budge, then, “We can conclude,” his words, not mine, “there must be something wrong with the memory card itself and you’ll have to take it to an imaging kiosk or transfer those images to a computer via a card reader.”

“So I’ll have to buy another product?” I asked.

“No. Borrow, or take the memory card to an imaging kiosk where you can make a disc of the images on that card. Then, after you get the images safely stored on another device, be sure to reformat that memory card or try another memory card entirely. There might be something wrong with that card.”


“Pook!” I called to my daughter.

“Yes, mom?” she replied, gracefully bounding down the stairs.

“Did you format this memory card before you started taking pictures?”

“Format? What’s that?”

Four weeks and countless hours later I finally deduced that you WILL NEVER download (via USB) photos from a digital camera’s memory card that has not been properly formatted. Quick like a bunny I drove to the nearest imaging kiosk to get those images off that card and onto a disc (or 5 discs as the case may be). I’m happy to report all images appeared to have transeferred, and I’ll be able to pick the discs up later today. I cannot wait to format that memory card, snap some more photos, and come home just to see if that solves this downloading issue once and for all. I’m pretty sure it will. And I cannot wait to see the 1200+images that have been taunting us for weeks. 

Lastly, when a problem arises, I want you to remember this story and look to the most obvious answer first. It could save you (and the tech guys) a lot of headache. 

My sincerest thanks to the patient tech team at Eastman Kodak for their diligent help and assistance. You guys rock!