Sorry if I jumped the gun on the card size (128mb max). That's usually what the problem is when people have a problem with a new card. Second most often it was incompatible cards.
Samson's website has a list of recommended smartmedia cards for the PS-04 I don't know if the list applies to xd, but fujifilm is one that's on the not recommended list for smartmedia. Kodak is not on the list:
http://www.samsontech.com/products/prod ... rodID=1705
The "protected" error used to show up occasionally on SM cards people had bought, and I think it turned out to be incompatible brands, but I'm not certain.
Two dud cards? Too much coincidence. Bad xm-sd adapter? Maybe. Incompatible brands? Maybe
To test the adapter/xd combo, can you plug the adapter (with xd in it) into the smartmedia reader you used to use with the smartmedia cards (or into another reader)? I suppose you tried that, but if not, plug the card in as a storage device on your computer and see if you can format it fat 32 there, move files to and from it with your computer. If it works that way, try it again on the PS, but on the way there, unplug the xd from the adapter and plug it back in before putting it back into the PS. I had to do that with one xd card, but I don't know why.
If the xd card can't be read or written to by the computer via the xd/sm adapter, can you plug the xd cards into something to test them? If the cards can't be used by the computer, you may have bad cards. Bummer.
These are all procedures I would do, but you may have already tried.
BTW: mine are olympus, they are on the ok list, and I happen to be lucky to own an olympus camera to test them on.