Feb 16, 2010

GoPRO HD Hero Memory Card Problems: Can't Record Video

(Photo: from GoPRO's website)

Update: 11/30/10
A firmware update from GoPro may fix the memory card problems in the GoPro HD Heros. There's also a bunch of cool features added in the update as well. Disclaimer: update at your own risk. http://www.goprocamera.com/support/hdheroupdate.php

Update: 12/15/10
Update from the comments--thanks Steve for the info. There may be some issues with the new firmware update. Please check out the comments section of http://cheesycam.com/gopro-hd-firmware-update/ for more information. I'm hoping the exposure issue is due to the user selecting Spot Metering vs. Center Weighted Average? If not, I would hold off upgrading until they make available the original firmware. Personally, I'm now using one of their recommended SD cards, and it's working good for now...knock on wood.

I'll cut straight to it, so here's the bottom line guys: GoPRO HD cameras have flawed firmware where they cannot read certain SDHC cards. Class 4, 6, 10, 30Mbit write speed, doesn't matter--the camera will just not play nice with many SDHC cards irregardless of the brand name. Either due to not enough testing, rushing to release the product to market, GoPRO still has not released a fix for this after 4 months+ of their product on the market. Also, nowhere on their website have they referenced this problem. Not cool. 

The only "fix" GoPRO has advised is to try a different card, but that kind of hurts if you already purchased a 32GB card setting you back an arm and a leg, which you could have used to go skiing for example. They are blaming it on the cards, but that is not the case because many of these cards have write speeds exceeding GoPRO HD's requirements. 

I've tested a 16GB Lexar Class 4 card, 8GB Adata Class 6 card, and I've only been able to successfully record 4 seconds of corrupted video, on the 16GB card, out of many many tries. The rest of the time, there is no video file recorded, and I get a S.O.S error with 3 beeps. However, I was able to record video on a 2GB Kingston Class 4 card.

For now, hopefully, users will report which cards do work with the GoPRO HD Hero so that other HD Hero owners will be able to capture their adrenaline pumping moments.

Update: Ongoing list of card that WORK:


  1. There is also much discussion on the http://goprouser.freeforums.org site, just watch out for the spam that the forum system tries to sign you up for. Had my camera since November and still no new firmware with the advertised up/upd feature.

  2. Hey, thanks for the link. I've updated the original post to include your link. There's a lot of great info for Gopro users there.

  3. Hi there,
    Thanks for all the info. We have been filming to guys on motorbikes going round Australia and have been trying to use the HD hero but with patchy results...
    So this has been a blessing to hear/read... We thought we were going crazy!!
    However from the forums there might be some good news soon...

    Re: Stickie - New firmware is out? NOT YET
    Postby Saleen880549 on Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:08 pm

    Rambo wrote:Posted by GoPro 2hrs ago

    We are testing the final version of the firmware right now. We're just as impatient for the release as our fans! But we really don't want to release anything until it's up to our (and your) standards.

    We promise: the firmware update will be worth the wait.

    Not long now

  4. i own two GoPro HD Heros and both were fitted with 2 16GB SanDisk UltraII SDHC Cards. Both worked perfectly for months. Now one Cam started to stop recording randomly. The Files are corrupt but can be fixed, as soon as the display shows an SOS... just press any button and its fixed. But my problem still exists. One cam runs perfectly with ether of theses SanDisks and the otherone stops whenever it wants. So theses SOS Messages are NOT just SD Cards failing!

    best regards www.next360.de

  5. I use SanDisk Extreme III 2GB SD cards and they work fine. The AData MicroSDHC card 8GB (class 6) does not work.

  6. i just bought a GoPro. And it seems only class 4 SDHC cards work... i tried it with a class 4, 4 GB SanDisk, Ultra2 15Mb/s. And with a SanDisk Extreme3 30Mb/s and it didnt work, which was class 6...

  7. I recently purchased a GoPro. I am using a 32gb class 4 card, it works OK for several vids and then fails. I contacted GoPro and guess what, they say its the card, I am not convinced. Lost some excellent off road dirt riding footage. Feeling a little robbed seems the footage I keep loosing is the best footage. How do we get these hoods to fix there dud product. Steve.

  8. Hi Steve,

    I can understand how that feels. Like when you're in the middle of an epic moment, and then the camera gives an error saying it can't record. No worries though, you'll have a lot more epic footage to capture.

    The fix to this memory card problem could be with a new firmware update from GoPro:

    HD Hero Firmware Update

  9. I have read that some of the firmware updates have not worked and I am a little suspect of updating the firmware and ending up with an even worse product, what are your thoughts on this? Thanks for the reply, took me a while to find the site again as I had a blond moment and did not book mark this site.



  10. Check out the link below, the user has created an issue by updating the firmware and wants to return to the previous version, somewhat of a worry. I am not sure that gopro can use the old IT saying that the problem is between the screen and the keyboard(the user)in this instance.




  11. Thanks Steve for the info. I tried searching to see if any other users had any issues with "GoPro firmware exposure problem" in google, but could not find any references. I'm hoping the exposure issue is due to the user selecting Spot Metering vs. Center Weighted Average? If not, I would hold off upgrading until GoPro makes available the original firmware for downgrading. I haven't tried the firmware update yet. Personally, I bit the bullet and purchased one of their recommended SD cards, and it's working well with the original firmware...knock on wood. (Kingston 16GB Class 4)

    Best wishes,

  12. Thanks Tri, I have a kingston 16gb Class 6 that does not work,I will leave updating the firmware for now and try another sd card, here's fingers crossed.



