I wrote the Fedora image to an SD card using the installer and Win32DiskImager - which I will post about in their respective topics.
However what is the best way to
a) clear a card for putting on a new image? i.e. debian and
b) format a card so that it returns back to the way it was when I bought it? (i.e. if I decided I wanted to use it in a camera or something)
Windows Disk Management isn't very good as it just leaves you with the 100MB partition and the rest of the card unallocated and won't let you do anything with the unallocated space or remove the 100mb partition (all options are greyed out on unallocated space and on 100MB partition you only have format but you can only format that 100mb partition - you can't extend, merge etc.)
According to: http://russelldavis.org/2012/0.....n-windows/
So if you are going to use an SD card that you have used before you'll want to format it before using it with the raspberry pi. Don't use the windows formatter with your SD card as although it'll sort of work it won't have set all the bits to 1 instead user the panasonic sd card formatter which you can find at http://panasonic.jp/support/gl.....index.html
Following that link actually eventually takes you to: https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_3/
This software formats all SD memory cards, SDHC memory cards and SDXC memory cards. SD Formatter provides quick and easy access to the full capabilities of your SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
The SD Formatter was created specifically for memory cards using the SD/SDHC/SDXC standards. It is strongly recommended to use the SD Formatter instead of formatting utilities provided with operating systems that format various types of storage media. Using generic formatting utilities may result in less than optimal performance for your memory cards.
However Russell doesn't seem to say whether you should do quick, full (erase) or full (overwrite) - I went with full overwrite.
However before I could do this I had to actually remove the 100mb partition and end up with just one partition/big unallocated space - for this I used http://www.partition-tool.com/.....rsonal.htm
As Partition Magic alternative, EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition is a ALL-IN-ONE partition solution and disk management freeware. It allows you to extend partition (especially for system drive), manage disk space easily, settle low disk space problem on MBR and GUID partition table (GPT) disk under Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 SP1/Windows 8 32 bit and 64 bit system.
(You run commands in this program and then it queues them up - you need to press apply for it to actually do them) - I used it to turn everything into unallocated space, made a new partition and then used SD Formatter to format it.
(Gparted only runs as a live cd/usb stick, Partition Magic is discontinued by Symantec - this program was picked as it was freeware and easy to get - recommendations of other alternatives would be welcome)
So is this the way to go about it? or have I just spent a lot of time doing things I didn't need to do?
At the end I got this message: http://i43.tinypic.com/23mq0oz.png
and it looks ok in '(My) Computer' http://i42.tinypic.com/21ceefp.png
This is the card that it was: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000OF2F36
I was using Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64Bit and an inbuilt card reader on my Toshiba Laptop