Social Question

filmfann's avatar

Are magnets involved in mail delivery?

Asked by filmfann (47843points) September 22nd, 2014

I recently went on a cruise to Alaska, and on returning left my camera at my daughters house. Since I won’t see her again for 2 months, she took the camera chip out of the camera and mailed it to me. The memory chip now seems to be blank.
Do they use magnets while sorting mail? This would explain why the chip seems to be erased. It was a new camera, so I suppose it is possible that the chip has to be in the camera to be read.

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22 Answers

ucme's avatar

Only when dealing with love letters & valentine cards, magnets/attraction.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The chip should read by other computers or readers but it may need to be in the camera.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m sorry to say, but I think your photos are gone if they were on the card to begin with.

If it was a new camera, are you absolutely certain that you checked/changed the settings to store photos on the memory card? If the camera shipped from the factory without a memory card, then the default setting for the camera would be “internal storage”, and you may need to change that manually. So the photos may be in the camera, after all.

More on the topic – from some unknown guy.

janbb's avatar

Wow! How disappointing!

ibstubro's avatar

Just be happy with your great memories!

It’s not just mail delivery where magnets could be encountered – magnets could also be in a package your card had a close encounter with.

funkdaddy's avatar

Flash storage options (SD cards, flash/thumb drives, cell phone and portable device storage, etc) aren’t magnetic, so I don’t think that’s the cause here. An easy to way think about it is if the storage doesn’t have moving parts, it’s most likely not magnetic.

So you’re probably looking at either a problem reading the card, or as @cwotus mentioned, a problem writing to it originally.

Hopefully that means your photos are somewhere, can she fire up the camera and see if they’re viewable there?

Hope it helps.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Yeah, that’s correct. You can’t erase an SD card like you could with magnetic media. There are bunches of utilities that can help restore the data if it’s there. I suspect the pictures were never even on the card but are in the cameras internal memory like @CWOTUS stated.

dappled_leaves's avatar

In case @CWOTUS is correct, you should probably contact your daughter ASAP to make sure she doesn’t delete the photos from the camera (assuming she hasn’t already). As far as she knows, your copies are safely on their way to you, so she can free up memory on the camera by deleting them.

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, and if it’s the case that the pictures are stored on the camera, she might need to do something toward keeping it charged, if it’s going to be months.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ibstubro Does not matter. It’s the same kind of memory just built into the camera and not removable.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Your photos are still on the card. Don’t worry. There are new image recovery tools that are fantastic at finding them. Really, it’s like magic crazy voodoo what these programs can do, far beyond any normal hard drive data recovery program.

Not only will they recover recent lost photos, but you’ll find photos that were deleted from years ago, even if the card has been erased and formatted again dozens of times. It’s really unbelievable because the card shouldn’t be able to keep so many images alive and well beyond it’s memory capacity… but it does! I’ve used a lot of them and have never been disappointed. Many are free, or will work in demo mode first to tell you if they found the shots. Try Photo Rescue 3 demo to see if it works before purchasing.

filmfann's avatar

New camera. I bet @CWOTUS is right.

ibstubro's avatar

GA, @ARE_you_kidding_me. I’m obviously ‘old school’. Just trying to help.

ibstubro's avatar


Vacation pictures that don’t include other people that you know and might forget (assuming you label all your pictures on the back), have no value. There are professional pictures of every glacier on the cruise.

That does not diminish your experience, it just makes it easier for you to access a better reproduction.

Here2_4's avatar

I think they use xray at major sorting depots. Could xray cause it to erase?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ibstubro I know, just making sure the op understood….If fluther had emoticons it would be easier so say things with out appearing to have an improper tone.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


The number of magnetic items involved in every aspect of your mail’s delivery is so many as to be nearly incalculable.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

He is just answering the question in a very matter-of-fact way. how many magnets were involved in driving to work today or storing and displaying this response? The answer is a helluva lot.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^Still more than that. You failed to consider all of the magnets used in the manufacture of the machinery, vehicles, etc.

This sort of thinking started when I long-ago saw a billboard that said “Save water, drink a Budweiser.”

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I thought that would be assumed…

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