  13. i just put in a 32gb lexar platinum II class 6 supposedly awesome card and not cheap. I just recorded my first video around the house to get an idea of distance needed from film subject and all i got was kipping patchy footage

    for the price of these, the hype, and video the webasite represents Im a bit choked...

    any tips on what to do. We have a 4 day backcountry trip planned in 2 days and im not sure what I can do to get this cam up and going


  14. Hi Jeff,

    Is there any footage that looks ok? Also, have you tried shooting some footage outdoors? I do know the camera shoots poorly in low light situations.

    There are several things we can try.

    1. I'm hoping it's just a software playback issue. You could try downloading VLC Player http://www.videolan.org/vlc/ and then try playing back the footage.

    2. If it's a Flash Memory issue, this is the card that worked for me: Kingston 16GB Class 4


    Here's a list of cards that supposedly worked for others: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=50043151918&topic=11791

    3. Lastly, you could try uploading the footage to Youtube, and contact GoPro. Their customer service is okay. http://www.goprocamera.com/contact

    Also, may I make a suggestion, you may want to invest in a portable USB charger as well. I just did a 3 day backpacking trip and ran out of power on day 2.


    Best wishes on your trip!

  15. Hi there,

    just experimented, for starters my condo is low light and my computers for playback is nothing special...

    I originally played it back on a laptop and it stuttered. I deleted all the footage and messed with the settings (originally on r4) I moved it to r2 and filmed a sequence - the playback was smooth on my better computer, then i upped it to r3 which is the same but double the frames per second and it stuttered a bit.

    im convinced its my cmputer now and not the camera

    so as it stands a would safely say my card works well... the battery was also unknowingly a bit lower and died while i was originally playing around transferring video. after charging it i had better results which may have an impact too

    hopefully this helps with troubleshooting


  16. Anyhow to me it does not come from the SD card's speed, because I have the same problem with GOPro's standard definition camera, which is supposed to require very less capacity.
    The problem is also very random: one day it works, then it crashes in the middle of a ride, another day it won't even turn on... all this with the same SD card.

  17. Sure wish someone would start a class action suit against these guys. If anyone offers a competitive product that works they will be out of business. They are even too cheap to ship attachment screws with their accessories, so be prepared to visit your local h/w shop.

  18. I have the Kingston 16GB Class 4 and it still makes corrupt video files. 1 or two out of 5 fail on this camera. GoPro needs to get their act together or we should mass sue their a@@@es!

  19. Has anyone had problems with it turning on starting to record and not responding? the light blinks but the buttons do nothing i cant stop the recording and i cant turn it off i have to let it die. pretty ridiculous for a 300 camera. lost the greates footage of my life...

  20. @brody bramble, i have the same problem i believe. i will start filming, then when i click the shutter button to stop recording the red light just stays on. i cant do anything to stop it. ughh

  21. hey trip

    I bites my go pro hero 2 1 week ago with an "pny" pro-elite 16GB with 35Mb/s and it works for a day...then after 18 seconds it will say on the display "low speed card" ....

    I went back to the store to get another go pro to check if there is a problem with my camera. same thing. it sucks. in in America right now but i'm leaving to Germany tonight so there will be now chance to fix it fast and easy after today. I'll go to get another camera and another card and I'll tell you if the next one will work better.

    also I have the problem of heating really bad ! it's 35celsius over here and after using the can for 1 minute the battery goes crazy hot!

    I am disappointed because camera should be extremely nice for action n shoots and not a reason to meet the best but guys extremely often...

    have a nice one

    1. Hey Angelo,

      Sorry to hear that. Yeah, I noticed the heat issue with my GoPro HD 1 too. Looks like the only thing you can do is get another memory card, and one that GoPro confirms is working with their cameras.

      Best wishes, and good luck!

  22. sorry for the wrong words.... autocorrect sucks

  23. Hey my HDHero will only record 10 seconds of video at a time?

    How do i fix this? there isnt a setting I'm aware of to make it do that and I have a UHS1 PNY 35MBPS card, its like the best sd card you can buy so I dont think its that


  24. I have been using my gopro hero 2 for the past month while traveling around Borneo and Southeast Asia. I havent had any problems with the patchy video or recordings ending unexpectedly however this past week and noticed it getting really hot but I didnt think anything of it. a couple days later I turned my camera on, noticed that Ive taken ~149 pictures and ~ 39 videos, then began to take another video, after stopping the video, the camera read that only 1 video has been recorded and 0 pictures had been taken. I put my SD card into a computer and still only 1 video shows up but GOPRO149.THM and GOPRO149.LRV show up beside the video file. Has anyone else had this kind of problem? I am positive I did not format the card because that involves pushing a bunch of buttons, I simply turned my camera on which brought me to Camera mode, then pushed the power button until I was on Video mode. The disk folder says that 17.0 GB are used of my 32GB Sandisk Ultra card so hopefully I can get some of the video extracted but I am worried this could happen again with another card.