Nikon D90 and the CHA

I took a SD card (4gig Sandisk Extreme III SDHC) out of my computer, and back into my camera, and I instead of a shot count in the LCD on the top of the camera, I got the letters CHA. What the? I headed to google, and “d90 CHA” brought back a ton of hits. This was not some weird isolated incident. Most were saying it had something to do with the memory card, and that if formated in camera, it would correct it’s self. Since I always format every time I put the card back in, that’s what I tried to do. I usually use the shortcut buttons, but they didn’t work. I then went to the menu, and it the camera seemed to take a long time to format. When it was finished, I still had CHA in the LCD. I took the card out, put it back in, and now the shot count said there were 27 pictures left. Weird. I tried the format again through the menu, and this time it only took a second, and appeared to work. We’ll see how this card holds up. I should mark it so I know which one it is.

17 thoughts on “Nikon D90 and the CHA

  1. I just had the same err msg and i think i found a solution. i took off the card from the camera and inserted it on my pc´s card reader to format it. after re-inserting it to the camera, i got the same err, but i tried to teka it of and then inserting it again, but this time, the came was “ON” during the procedure. after a couple of tries, there were no more err msg.

    i´m using a 8GB Video HD SD card and i just took more then 100 pictures and re-formated it without any problem!

    hope this will help you!

  2. I had the same error message CHA and just took out my memory card and put it back in and now it works fine

  3. I bought a new D90 on 11th June & got this ERR CHA on just 8th days of the purchase. I removed the battery & put it back & the msg gone. I thought this would be the end of the story. But I got the same dreading msg again few days back & this time it wouldnt go away. Removing the battery will make it disappear, but then it would return every time I click a photo… I gave it to Nikon servicing.
    The common thing in last time & this time was that the msg came after I move around the lens, so I guess it must be some lens contact issue. But this should NOT happen….

    • Bhavin, I forgot to mention, that if you have a lens contact issue, you will see “F–” on the screen. I have had that issue with my Tamron lens, but not my Nikon ones.

    • Have you tried a different card? Someone else commented here that I should unlock my card. That wasn’t my situation, but that is the message that you get when the card is locked, but it could also show if the camera doesn’t think it can write to the card for another reason I suppose. I have not seen the message for months now.

  4. I got the CHA on a class 6 Transcend 4GB SDHC card…after I’d shot a ton of photos on it. Deal was I put it in my PC, and downloaded the pics into Picasa, w/the safe delete option – which means picasa copies and deletes the pics one by one. Put the card back in the D90 and got CHA. Got the same results as the blogger w/the camera formating options. So I put the card into my PC, did a quick format and it worked fine in the camera after that. It’s happened once before, but that’s all. I’m shocked about how many people seem to ship the camera for service. I have a stack of various SD cards so I always try them first before boxing up the D90.

  5. My Nikon D90 got the CHA message too. I removed the memory card, unlocked it and it was fine. I did this with other cards and when the card was locked, I got the CHA message. Happen to anyone else?

  6. Came across this blog and wanted to post. Had a D70s that was getting the CHA message with pretty much any CF card I put in it. I lost so many pictures I traded in my D70s b/c I thought it was the body (read that it could be b/c of some bent CF Card pins in the camera). I’ve had a D90 for about a year now and BAM, just started to get the CHA error and I’m beyond upset. I was getting the F– error (which I got before too when dealing with my D70s) so I knew to make sure the lens was on correctly, but I’m more then weary of this issue and what in fact the root cause is. I do NOT believe it is the cards, I DO believe it is the camera, but no one can tell you….I thought by trading in my camera and going from CF to SD cards I would NEVER see this dreaded issue again, but apparently I was wrong. I don’t want to move to cannon but I might not have a choice…

    • It is definitely an issue with the camera believing that it can’t write to the cards. Whether that is because of a bad card, the switch on the SD cards, or an issue with the camera I don’t know. I haven’t had the issue for a long time, since moving to Sandisk Extreme III cards.

  7. The solution I found was to do a first format were it shows CHA then you take it out put it back in and format it again. Then it shows ether 10 11 12 ect. That part is not problem it’s actually because the display has only 3 digits so when it goes up to 1000 it shows 10 with a K on the side

  8. Same error on my D90 with the SanDisk Extreme (Class4) 8GB card, I reformatted on the computer, then again on the camera, and same CHA error. I tried to lock it and put it in, expecting a CHA error and it came up again. After unlocking it and reinserting the card it worked like a charm with all available images. Not certain if it was just a coincidence that it worked after the lock/unlock, but someone else having the issue could try it out.
    I’m just glad I could still read it on the computer and was able to dump all my images before the reformat.

  9. Okey so here is my thing : again the CHA message but the thing is that it disappears when the card is locked and everything works fine but NO sign of life in the computer after putting it in the card reader and it worked perfectly fine ! I’ve put it LOCKED then UNLOCKED in the god damn sign of life ! Any ideas ? I can’t format it because the photos which are inside are really imoprtant !

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