Killing a Philips photo frame

It’s rare that you do something purely in a software space that renders hardware irreversibly damaged.  But somehow I managed to do it with my Philips digital photo frame.   🙁

About two years ago, we purchased a Phillips 7FF1 photo frame for about $160.  This model is a 6.5″ LCD that has an internal rechargeable battery that lets you take it off AC power and view photos for about 30 minutes on battery power.  It has a fantastically bright and clear display.

Word of warning: never put too many photos on an SD card that you insert into one of these frames.  We had a couple hundred photos, and it worked great.  After I did some serious reviewing of our 30,000 digital pictures, I wanted to put the best two or three thousand onto the Philips.

I put them on an SD card, all resized to reasonable dimensions.  I made sure that I did not put all the image files in the root directory of the SD card (apparently, you can’t put more than a couple hundred in the root of a FAT filesystem).  I loaded the SD card into the Philips and fired it up.  I saw a couple of images, then the display glitched and started over.  It cycled like that a few times.  I got distracted and worked on something else.

The next time I saw the frame, it was dark.  I could not revive it, no matter what I tried — I followed the manual’s process for using the reset button.  Nothing.  I’ve tried to drain its battery.  No luck.

I’m not 100% certain, but some users on various forums have alluded to corrupted internal memory.  I would not have expected the internal memory to be corrupted when using an SD card, but it seems that this is the case.

Right before we had this problem, we bought some newer Philips frames as gifts.  They appear to be very similar in spec, so it’s possible that the current crop of Philips frames is similarly vulnerable.  Use caution.

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